You may recall, I posted recently here about the ATA entry in the Google Impact Challenge and asking for your support.
Well the good news is that the judges at the presentations in Sydney were so impressed with the standard of entries that they awarded grants to the six finalists who did not receive the main awards. The ATA received a $250,000 grant to continue the good work ATA is doing in Timor Leste.
This result is a tribute to all the hard work the ATA and their supporters (like you) do and everybody involved should be congratulated!
You can read more about the result on the ATA website.
Exciting news! The ATA (Alternative Technology Association) is a finalist in Google Impact Challenge and hopes to be able to use the grant to continue the good work in Timor Leste.
This grant is substantial ($500,000) and the ATA is one of the finalists in the running to receive one of these grants. This money would make a significant impact on thousands of peoples lives in Timor Leste by allowing the ATA and their local Timorese partners to roll out 2000 PV lighting systems and train 75 technicians to support those (and other) PV system through the remote areas in Timor Lest.
You can help by voting for the ATA here
Some more words from Donna Luck the ATA CEO.
“Our plan is to install 2000 solar lighting systems and train 75 village-based installers in the next two years, delivering an overall 60kW of low-emission solar energy.
The Google Impact Challenge rewards not-for-profit organisations using technology to improve lives.
We need you to vote for us to ensure we get the grant.
Thousands of people in East Timor have no electricity and are unlikely to ever have access to it. We think that’s wrong and are doing something about it.
Since 2003, we have installed solar lighting in more than 1000 homes, community centres, hospitals and orphanages in remote Timorese villages. We have also helped train local technicians to install and maintain solar systems.
Vote here to bring solar lighting to more people in East Timor.
Voting closes on October 13, so vote for us and help spread the word!”
Back in July, at the, “Working Together with Timor Leste: The Next 10 Years” conference held in Melbourne, I was fortunate to be a co-presenter with my very good friend and colleague, Simão Baretto, the Director of CNEFP, a vocational training facility in Timor Leste. This was done in my capacity as Convenor of the IPG (International Projects Group) for the ATA (Alternative Technology Association).
One of our members recorded the event and created this video that features the ATA’s You-Tube site
One of the interesting things about the talk was that the presentation technology on stage failed giving us a perfect opportunity to talk about the need to have comprehensive training and maintenance capabilities to cope with the inevitable failures and maintenance requirements associated with any technology.
It was a great experience presenting to senior Australian and Timor Leste officials, NGO’s and volunteers and we all came away with much more knowledge and renewed drive to continue to help the people of Timor Leste in their efforts moving towards a more sustainable and stable society.
Hey good people. Still having fun training in Timor Leste and couldn’t resist sharing a few more happy snaps.
It was a little Hazy this morning as I arrived at the Mercy Corps Office and get ready to head off of to the training venue at Tibar.
I think this guy had some help tying all this stuff onto his motorbike. He moved through the traffic effortlessly. It was amazing to watch.
Facilitating a discussion on the technical support requirements.
Time for Morning tea at the Cafeteria. The hospitality students and staff serve meals up to all the staff and students at CNEFP.
Including some interesting variations like these popcorn and sweet coconut slice goodies 🙂
Meanwhile the director of the Facility shows his versatility around the campus. He says it keeps him fit and focused when he is back in the office. It must work because he is a powerhouse of energy and drive.
Lucky he missed these PV systems set up for display and training purposes
Deep in discussion during the afternoon session
Sadly, all good thing must come to an end. Time for one last photo with the Government Electricity Department staff and one of our teachers and the translator as they wrap up their last day. It’s back to work for them while the teachers and I continue our training Tomorrow.
I’m in Timor Leste once a gain completing the last few days on the Mercy Corps training program at the vocational training centre, CNEFP at Timor about 30 minutes west of Dili. I’ve posted a story on CNEFP in the past here.
This is the final phase of the contract this week. Next week I am doing some volunteer work for the ATA before returning home for a while. I must admit, I’m not looking forward to the wild and freezing weather in Melbourne at the moment.
Anyway, I thought I would share a few rag-tag happy snaps of Today’s activities with you.
On the way to Tibar. They have finished the main fountain near the entrance to the airport. Very imposing!
How could I pass up the opportunity to show you St Michael’s 🙂
Through the main gate at CNEFP
and into the staff room to say “Hi” to the mix of office staff and teachers
Discussing the final detail of the box construction for some of our test gear
busy assembling the variable load
The board going through it’s testing before being used for some equipment testing
On our way home again
Along with everybody else including mum, dad and the baby.
I hope you have enjoyed the happy snaps. I will have a few more, no doubt, over the next two weeks including a few from the districts where we will be installing some systems in a school and some houses 🙂