Papua New Guinea’s Government recognised the need for a plan to improve the nation’s prosperity and developed their Vision for 2050.

“As a government, we are convinced that we must empower our people with the right education and life-skills, and provide them with the opportunity to earn an honest living. Only then can we guarantee our nation’s continued prosperity and security.”
– Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Grand Chief Sir Michael T. Somare

Helping children to gain life skills

David Coleman and John Winter, Australian Army veterans and members of the Scorpion Foundation have been volunteering their time and resources to source, deliver and set up safe water supplies, text books and class room materials to schools in remote villages within the Milne Bay Province, PNG. Everything is loaded into a shipping container and then the shipping container is used as an additional shelter. Their activities are funded by a grant from the Queensland branch of the RSL and generous donations from the public.

Unsafe water causes flow-on effects

Lacking a source of safe water was badly affecting the local children. Students had to walk to a muddy stream and bring back water to share. Water levels in local rivers had risen over a metre in some places, and had been contaminated by run-off from the high country. Giardia infection from unfiltered water was common. Also there is reportedly, tuberculosis that is transferred from drink bottle to drink bottle as the children shared water. This is a common problem. Students were malnourished and ill. The inevitable result was that their attendance was spotty at best.

Safe water helps children get educated

John and David took a SkyHydrant water filtration system to Logea Island in Milne Bay province of PNG. They installed it near Isukopu Elementary School with 300 students. The system consists of a SkyHydrant unit, header tank, two pumps and a drinking stand.

Last November, they went back to look at how the school was going. The rate of attendance had increased: an absentee rate of 80% had dropped to just 10-12% in 12 months. It is believed that safe water has had a significant impact because the children weren’t getting sick anywhere near as often. Thanks to the Scorpion Foundation, apart from safe water the teachers also now have the equipment that they need to teach effectively: books, paper, pens, textbooks, whiteboards and the like.

What’s next?

Adjoining islands also need this sort of setup: the Education Department in PNG have requested five more water filtration systems. Like many organisations the Scorpion Foundation doesn’t have the funds they need to buy and install any more. They need funds and storage facilities; often people are willing to donate materials, but without containers in which the donations can be stored and money to ship the containers to PNG, those materials can’t be delivered to the people who need them. The foundation is planning to supply $30,000 of safe water equipment to complete its next delivery of filtration systems as well as much needed education supplies.

How to help

Why not help us to further the important work of the Scorpion Foundation. Let us know if you would like your donated funds to be directed to the next Scorpion Foundation clean water project. Donate through the SkyJuice Foundation website and also drop us a line.

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