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Delivering food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor
Last fall, Cross Catholic Outreach supporters helped our Kenyan ministry partner provide safe water to poor rural communities through the Water for Life initiative. Had it not been for the support of those compassionate and faithful friends, the impoverished Kenyan communities we helped might still be experiencing a serious and even potentially life-threatening water crisis.
We want to thank the generous Catholics who stepped forward, empowering the Church to advance this mission of mercy! Through their sacrifice, Kenyan families could be provided with relief through Father Fabian Hevi’s water project in remote areas of the Diocese of Machakos and the Archdiocese of Mombasa.
We are happy to report that Fr. Fabian’s team has now fully installed 15 water systems capable of serving approximately 170,000 people! Each of these systems includes a professionally installed well that is at least 650 feet deep. The systems use solar energy to pump the clean and fresh water into large elevated storage tanks that send the water down to convenient distribution kiosks in the communities being served.
The completion of this Catholic water project is a huge step forward for local families, especially young children and the elderly — those at greatest risk from waterborne illnesses. This wonderful advancement also helps the children in another way. They and their mothers are typically responsible for fetching water from distant sources, so the kiosks free up the time lost to traveling for water and end the burden of carrying the heavy containers for miles over rough terrain.
We hope you enjoy reading the stories of some of the many individuals blessed with the gift of clean water.
Magdalene Matu lives with her family in Kisimenyi, one of the villages that received clean water. Kisimenyi’s proximity to the Tsavo game park puts its inhabitants at higher risk of attacks from wild animals. That risk was especially high for those who had to go in search of water in the early morning hours. Sometimes the animals became violent, and tragically some people lost their lives.
Magdalene used to worry about competing with those animals when she traveled to collect the muddy water she and her family depended on for survival. She also told us how the water scarcity was impacting children’s academic performance, leading most to drop out of school.
Today those worries are gone, thanks to the installation of a new water system. Magdalene feels that her family is completely safe, and she celebrates the fact that her children are attending school regularly and have lots of energy to get through their lessons.
Even better, the abundance of water has made it possible for the local women to organize a community farm that is helping them earn some income.
Ten-year-old Perpetual Mutile Ndaia lives in a two-room mud hut with her parents and six siblings in the village of Tatha, one of the places our friends helped bless with clean drinking water. Her parents are farmers, but insufficient rainy seasons have made it impossible for them to reap a good harvest. Until recently, she and her siblings had to walk a long distance to fetch water every day before school, and then she had to fetch more after school.
The water itself was murky and contaminated, and the demand on her time was enormous. As a result, there was no time to do homework, and she would often miss school due to the queue at the water source being too long. When she did make it to school, she struggled to stay awake and found it hard to understand the lessons. Her performance suffered dramatically, and her low marks bothered her so much that she tried several times to drop out.
Now those worries are over — and she basks the perpetual joy of having easy access to clean, refreshing water.
Thanks to the installation of the new water system, Perpetual does not need to arrange her whole life around time-consuming trips to an open water source. She can quickly fill a container of water any time she needs one.
She can also stay alert through her lessons. And now that she has stopped falling asleep at her desk, her academics have greatly improved. She also has enough time to do her homework — and other things as well. Twice a week, during a part of the day that was previously monopolized by her water-gathering responsibility, she accompanies her mother to morning Mass.
Thanks to the compassionate actions of concerned Catholics, the Church is having a big impact in reducing Kenya’s water crisis. It is finding ways to quench thirst, reduce the threat of waterborne illnesses in communities and share the love of Christ. In fact, this outreach has positioned the Church as God’s instrument of mercy, and he is being glorified through the process. For years, the poor have prayed for a solution to the hardships unsafe water creates — and now those prayers are being answered!
With the help of Cross Catholic Outreach and its supporters, our hope is that Fr. Fabian will be able to provide clean water to even more villages in the years ahead. When Catholics come together united by the love of Christ, we can change the world!
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, 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.