Vanessa found renewed hope in Christ through the gift of clean water.

Say “Yes!” to Quenching Thirst

Thank you for visiting us online to learn more about water needs in places like Zambia and Malawi. We have incredible plans underway to bless children and families in sub-Saharan Africa — and developing countries around the world — with life-giving water.

Our bodies need water to survive, just as our souls need Christ. Tragically, the water sources many families rely on in developing countries are contaminated. Bugs, bacteria and animal waste shorten lives and rob hope, especially for women and girls who spend hours each day carrying heavy buckets. You can help quench thirst around the world — sharing clean, abundant water with girls like Vanessa in Mutyabweka Village, Malawi. Your almsgiving will empower Catholic leaders to drill wells, build community water systems, and offer irrigation in farming villages, forever freeing families from this incredible burden.

Just $23 provides one child a lifetime of fresh, safe water!

We visited remote villages in Zambia and Malawi to show you what life is like without clean water. In this video, you’ll see how your gift will bless children and families and learn more about the steps involved as we share a lifetime supply of clean water.

Desperate for Clean Water

A Humanitarian Crisis

Worldwide, one child dies every 22 seconds from waterborne diseases. At greatest risk are young children living in sub-Saharan countries, including Zambia and Malawi. In fact, babies born in Malawi are six times more likely to die before their first birthday than those born in the U.S.

Women and girls also suffer because of water scarcity. They are typically responsible for the time-consuming task of water collection from distant sources, putting them at risk of injury and illnesses. The long journeys and lost time also endanger the girls ability to succeed in school.

For example, in Zambia, we are concentrating our efforts on two of the country’s 11 dioceses: The Diocese of Chipata along Zambia’s eastern border with Malawi and Mozambique and the Diocese of Kabwe in central Zambia. Families in these regions survive through small-scale farming and some work in copper and charcoal mines.

In Malawi, our partners are located in two of the country’s eight dioceses: the Diocese of Karonga in northernmost Malawi and the Diocese of Mzuzu, also in the northern region. Both dioceses border Lake Malawi, one of the African Great Lakes. Subsistence farming and fishing are the main trades in this region, but fishing comes with heavy risks as Lake Malawi contains dangerous parasitic worm. The shores also teem with malaria-infested mosquitoes, which are particularly dangerous to small children and pregnant mothers.

By supporting Cross Catholic Outreach’s clean water initiatives, you can help change the future for children and families who pray for a clean, reliable water source. Your act of compassion will also enrich your Lent as you help our brothers and sisters experience Christ’s living water.

Meet Our Highlighted Partners

Diocese of Chipata, Zambia

Bishop George Cosmas Zumaire Lungu leads his diocese’s Caritas ministry in eastern Zambia. When he visits remote villages, he drinks the same water as the people — even if it comes from a hand-dug pit. Poor farmers in this diocese are often exploited, and some walk to Mass barefoot because they can’t even afford shoes.
Catholic bishop.

Diocese of Kabwe, Zambia

Sister Prisca Matenga is superior general of the Daughters of the Redeemer, a Catholic order established in 1955. The sisters work in four dioceses in Zambia, including the Diocese of Kabwe, where they established the Our Lady of Peace Outstation Mission to serve the poor.

Catholic sister.

Diocese of Karonga, Malawi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka leads the local Caritas ministry in this northern Malawi diocese. He grew up in an extremely remote area of Malawi, in what is now part of a national park, and is dedicated to sharing Christ’s love in even the most difficult-to-reach villages.

Catholic bishop.

Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi

Irish-born Bishop John Alphonsus Ryan leads the local Caritas ministry in north-central Malawi. He first arrived in Malawi in 1978 shortly after he was ordained a priest of St. Patrick’s Society for the Foreign Missions. He previously served as a chaplain and math professor at Mzuzu University.

Catholic bishop.

Put Your Generosity in Action

Clean Water Unites Communities

Drilling a well is only part of the process. Your gift will set in motion a series of steps to ensure clean water will continue to flow for many years to come. We work with local Church-based ministries that have the capacity to carry out water projects. They simply need the funds to make it happen. For example, our ministry partners in Zambia and Malawi follow a proven process that empowers families and builds a sense of community ownership.


Our ministry partners in Zambia and Malawi typically work closely with village chiefs to pinpoint communities most in need. Once the selection process is complete, the land is surveyed to determine the ideal location for a borehole.


Professional crews will drill 104 hand-pump wells and repair 5 more, bringing clean water to more than 100 villages and one primary school. Meanwhile, each village elects a committee to oversee the care and sustainability of their borehole.

Wrench and screwdriver.


Families are trained in sanitation and hygiene practices. Each family contributes a small amount financially to their local water committee to cover future well maintenance.

Unleash the Clean Water Momentum

A smiling girl holds a bucket on her head.
Vanessa is ready to bring clean water home — now just a one-minute walk.

Last year, Cross Catholic Outreach supporters like you provided 274,377 people with clean water, empowering our four partners in Zambia and Malawi to bless 137,989 people with clean, safe water — including Vanessa from Mutyabweka Village, Malawi.

Vanessa says one of her favorite things about having a hand-pump well in her village is that she can always make sure her school uniforms are clean and fresh. Caritas Karonga drilled the well in 2022, not long after Vanessa’s father died from a brief illness. Having ready access to safe water was a literal Godsend, allowing her mother to grow vegetables and earn a small income to keep the family afloat. Catholic neighbors also shared what little they had, and the family found great comfort in the Church. In fact, Vanessa’s mother recently received her First Communion!

Vanessa and her mother used to spend about five hours each day collecting water from a distant river. Now, they can fill up at the village well and use the wash basin whenever they want. With all the extra time, Vanessa is able to do homework, play with friends and soak up the joys of childhood.

Your generosity can bless a child like Vanessa waiting for a similar miracle.

Make a Global Impact

When you give to Cross Catholic Outreach, you share hope where it’s needed most. Together, we empower ministry partners in developing countries to make a lasting difference in the lives of the poor — all for the glory of God!

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expenses used for overhead costs


total aid

Become a Cross Mission Partner Today

Join our monthly giving club and receive this prayer journal, handmade by those we serve in Haiti!

Use it for reflections and notes to grow in your spiritual life. You’ll also receive a prayer request form to mail back so that we can pray for your needs. In effect, this creates a spiritual bridge that connects you to our sisters and brothers in Christ in the developing world!

Cross Mission Partners also receive a semiannual Mission Update with news, insights and information about the good work and accomplishments made possible by your support.

Every dollar helps us bless the least of our brothers and sisters throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, and South America.

Join Now and Transform More Lives Through Monthly Giving.

Donations 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.

What Is Your Legacy Mission?

When you include Cross Catholic Outreach as a beneficiary in your will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy, you will make a difference for poor communities by meeting both material and spiritual needs for generations to come. Create Your Legacy!