Your almsgiving can change the life of a child like Vanessa.

Clean Water: A Powerful Way to Share Christ’s Mercy

The United Nations estimates 2 billion people worldwide do not have reliable access to safe, clean water. This is particularly challenging for women and children in remote communities because they must often walk miles just to reach muddy rivers or shallow, contaminated wells.

It’s a daily hardship that leaves them exhausted and plagued by waterborne diseases — but this Easter season, you can help the Church take action and transform their lives!

Your support will empower partners such as the Diocese of Karonga in Malawi and the Diocese of Chipata in Zambia to provide clean wells and water systems for communities in urgent need, quenching thirst, restoring health and lifting a heavy burden from those currently suffering without access to one of life’s most basic essentials.

Christ’s sacrifice gave us access to his Living Water. This Easter season, extend his mercy by quenching the thirst of the poor. It only takes an average of $23 to transform one life with clean water!

Life Without Water

The Many Challenges of Those Who Thirst

Around the world, families that lack access to clean water face extreme challenges. In Malawi, for instance, these water challenges impact about 4 million people (USAID). They regularly contend with hardships such as:

  • Lost health. Drinking from open, untreated bodies of water is many families’ only option — and it is a terrible risk to their health. These sources are often riddled with parasites, bacteria, chemical runoff, and human and animal waste — contaminants that can cause fatal illness. Malawi, for example, suffered one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks of cholera in 2023 (United Nations).
  • Lost time. Women and girls often wake in the wee hours of the morning to start seeking water for the day. They might walk miles and hours before reaching the nearest river, pond or hand-dug well. Depending on their families’ needs, they might also have to make multiple trips throughout the day, leaving little time for church, school, work and other important activities.
  • Lost finances. In a nation like Malawi, where more than half the population live below the poverty line, many families are already living on extremely tight resources. Still, many forfeit time at work to search for water. Some might also spend their limited funds to purchase water from trucks or buy medicines to treat waterborne diseases, sinking them deeper into poverty.

These are just some of the ways water scarcity contributes to poverty, keeping families trapped in a cycle of sickness and defeat. By meeting the need for clean water, we can interrupt that tragic cycle, ushering families into a new era of health and empowerment.

Catholics Fighting the Water Crisis

This Month’s Highlighted Ministry Partners

The Diocese of Karonga, Malawi

The Diocese of Karonga’s motto is “We shall go to them.” Headed by Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka, its Caritas ministry is committed to sharing Christ’s love with the poor — even in the region’s hardest-to-reach places. Since 2019, Cross Catholic Outreach has helped the diocese install 36 new wells and repair 20 existing wells for communities in need. We have also funded training for water committees and local mechanics, and we have established programs for the promotion of good hygiene and sanitation.

The Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi

Cross Catholic Outreach’s Wells of Salvation campaign was so effective in previous years that we are now expanding the effort to other regions of Malawi and Zambia. For the first time, we are partnering with the Diocese of Mzuzu to provide clean water for communities in the area. The Diocese of Mzuzu is home to 1.8 million people and led by Irish-born Bishop John Alphonsus Ryan.

The Diocese of Chipata, Zambia

Since 2017, Cross Catholic Outreach has partnered with the Diocese of Chipata to provide clean wells for 178 communities. We also helped repair and upgrade a water system that serves a Catholic hospital, a secondary school and a local parish. When Bishop George Cosmas Zumaire Lungu visits local communities, he drinks the same water as the people — even if it comes from a hand-dug pit. He prays for the day when every family has access to safe, clean water.

Daughters of the Redeemer, Zambia

Cross Catholic Outreach has worked with the Daughters of the Redeemer in Zambia since 2016, supporting a variety of outreaches that improve access to clean water, health care, nutritional support, education and other empowerment programs. Sister Prisca Matenga is the superior general of this special order, which serves the poor in four different dioceses throughout Zambia. Our current water relief efforts are focused on the Diocese of Kabwe.

Providing Access to Clean Water

A young girl stands beside a hand-pump well holding a cup of water.

2017-2020

Successful water relief projects with trusted partners in Africa help establish procedures and lay the groundwork for greater outreach.

2021

Cross Catholic Outreach launches its initial Wells of Salvation campaign, installing nine wells in Malawi and Ghana. Nearly 4,000 people receive clean water.

A woman with a baby strapped to her back pumps water from a hand-pump well into a bucket.

2022

The previous year’s success encourages us to expand our efforts. We install 79 wells in Malawi, Zambia and Ghana and quench the thirst of more than 46,000 people.

Two smiling women balance buckets on their heads.

2023

Generous donors again enable us to bless many lives, funding the installation of 69 wells, which deliver safe water to more than 62,000 people in Malawi, Ghana and Zambia.

2024

This year’s campaign is our most ambitious effort yet! Focusing on four dioceses in Malawi and Zambia, we hope to install and repair 109 wells total.

Featured Project: Wells of Salvation

Quenching Thirst in the Heart of Africa

We have projects in developing countries around the world! This year, one of our largest water relief programs will provide clean water in Malawi and Zambia while also improving sanitation and empowering families to thrive.

An African man’s hands hold a full bucket of clear water at the spout of a hand-pump well.

Clean Water

The Wells of Salvation outreach will install and repair 109 wells, blessing 49,000 lives with safe water — a great example of the impact these water programs make!

People gather around a freshly dug sanitation pit while one man works to case it with bricks.

Hygiene Training

All communities will receive training, which will empower them to maintain the wells, protect their health and improve local sanitation.

An African woman’s hands hold a black and silver crucifix.

Spiritual Outreach

By working through devoted Catholic ministry partners, your support helps share the gospel and refresh weary spirits with Christ’s Living Water.

Happy’s Story

Your gift this Easter season will bring lifesaving water to families like Happy’s worldwide.

A smiling woman pumps water from a hand-pump well while a child watches.
Happy’s expression suits her name as she joyfully pumps water from the new well in Mutyabweka Village.

Happy lives in rural Mutyabweka Village, Malawi, with her four children. They are a joyful and loving family — but their lives have been marked by hardship, deep sadness and profound loss.

When Happy’s husband died unexpectedly in 2020, it felt like the world was collapsing around her. While she grieved this devastating loss, she had to find a way to provide for their children on her own. She was also suffering from debilitating neck and shoulder pain, the result of years spent carrying heavy buckets of water from a distant river.

Happy’s daughter, Vanessa (pictured below), was determined to help her mother with this challenging chore. She took on the responsibility of making the hourlong journey several times a day to a murky river to fill buckets of water for the family.

Thankfully, in an answer to prayer, funding from Cross Catholic Outreach empowered the Diocese of Karonga to drill a hand-pump well in the family’s village. That simple act of caring meant that, suddenly, Happy and Vanessa could collect fresh, clean water quickly and easily!

Now instead of spending long hours each day collecting water, Vanessa has time to play and study. She dreams of finishing school and someday becoming a journalist — and we know that Happy’s heart is soaring at seeing her daughter dream again.

Vanessa, far right, is so thankful to have clean water. Many children like her are still awaiting this precious gift!

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!

- 2023 -

33

Countries
served

296

Projects
Supported

5.97%

expenses used for overhead costs

$406

million
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!