Rotary Hawthorn’s Sky-Hydrant project will fund the purchase and installation of a Shyhydrant Max to provide clean drinking water to a community of Karen refugees from Myanmar currently situated in refugee camp in Thailand (near the border with Myanmar) 
Noel Halford, Rotary Hawthorn Club Service Director 2018-19 heard about the work of John Millington & Rotary Club of Nhill in attracting Karen refugees to Nhill and how they have successfully integrated into the Nhill community. Noel arranged initially for John to address the club and then arranged a  club visit /weekend away in April 2019 to Nhill “the road to Nhill”.. 
Whilst in Nhill we found more about the plight of the Karen, how they have had to flee their homeland and how so many are still in refugee camps . Due to overcrowding clean water is a real issue.
We also started a friendship between our club and RC of Nhill which is in a fairly remote location in Victoria close to the border with South Australia. In recognition of our friendship out Club  assisted RC Nhill in  sponsoring Mu Yeh Htoo, a Karen student to attend National Youth Science Forum. We are advised that this is the first time a student from Nhill Secondary college has applied and also been accepted to attend NYSF.
Immediate Past President Ian Bentley & Katrina Flinn met with representatives of Disaster Aid at their premises in Doveton, & the use of the Sky-hydrant pump was demonstrated to us. The key people in Disaster Aid Australia are Rotarians, one of whom is a qualified water engineer, they are well versed in their field. Disaster Aid is a project of RC of Endeavour Hills in D9810. 
By way of Background: 
The Karen are an ethnic group from Burma (Myanmar), many of whom fled Myanmar due to religious and ethnic persecution by the government. 140,000 refugees from Myanmar mostly , are living in camps in Thailand, some have been there for as long as 20 years. 
The pump will provide filter 10,000 litres of water per day. The community will assist with the installation of the stand etc under supervision. They will also be taught how to maintain the Sky-hydrant pump. The community will also be taught maintenance of the unit.
How have we funded the project?
The Club also arranged fundraising via raffle and auction prizes to assist in the funding of the sky-hydrant together with a matched grant from The Rotary Foundation.
What is the current situation? The project is been delayed due to travel restrictions and we need to be able to get the Skyhydrant unit from Melbourne to Singapore. The reduced number of commercial flights has increased the cost of air freight. In normal course the easiest way would be for someone in our network that is travelling to Singapore to take the Unit as part of their travelling allowance.
For further information contact
 
Katrina Flinn
International Service Director 2019-20
Rotary Hawthorn
Email: katrinaflinn@gmail.com