Providing safe water for the Karen people in Myanmar
Rotary Hawthorn’s SkyHydrant project (completed late 2020)  funded the purchase and installation of a ShyHydrant Max to provide clean drinking water to a community of Karen people  in the village of Day Bu Noh in Myanmar (near the border with Thailand ) . At the same time a second pump was installed funded by Rotary Club of Nhill and the Karen people in Nhill.  
How did this project come about?
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.
This weekend was also the start of a friendship between our club and RC of Nhill (Nhill is itself  in a fairly remote location in Victoria close to the border with South Australia). In recognition of our friendship our 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. We wanted to do more to support the Karen people and finding out that they lacked access to safe water , Club representatives met with representatives of Disaster Aid Australia at their premises in Doveton, & the use of the SkyHydrant pump was demonstrated to us. Disaster Aid Australia was founded by Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills in Rotary District 9810. 
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 filters 10,000 litres of water per day. The community assisted with the installation of the tank stand etc under supervision. They were also be taught how to maintain the Sky-hydrant pump. 
How have we funded the project?
The Club arranged fundraising via raffle and auction prizes to assist in the funding of the SkyHydrant together with a matched grant from The Rotary Foundation. Thanks also to our Project Partner DisasterAid Australia
For further information contact
Katrina Flinn
International Service Director 2019-20
Rotary Hawthorn
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