A sustainable solar-powered lighting industry in East Timor is one step closer to reality after the ATA received $250,000 for the Solar for Timor project from Google Australia.
The ATA was a finalist in the Google Impact Challenge for not-for-profit organisations changing the world with technology, and while ultimately we weren’t one of the four winners, the judges at today’s presentations in Sydney were so impressed they awarded the substantial grant to the remaining six finalists.
The funding will mean the ATA will go ahead with Solar for Timor, installing solar-powered lighting in 800 homes in Timorese villages without electricity and training 50 local installers/technicians in the next two years.
It will be a major escalation of the ATA’s work in East Timor. Since 2003 we have installed clean solar-powered lighting in homes, schools, community centres, hospitals and orphanages in remote villages. It is estimated that 20% of all houses in East Timor will never be connected to an electricity grid.
“We’re very grateful to Google for this funding. With their support, thousands of Timorese villagers will be able see at night with clean, solar-powered lighting instead of relying on candles or polluting kerosene lamps.”
Ms Luckman also thanked everybody who voted for the ATA in the two-week Impact Challenge and all who supported the campaign.
“The feedback was that we received a high number of votes – that’s a credit to the goodwill in the community for the project and its aims,” she said.
“We will be updating everyone soon on the first stages of Solar for Timor. Stay tuned for further details.”
For more information on the ATA’s work in East Timor, go to: www.ata.org.au/what-we-do/ipg