ghana and malawi

Nearly 780 million people do not have safe water. Nearly half of them live in Africa.

Right now, many families in Ghana and Malawi are dealing with the devastating consequences of water scarcity, but the Church is working to make a difference! This spring, Cross Catholic Outreach is launching a campaign with the Diocese of Wa, Ghana, and the Diocese of Karonga, Malawi, to provide clean water, sanitary latrines and fresh hope for families in need.

Clean Water

Install four hand-pump wells and one mechanized well in the Diocese of Wa and four hand-pump wells in the Diocese of Karonga, blessing 4,015 lives with clean water.

Sanitation

Help six communities in the Diocese of Wa construct sanitary latrines for 9,707 people, and train locals to start sanitation businesses in the Diocese of Karonga.

Renewed Hope

Restore hope, health, time and dignity to villagers in need, freeing them to have enriching activities in their lives, such as attending Mass services and school classes.

Together, we can empower two Catholic dioceses in Ghana and Malawi to rescue families from the painful cycle of thirst, disease and exhaustion that dominates much of their lives. Your generosity will install eight hand-pump wells, one mechanized well and six 4-seat sanitation blocks. It will also provide important training to help communities protect their health and maintain their new water sources for years to come.

Give today to empower the Catholic Church in Africa to forever change thousands of lives.

Download the Proposal

To collect water for their families, women and children in Sorbelle, Ghana, either walk 45 minutes and stand in line for hours at the nearest well or they drink from a contaminated reservoir.

World Without Water

The Many Problems Created by Scarcity

Water scarcity creates many challenges in poor communities. Stretching far beyond thirst, the lack of safe, accessible water creates painful problems in almost every category of life.

Health

Unclean water sources teem with bacteria, parasites, feces and other contaminants that make people sick.

Nutrition

Families cannot grow enough food without safe water, and waterborne diseases prevent children from absorbing critical nutrients.

Family

Water collection consumes so much time that families have limited quality time together.

Community Development

Improvement projects, such as repairing crumbling homes, are impossible without ample water for construction.

Education

Children often miss school to collect water, and waterborne diseases prevent them from attending consistently.

Spiritual Formation

Weary families have little time or energy for attending Mass and tending to their faith formation.

Families Risk Their Lives to Drink Water

Restore Health and Safety

Alice collects water from a muddy lake by a dam near her village.

Alice’s Daily Battle

Alice Basin is a secondary school student living in Sorbelle, a small village situated in Ghana’s Diocese of Wa. Before class each morning, she faces a difficult choice – either walk 45 minutes to a distant well and spend hours waiting in line, or collect water from a polluted lake created by a dam. This hardworking young woman dreams of accomplishing great things and leading her family out of poverty, but she has often arrived late to school or left class early in order to gather enough water for the day.

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Nearly 3 million people in Ghana and 4 million people in Malawi do not have access to clean, safe water sources.

Lynes’ Hope For New Life

Lynes Mbale, 32, is a wife and a mother living in the Diocese of Karonga, Malawi. On most days, she walks one hour to reach the Wigboholo River and then waits an additional hour before she can take her turn in the riverbed. She then carries her heavy containers home, being careful not to trip on the rugged terrain and risk losing the precious fluid she has collected. Indeed, the water is precious because Lynes’ family cannot live without it — but it is not clean, and villagers often suffer from diarrhea and dysentery from consuming such visibly contaminated water.

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Lynes (center) waits for water to slowly fill a groundhole in the dry Wigboholo riverbed.

Nearly 3 million people in Ghana and 4 million people in Malawi do not have access to clean, safe water sources.

Our Partners in Africa

Facing Local Challenges With Local Leaders

Diocese of Wa, Ghana

Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr

Through evangelization and tangible works of mercy, he is working to lead his people into greater self-sufficiency and a deeper understanding of love.

When asked about the greatest needs in his diocese, Bishop Richard ranks water and sanitation near the top of the list. “Whatever effort is done to give water to people, when people are pacified and that thirst has been quenched, they are able to listen to the deeper thirst, which is a thirst for God.”

The Diocese of Wa is located within the Archdiocese of Tamale in the Upper West Region of northern Ghana. The Upper West Region has the highest poverty incidence in all of Ghana, with more than 70% of its population living in poverty. This area was traditionally Muslim, but today, more than 40% of the people are Catholic — three times the national average.

Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr, a native Ghanaian, has served the Diocese of Wa since May 7, 2016.

Diocese of Karonga, Malawi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka

By prioritizing “evangelization, civic education and the rule of law,” his diocese is sharing the Gospel in word and deed and eradicating the exploitation of the poor.

The Diocese of Karonga was formerly part of the Diocese of Mzuzu, but the area was too large for effective outreach. Today, Bishop Mtumbuka and his team are in a better position to meet the needs of previously unreached communities and nurture the faith of existing Catholics.

The Diocese of Karonga is located within the Archdiocese of Lilongwe in Malawi’s north. Approximately 4 million Malawians lack access to clean water sources. The country runs a very high risk for waterborne diseases including bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Recent drought and localized flooding have increased food insecurity for many families who rely on rain-fed farming for survival.

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has served the Diocese of Karonga since Nov. 20, 2010.

 

Diocese of Wa, Ghana

Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr

Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr, a native Ghanaian, has served the Diocese of Wa since May 7, 2016. Through evangelization and tangible works of mercy, he is working to lead his people into greater self-sufficiency and a deeper understanding of God’s love.

