Around the world, more than 2 billion people lack access to safe water. Many families sacrifice hours to search for water each day — and often, the water they find and collect actually puts their lives at risk because it is contaminated with unseen pollutants or parasites.
Every human being needs water to survive, so we believe that every child of God should have access to clean, abundant water. As World Water Day approaches, we invite you to explore the urgent need for water worldwide and learn about the Catholic ministries that you can support to make a difference.
In 1993, the United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day. This observance raises awareness of the men, women and children living without safe water around the world.
Pope Francis recognizes World Water Day each year and has often emphasized the critical importance of caring for the thirsty and stewarding our water resources responsibly. In the Holy Father’s second encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” he wrote, “Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.”
This year’s World Water Day focuses specifically on groundwater. As families travel back and forth to distant water sources, they are actually treading over a refreshing water source that exists beneath that very ground. Even in the world’s driest communities, pure water lives deep beneath the earth’s surface — but without the finances or equipment to drill, communities have no way to access that lifesaving source.
Catholic leaders in developing nations are aware of their regions’ water challenges, and with Pope Francis’ encouragement, they are striving to provide solutions for communities in need. These local leaders do not have the financial resources to drill a deep well or construct a water system on their own, but by working together as the Church, we can combine our resources to bring relief in Christ’s name.
This fiscal year, Cross Catholic Outreach is working to fund 24 water and sanitation projects in 12 developing countries. Some of these projects are already complete and others are still in progress, but together, they will eliminate the burden of water scarcity for more than 225,000 people.
With the generous support of U.S. Catholics, these projects are accomplishing goals such as:
By supporting Catholic outreaches that are delivering water relief, you not only quench thirst but also refresh families with the Living Water that only flows from Christ. Together, we can reach out through the loving arms of the global Catholic Church to remind struggling families that our Lord has heard their prayers and cares about their need for safe water.
There are many opportunities for you to put faith into action and quench the thirst of the poor. For example, our Wells of Salvation campaign is currently working to provide 65 clean wells for communities in Ghana, Malawi and Zambia. It will also improve access to sanitation and Catholic education, blessing nearly 52,000 lives in total.
Outreaches such as these can transform lives — eliminating waterborne diseases, restoring families’ time, and defending the safety of women and children. To succeed, these missions need our financial support.
Please give generously to stand with Cross Catholic Outreach and the devoted priests, sisters and lay leaders who are working to give clean water in Christ’s name. Your donation will refresh weary souls and make a profound impact as we fight to alleviate the world’s water crisis.
Remember — Jesus said: “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35, 40)
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.