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24 September 2021

Preschool Avo Ana Irena Olimpia de Almeida Epelo is finished

Pre Eskolar Avo Ana Irena Olimpia de Almeida Epelo in Liquica (which has been paid for by East Timor Trading) is finished and looks fantastic!


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07 September 2021

Great Progress on Pre Eskolar Avo Ana Irena Olimpia de Almeida Epelo

Pre Eskolar Avo Ana Irena Olimpia de Almeida Epelo which is under construction in Liquica (thanks to funding from the East Timor Trading Group) is looking fantastic.



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07 September 2021

Ai-Asa School is Finished

Ai-Asa school’s fabulous new 3 classroom school building and 6 toilets are now finished. This project was funded by Rotary, Balibo House Trust and Spend it Well’s donors. Thanks to our great builder Julio of Irmão Sandobe Unipessoal. Next exciting addition is the playground and the school gardens which will be started shortly.



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02 August 2021

New Pre-School Underway

There’s nothing better than starting a new school project!    Work has just started on a new pre-school – Pre Eskolar Avo Ana Irena Olimpia de Almeida Epelo in Liquica.  The new building will have 2 classrooms, a teachers’ room and a storage room.  Many thanks to East Timor Trading Group which is generously funding 100% of the USD34,960 construction cost.



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13 July 2021

Spend it Well East Timor Flood Relief Final Update

Simon Fenby, our director who lives in East Timor, witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the Easter Sunday flood and sent out a message asking for donations to buy food and supplies for people who needed help.

Over the weeks following the flood, we constantly revised our expectations of what we could do to help, as donations kept growing up to a total of A$194,848.  100% of this money was used to buy food and supplies via a small army of amazing volunteers.

Together this is what we have done:

Total Money Raised and Spent: A$194,848
Villages and Refugee Camps Supported: 35
Number of Families Supported: 3,200
Number of Students Stranded in Dili Supported: 300
Approx Number of People Supported 12,000
% of Donor Money Spent on Admin Costs or Wages: 0
(As with all our school projects, admin costs and wages are are all funded separately).

The items we have bought and distributed include:

73,170 kg rice
5,358 litres of cooking oil
136,040 packets of noodles
3,940 kg of flour
3,255 kg of sugar
4,716 eggs
200kg of onions
200kg of garlic
2,750 tins of sardines
2,963 tins of beef

A$10,400 of medicine
2,995 kg second-hand kids’ clothes
1,875 kg second-hand adults’ clothes
5,040 packets of sanitary pads
3,239 mattresses
5,480 blankets
2,220 mosquito nets
752 tarpaulins
53 kerosene stoves
6,048 bars of soap
3,060 spoons
2,280 plates

We have also committed to purchase an additional A$7,800 of medicine for Sabeh, the Timorese medical NGO we have partnered with, to use to help people in villages affected by the flooding where poor water and lack of adequate food continues to create health issues.

This work was made possible by the help of many people.

Nothing at all could have happened without the donations which came in from hundreds of individuals, small organisations and clubs.  The Australian Communities Foundation and Rotary Australia World Community Service dropped everything to do what was needed to have the donated money arrive in Dili in record time – and to keep it arriving as the donations continued.

Dr Andre, Joni Kay and their group of over 40 volunteers at Sabeh (many of whom lost everything in the floods themselves) worked around the clock for weeks. They told us what was needed and where.  The Spend it Well team then went out and bought the food and supplies and in the early days loaded it into cars and utes and delivered it to Sabeh.  Very quickly these deliveries turned into massive orders with many trucks full of supplies which the Sabeh volunteers sorted, packaged for individual families and delivered to the villages.

The Spend it Well team was Simon, Balkis, Marika, Ronald, Napo and Agostinho in Dili (plus many of their friends and family at times) and Nandy and Kris in Australia.  Balkis deserves special mention for her tireless and impressive procurement skills.

The gratitude and grace of the people we’ve been able to help has been overwhelming and humbling.

Our huge thanks to everyone who has helped to make this happen.



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