Fair coffee, solar in Timor-Leste

Renew has been helping a social enterprise called WithOneBean on a solar lighting project in Baguia, a community in the Baucau district of Timor-Leste.

WithOneBean works with subsistence coffee farmers to improve coffee quality, imports their coffee to Australia at fair prices, roasts the coffee in Melbourne immediately prior to shipping to customers and uses profits to improve lives in rural Timor-Leste.

The solar-lighting project is based on the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model that has reached hundreds of thousands of households in sub-Saharan Africa. The PAYG model allows households to pay for their lighting system over time with monthly payments set at a level equivalent to their current kerosene expenditure for lighting.

The collected funds are used to cover enterprise operational costs and to purchase additional solar systems. Fifty-seven households have been reached in the initial stage and, since the installation three months ago, all households are up to date in their payments.

Renew has provided ongoing advice and is developing a PAYG end-user guide with funding from the Andrew McNaughtan Foundation. WithOneBean has kindly offered to share profits from coffee sales with Renew to support further projects in Timor-Leste.

Buy your coffee at withonebean.org.au, enter the coupon code “RENEW” at the checkout page, and profits will go to solar home lighting in Timor-Leste.

Since 2003, Renew has been working with communities in Timor-Leste to provide clean, renewable lighting and electricity. We have helped install solar lighting and power to more than 2,000 homes and over 100 community centres, orphanages, schools and hospitals in remote rural villages. We have also helped train 180 village-based solar technicians.

Find out more about Renew’s work in Timor-Leste and how you can support our work.