Subject: Mosquito nets for Timor students

Bega District News

Mosquito nets for Timor students Friday, 3 December 2004

THE mayor of Bega Valley Shire, Cr David Hede, launched a shire-wide appeal yesterday for donations to buy mosquito nets for the students of Natarbora Agricultural College in Timor-Leste (East Timor).

Natarbora is the district with which the Bega Valley Shire has a friendship agreement signed by the mayor a few months ago when he, along with other Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste, Mrs Sharon Champagne, Mr Don McPhee, Mrs Penny Davies, Mr Jim Collins and Mr Berard Taylor, visited the area.

Residents of the shire can donate five dollars to buy a mosquito net and, should they so wish, they can buy one or more nets in a friend's or relative's name as a gift token.

Cr Hede said he was happy to launch an appeal which would make life so much better for the students of Timor-Leste and this could be a first step toward a growing friendship within the Natarbora district.

Mr Jim Collins said he had been appalled to see the way the students at the agricultural college lived.

Most, if not all, of the dormitories had no windows or doors so at night mosquitos could come in at will and obviously did so because of the 170 students at the college, over 100 suffered acute attacks of malaria in the last wet season.

Only those with money could buy the anti-malarial tablets from the health clinic, so the mosquito nets would be an absolute boon for them, he said.

Donations can me made at any council office.

Next Wednesday the Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste will hold a public meeting at the Bega High School assembly hall so that the delegates to Natarbora can report on their visit.

They will show a film they made and each will recount the most memorable experience of their visit.

Before the delegates speak Ms Rosemary Dunlop will give a presentation.

Ms Dunlop has spent a great deal of time in Timor-Leste recording the music and the culture of the country.

The public meeting will start at 7pm.

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