AFTER his second trip to East Timor, Margaret River's Liam Moore is encouraging next year's leavers to sign up for the experience.
This year, about 13 Margaret River Senior High School students travelled to East Timor to volunteer as an alternative to partying for their leavers' week. Two leavers from last year, including 19-year-old Mr Moore, enjoyed their time last year so much they went again as mentors. "It's a really great trip and experience for anyone to have," Mr Moore said.
The group helped in schools, planted trees, built a multi-sport court and refurbished an office. While there, they also donated 39 laptops to a school and a Makita toolset to a group of builders on Atauro Island.
Mr Moore said the donations were a highlight of his time there. "Most of their tools are outdated," he said. "The batteries in the drills were absolutely dead."
Of the laptops, he said it was warming "to be able to give that to the school and know we've made a difference"."Last year, we donated 15 of them and showed some of the teachers how to use them. Before that, the students were learning IT on the blackboard."
The laptops are set up with a universal language in pictures and numbers, making them easier to use, particularly as some of the schools are trying to switch from their local dialect Tetum, a mix of Portuguese and Indonesian, to teaching in Portuguese.
The East Timor trip was supported by the Lions Clubs of Augusta, Margaret River and Cowaramup and the Rotary Club of Margaret River. Tools were donated by Margaret River Home Timber and Hardware.
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