A small Indonesian village now has better internet connection and will soon have an improved supply of protein from fish, thanks to the work of a group of keen Twizel and Omarama volunteers.
Nordahl Paul and five other Twizel community church members spent two weeks in western Borneo, Indonesia, to support the Mount Hope training centre.
Mr Paul has worked in development aid projects in Tanzania, but it was his first time in Indonesia.
"While the poverty level of the people in these two countries is pretty similar, we found a much higher level of local co-operation and commitment in this Indonesia-based project," he said.
`When the people around you are so enthusiastic, it's very motivating."
Working in such tropical conditions proved a challenge at times, Mr Paul said.
"At noon it was 42 degrees, just before sunset temperatures were still soaring to about 38 degrees. It's actually a skill working in those conditions, you need to know when to stay in the shade and also to remember to drink plenty of filtered water."
Mr Paul helped set up wireless internet access at Mt Hope. He also sorted out computer virus infections, and set up a computer-based library for the students.
With the nearest Indonesian town with access to a public library more than six hours away, wireless internet was vital for education and general business in the region, Mr Paul said.
"But if you want to get it done right, you need to come prepared with the right equipment, go there with a good plan, and get the information from the people on the ground before you travel. The local support and introduction is vital," he said.
Mt Hope is in West Kalimantan, one of the poorest regions of Indonesia, and was founded to give children who have little or no opportunity a safe education environment.
Mr Paul said more than $1100 worth of IT equipment was donated by Computer Helpline and friends. A big chunk of building tools and various other equipment was provided by the community, the Twizel church and several local businesses.
Volunteers Andrew Spence and three of his sons were able to build a roof over the fish tanks to provide some shade and shelter, while Nordahl's wife, Dr Ursula Paul, taught one of the workers at the village how to monitor water quality, as well as give advice on raising catfish.
The Twizel community church is committed to supporting Mt Hope training centre and hopes to send a group to the village some time next year.
"There is so much more work that needs to be done," Mr Paul said.
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