Solar Remexio Timor
By October 2016 KVRP will have installed solar lighting in 1,409 homes in Remexio. That leaves 97 houses without what the Timorese call lampu diak – “the good light”. Please help us finish the job!
A little bit of history
The partnership between Kangaroo Valley and the sub-district of Remexio in Timor-Leste began in May 2000. Of the many projects and reciprocal visits over the years, the most ambitious project has been to bring solar lighting to houses off the electricity grid. The Timorese asked for this as a priority, and the three Treks for Timor held in Kangaroo Valley in 2009, 2011 and 2013 raised close to $260,000.
The project would not be successful without the relationship KVRP has built over time with the people in Remexio. The solar lighting scheme not only lights up houses with clean energy, it also builds a sense of community, and friendship, across our borders.
The Benefits of lampu diak
The Village Lighting Scheme has made a significant difference to people’s quality of life. It has improved food security and because solar lighting is much cheaper than kerosene, it brings economic advantages as well. It has reduced eye irritations and respiratory related issues from the burning of kerosene since they no longer have to breath noxious fumes. It also enables families to socialise in the evening and with better illumination women report feeling safer.
Children who have to work in the fields in daylight hours after school now have sufficient light to complete their homework. As well as lighting, the system provides USB ports, enabling the use of mobile phones.There is even anecdotal evidence that the introduction of solar lighting has led to a significant decline in the high birth rate!
The project trains local people in how to assemble and install and maintain the solar systems. It offers real opportunities for the young people to get involved and learn new skills. The technicians work with local management committees in each village to oversee the project and assure its viability over time.
Representatives from Kangaroo Valley have been auditing the project and report that it has a very positive effect on the quality of life of the villagers.
But 97 homes in the most remote and disadvantaged parts of Remexio remain without “the good light” – we need to extend the many benefits to them as well.
Those without solar lighting are well aware of what they’re missing. As one village leader put it: “Please, if you start it, make sure ALL – everyone – get[s] a light.” In the interests of fairness, and knowing the benefits of having solar lighting, KVRP feels we must finish the job we started.
Only 97 houses to go…
You can join us in finishing the job
The new, improved systems designed by ATA cost $300 each. This means we need to raise $29,100 so that every one of those 97 homes can share the benefits of “the good light”.
Please help us reach this target by donating now!
And what happens if we exceed our target?
KVRP has an ongoing commitment to continue providing education scholarships to young Timorese from Remexio who might otherwise be unable to progress to tertiary education. This means we have to raise many thousands of dollars each year for the foreseeable future. Any additional funds raised via this crowdfunding beyond the $29,100 will go towards ensuring the future of our scholarship program.
Elizabeth (Libby) Turnock