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Lighting Up Covalima

The story behind the images

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Since releasing our short impact video in late 2019, Renew has received commendations about the story it reveals about local capacity building.  We have had a number requests for more information about its content.

The video predominately highlights our work in the Covalima district.  It highlights our long partnership with the Covalima Community Centre and the Friends of Suai/Covalima which dates back to 2006.

Friendship groups between communities in Australia and Timor-Leste first emerged in 1999 to assist these communities to address challenges following the violent withdrawal of Indonesia from Timor-Leste.

Renew’s impact video tracks across a series of photographs that have hung for more than a decade in the CCC’s community hall.  They show the CCC with a team of volunteers from Renew’s International Project Group who travelled to Timor Leste between 2006 and 2008 to install 12 solar systems on schools, health clinics and community buildings.  Most of these volunteers are still active Renew members and many have been involved with the organisation right back to its foundations 30 years ago

The Covalima Community Centre, or more correctly the Centro Communidade Covalima (CCC), has been operating since 2001 to assist communities to meet basic needs, provide skills and promote sustainable development.

The CCC is supported by the Friends of Suai/Covalima, a friendship group hosted by the City of Port Phillip.


Renew believes that local skills development is critical in ensuring sustainable outcomes.  Graciano Gusmao, who features in the video, was one of the CCC staff trained by Renew in 2006 and is now the assistant director of the CCC.  Graciano still provides support for Renew’s solar projects.

The video then shows the reinvigoration of our partnership with the CCC and Friends of Suai Covalima.  In 2017, we worked together to implement the Village Lighting Scheme for the fishing village of Laen Tolu.  Most of the footage in the video of our household solar installations was taken in this village where 230 people benefited from the installation of solar lighting.

The video also shows the installation of a solar system at the Macautar Maternity Clinic – also located in Covalima.

In 2018, the partnership continued and a further 220 people benefited from solar household installations in a village called Halik Nain in the Fatumea subdistrict of Covalima.

While installing this project, Renew received a polite petition from the neighbouring village called Nanu to be considered for solar power.  Renew is currently attempting to raise money for this project to benefit an additional 260 people. If you want to support this project please follow the links at the bottom of this page

Local partnerships are critical in achieving long term sustainable outcomes.  We are proud of our partnership with the Friends of Suai/Covalima and the Centro Communidade Covalima.

Donate Today to Support Covalima

Your tax-deductible gift will help us to install and maintain solar lighting systems across the Covalima Municipality.

Give a Monthly Gift to Provide Dedicated Support to Covalima

A regular gift will help us to grow our impact by providing funds for maintenance, auditing, community engagement and other essential activities across the Covalima Municipality.