The Rotary members on the donor’s trip to visit the Nusa Tenggara Association (NTA) operations in Flores have arrived in Bali. Peter, Andrew, John & Tony have had a few days relaxation prior to travelling to Flores tomorrow.
We were invited to the Rotary Club of Bali Seminyak’s meeting last Tuesday (14 November) and we greatly appreciated their wonderful hospitality. Afterwards we had an important meeting with key Board members from Rotary and NTA to discuss support for our proposed global grant application for the water & sanitation project in West Timor, including the roles and responsibilities of all parties.
Sunday 19 & Monday 20 November
On Sunday 19th November our Rotary team travelled from Bali to Maumere on Flores. In the evening we met with the other participants of the donor tour and key members of NTA Indonesia, sharing a meal and discussing the agenda for the week ahead. As appreciation for NTA Indonesia's support for the week we gave each member a Rotary water bottle.
On the morning of Monday 20th November, we had a presentation of Teacher In A Box (“TIB”) at the Ledalero Institute of Philosophy & Creative technology. NTA has a relationship with the seminary to train librarians from the local village schools. The TIB program is an excellent fit for Rotary, NTA and the Seminary academic staff to roll out the program in Flores. We then visited a typical primary school to get an appreciation of what NTA is providing to these schools. In the afternoon we visited some local farmers who have been working with NTA in agricultural improvement.
Tuesday 21 November 2022
Yesterday we had an extraordinary experience visiting a school up the remote highlands. To get there we had to hike 3km up an extremely steep, very rough track which was impassable for any cars. It was a humbling experience to see a school with so little resources, but with teachers and children still being so happy. They were very welcoming.
We visited another school in the afternoon, closer to Maumere. The children performed a welcome dance for us & presented each of us with a sash.
On Tuesday afternoon we also visited a village house where they were about to start building their water tank. They had bags of cement, sand and rocks and some reo bar. We then visited a second house where the tank had been completed and had been filled with rainwater from the roof. The water was piped into the house so that it could be used for cooking, etc. The owner was very proud to have this tank & the support they received from NTA & Rotary. The construction materials for both these tanks & other tanks and toilets had been paid for using the funds raised at the NTA dinner in May 2022.
Wednesday 23 November 2022
Yesterday we attended the Dance and Music Festival at a primary school up in the hills behind Maumere which was very well attended by teachers, parents and many other children. This was an incredible experience with children from 23 schools each performing their own song and dance acts. These are based on traditional Indonesian folklore, with each school having their own drums & gongs band accompaniment. Each of the 23 schools received a trophy, with the contest results being split into three groups, each group having first, second and third prizes. The overall prize winners were outstanding with a highly professional performance.
Thursday 24 November 2022
Today we visited another school up in the hills behind Maumere where a laptop with Teacher In A Box (“TIB”) installed, was presented to the school. This laptop was donated by our club. It acts as a server where any devices, such as laptops, tablets, or phones, can access the TIB educational content. This is the first installation of TIB in Flores and more will follow after this pilot installation has been operating for some months. This will be the 20th country to implement TIB. It has been very successful in many African countries. We are confident that the program will bring great benefits to the project schools in West Timor & Flores.
Friday 25 November 2022
Friday was our last day in Flores. We visited another school (junior high school), where educational books donated by Rotary, were presented to the school. We then visited another village farm to view a water tank under construction, as well as a number of completed tanks. We also saw a number of productive gardens, where NTA have provided valuable assistance by educating the villagers in how to increase production from their garden plots. In our visit to Flores during the week, we have visited a few only of the over 100 water tanks installed by NTA in the last year. They have also provided books and other facilities to over 23 local schools and another 20 plus schools in West Timor. We, together with NTA, have also set up the first trial Teacher In a Box facility in a school outside Maumere which will be a trial for a full roll-out of this program in the area (this program is already running in 21 countries).