Friends of the Teresa Orsini Clinic - Suai, East Timor

Organisation: Friends of the Teresa Orsini Clinic 
Location: Suai, East Timor 
Installation Date: 2014 - Current


It is often easy to forget not everyone has access to electricity.
As of 2020, 13% of the entire world struggle to get by without a reliable source of energy. This puts enormous strain on families who struggle to cook, store food safely and provide light, heating and cooling - not to mention how education and healthcare systems are managed. 

But providing a source of electricity isn’t enough. With climate change posing such a  significant threat, it is essential to ensure we can provide energy sources that are affordable, reliable and eco-friendly. 

The Challenge:

Michael Reiken, Managing Director of Excel Power, understands the desperate need for electricity but also the pressures to provide environmentally friendly alternatives. 

Michael has partnered with Brendan Ryan who introduced him to Sister Gilbert and Friends of the Teresa Orsini Clinic, FOTOC, in Suai, East Timor to provide solar and electrical assistance for the last 5-6 years. 

These projects take place annually and aim to provide community support so our team choose projects that service multiple people in the community, such as schools and hospitals. 

“With renewable energy, it's a gift that keeps giving. I wanted to share that with the community there so they didn't have to run costly, non-renewable energy sources. I also wanted to give them a reliable source of power.”  

The Solution:

Our completely self-funded team spend the year prior compiling the necessary designs and funding to carry out the next project. Our team of 5-6 people then gather the materials needed for the job, freight them across to East Timor prior to our arrival. 

“We supply solar panels and batteries, which also connect to their existing generators but only used to provide a boost, if needed at all.”

Installations take place over a week to 10-day time frame and we also provide educational videos on how to check the systems, use them and maintain them. 

The Results:

The East Timor solar systems can be monitored back in Australia so we can ensure they're working correctly, still providing adequate power and performing well. 

“It isn’t uncommon for those communities to experience 3 weeks of continuous power outages.”
“We have added air conditioning at a local maternity clinic to improve conditions for expectant mothers. The East Timor community we work with have also reported an improvement in infant mortality rates from childbirth thanks to reliable power in their hospitals.” 

Our team would like to thank Selectronic for providing us with their inverter products and Baden Hausman from GNB batteries in Brisbane for his contribution to our volunteer programs.
We would also like to thank LG for the supply of air conditioning units and solar panels and recognising our contributions by awarding us with their Community Support award in 2019. 
Future Projects:

Our next project involves creating a sterilisation system to provide a village with clean water. We're also putting together a station where people can recharge lights, which means 400 people in the community will have a rechargeable light in their home and won't have to rely on fires. 

To get involved in our next volunteer project, submit a donation or contribute much needed products and materials, contact our team today. 


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