When asked about the greatest needs in his diocese, Bishop Richard ranks water and sanitation near the top of the list. “Whatever effort is done to give water to people, when people are pacified and that thirst has been quenched, they are able to listen to the deeper thirst, which is a thirst for God.”

The Diocese of Wa is located within the Archdiocese of Tamale in the Upper West Region of northern Ghana. The Upper West Region has the highest poverty incidence in all of Ghana, with more than 70% of its population living in poverty. This area was traditionally Muslim, but today, more than 40% of the people are Catholic — three times the national average.

Diocese of Karonga, Malawi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has served the Diocese of Karonga since Nov. 20, 2010. By prioritizing “evangelization, civic education and reinforcement of the rule of law,” he is mobilizing his diocese to share the Gospel in word and deed and eradicate the exploitation of the poor.

The Diocese of Karonga was formerly part of the Diocese of Mzuzu, but the area was too large for effective outreach. Today, Bishop Mtumbuka and his team are in a better position to meet the needs of previously unreached communities and nurture the faith of existing Catholics.

The Diocese of Karonga is located within the Archdiocese of Lilongwe in Malawi’s north. Approximately 4 million Malawians lack access to clean water sources. The country runs a very high risk for waterborne diseases including bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Recent drought and localized flooding have increased food insecurity for many families who rely on rain-fed farming for survival.

The Plan for Change

Working Together to Bless and Save Lives with Clean Water

Water, Sanitation and Training

Install wells, build sanitation blocks, and provide vital training to equip communities for greater self-sustenance and health.

Supporting Faith Formation

Provide vital support for other important facilities — including a youth retreat center for critical faith formation.

Quenching Spiritual Thirst

Spiritual blessings flow from safe water, including more time for Mass, praying together and nurturing overall spiritual health.

Alice (left) helps a neighbor lift a heavy bowl of water to her head in the village of Sorbelle.

Water, Sanitation and Training

The Mission to Bless and Save Lives

Your support helps finance the labor and materials necessary to relieve the burden of water scarcity on communities in need. Together, we can install nine wells to provide clean water for nine communities. Six sanitation blocks and training ensure that these efforts will provide lasting relief.

Clean Wells

By working through trusted contractors, and drilling between 60 and 80 meters into the earth, we can ensure our wells will provide an abundant source of safe, clean water for years to come.

Improved Sanitation

Proper sanitation defends the water supply against contamination from human waste. By building six sanitary latrines in the Diocese of Wa, we can help communities protect their health and new wells.

Training/Equipping

Many remote communities persist in unhygienic practices simply because they have never learned otherwise. Educational workshops help dispel misconceptions and encourage healthy behaviors.

Deliver entire villages from the cycle of thirst and sickness and lead them into a new era of blessings that overflow! Your support helps finance water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training, as well as other innovative workshops. This education plays an important role in keeping wells clean and empowering communities.

Supporting Faith Formation

Sanitation and Health for a Youth Retreat Center

The Diocese of Wa is working to fortify teens and young adults in their Catholic faith — but the youth retreat center is in dire need of improved sanitation. With your help, the diocese will be able to install a four-seat latrine, making it possible for the site to host meaningful youth events. Young people will be able to receive pastoral counseling, listen to inspiring messages, and meet with other Catholic youths who are working to deepen their faith.

“Some can get led astray by imitating their fellow young friends that they see doing this or doing that. But when they go to a place like [the retreat center] … something happens in their heart, and little by little there is a spiritual growth that is going on.”

– Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr

Dioceses will work through village parishes to facilitate trainings and manage the construction of each well or sanitation block. This helps strengthen the relationship between community members and the local church.

Quenching Spiritual Thirst

Fresh Hope and Revived Faith Flow From Clean Water

Many poor Ghanaian and Malawian families have little time for Mass or other spiritual formation activities because the tiresome search for water consumes so much of their lives. The gift of clean water helps restore health and promotes dignity, while also pointing precious souls to Christ — the Well that never runs dry. Church attendance is often one of the first things to improve once a community gains access to a well.

Experienced Leadership

Cross Catholic Outreach’s International Project Managers are selected for both their professional credentials in international development and their gifts in spiritual leadership. These professionals work with the partnering dioceses to assess their capacity, identify local needs and develop strategic plans to deliver effective relief.

David Adams

Vice President for Missions

David R. Adams joined Cross Catholic Outreach in 2006 after completing a 30-year career in international humanitarian aid with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). As vice president for missions, he has helped lead the expansion of our partnerships and activities in Africa, Latin America and Haiti.

Rebecca Riccitello

International Projects Manager

Rebecca Riccitello monitors and manages our ongoing projects in Ghana. With a master’s degree from the University of London and 10 years of project management experience in Africa, she is highly skilled at developing and evaluating effective, sustainable relief projects.

Sarah Jeske

International Projects Officer

Sarah Jeske oversees our ongoing projects in Malawi. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia for two years, holds a master’s degree in international development from Western Michigan University, and is passionate about working with global communities to develop lasting solutions.

Deliver Wells of Salvation

Fresh Hope and Revived Faith Flow from Clean Water

Today, you have an opportunity to provide safe water and restore hope! Your gift will guarantee the completion of nine wells and six sanitation blocks. It will also provide invaluable training to help communities maintain their wells, improve their health and achieve the hope-filled future that God has planned for them.

For thousands of people in Ghana and Malawi, your generosity will mean the difference between sickness and health, stagnation and progress, and even death and life. Donate now to bless the poor with safe water, improved sanitation and a refreshing reminder of Christ’s love!

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Cross Catholic Outreach

Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, 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.