From Barcelona to Atauro Island
Kopernik recently implemented a new project on Atauro Island, Timor Leste. Working with Move Forward, a local NGO based on Atauro Island, we are aiming at providing clean, affordable and efficient lighting and phone charging capabilities to some of the most disadvantaged communities on the island. Here is the first blog post from our Fellow, Olga Permanyer Martínez.
After a long trip from Barcelona to Bali, I arrived in Bali and visited Kopernik’s office in Ubud. I got to meet with Kopernik team and had a fruitful meeting to discuss my tasks as a new fellow. After spending one week in this lovely town, I departed for Timor Leste and arrived in Dili on 28 June. It is a very welcoming city, with its small airport and its smiling inhabitants. Right after I came down from the plane, I met with Deonisios. He works as a translator in Dili but also collaborates with the NGO Move Forward on Atauro Island. He gently helped me to find my hotel in Dili and then he accompanied me to pick one heavy stove, in order to test it here in Atauro. Saturday morning I took the ferry from Dili and I reached my final destination, Atauro Island, carrying my backpack and my new friend: the stove. Osaias Soares, the Director of Move Forward, the NGO where I will be working at until the end of September, was waiting for me in the pier, and he drove me to Biqueli, my current village.
First view of Atauro Island when arriving with the ferry
Move Forward is an NGO based in Biqueli, Atauro Island. Its staff is formed by women: Francisca, Neca, Olimpia and Jemima. All of them have received English training, so they have been helping me out with my adaptation. They are working now in many projects: reforestation of land, protection of coral reefs, computer training for the community and also the distribution of the d.light S250 solar lights in partnership with Kopernik. The latest one is the main task I will be helping Move Forward with. I help with this technology distribution and also to get some feedback from the users to see the socio-economic impact of the d.light S250 are making in the community. The lights have already arrived in Dili, so we are planning for the shipment of the lights to Atauro and to distribute them on the 18th of July. That day Biqueli is having a celebration, and people will come to celebrate together. Hence, it will be the perfect moment to proceed with the distribution of the products! The communities are really excited about the arrival of the d.lights.
This is just my first blog post and I will share with you this experience weekly. I hope that you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy living this amazing opportunity!