Subject: Solar Panels to local villages

Progress Leader (Australia)

September 11, 2007 Tuesday

PPV Edition

Rolling campaign to aid;

Timorese gathers Moss

CHRIS Moss has spent three weeks of his holidays over the past three years in East Timor installing solar panels to bring power to local villages.

And Mr Moss, 60, of Ashburton, is travelling to East Timor for the fourth time in October with the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) to continue his volunteer work.

But Mr Moss said the association's work made such a difference to the locals' lives that giving up his holidays was a small price to pay.

''The East Timorese people live in very basic conditions and since the Indonesians left in 1999 (when East Timor voted to reclaim its independence at a referendum) the power many villages has is very limited,'' he said.

''Some villages will go for months on end without power when they run out of fuel, which means they have no power for their medical clinics, schools and kindergartens.

''But by installing solar panels we can give them a sustainable power source that will mean their medical clinics have light if they're delivering a baby at night, while they will also be used to power laptop computers that are used to translate letters into Braille.''

Mr Moss said APA was also training the East Timorese to install solar panels and hoped a team of locals would be able to carry on the association's work in the future.

APA's trip is being funded by the STA Travel Trust and Friends of Same.

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