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Donations Fund Clean Water Projects

posted in: Africa, Asia, Ministry
Jamuna Magdeline Gomes, CSC, was enthusiastic about the new water filtration system for Shaheed Father Evans Kindergarten School in Bakshanagar, Bangladesh.

Jamuna Magdeline Gomes, CSC, was enthusiastic about the new water filtration system for Shaheed Father Evans Kindergarten School in Bakshanagar, Bangladesh.

A public toilet facility is being built for the community of Wel-yeri in Lawra, Ghana.

A public toilet facility is being built for the community of Wel-yeri in Lawra, Ghana.

A young student in Shaheed Father Evans Kindergarten School shows her excitement in having safe water for hand washing.

A young student in Shaheed Father Evans Kindergarten School shows her excitement in having safe water for hand washing.

There is no building block to life more foundational than water. And yet, in their ministries around the world, Sisters of the Holy Cross have long observed that access to clean water, this most precious gift from God is severely lacking. Many countries with limited infrastructures can’t control contaminants or elevated levels of minerals, such as iron, to ensure water that is safe to drink. Addressing this disparity, the Congregation issued its Corporate Stand on Water as a Human Right and Public Trust in 2004. In the commitment, the Congregation affirms its support for actions that “ensure access to … safe water for all people, especially the most vulnerable.” Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si' reinforces this ideal, calling the church and all people to respond to God’s love through his gift of creation.

A spring-fed well is being constructed for Koch Goma Village near Gulu, Uganda.

A spring-fed well is being constructed for Koch Goma Village near Gulu, Uganda.


A global problem

In 2022, donors responded to the Congregation’s appeal to tackle the global problem of limited access to potable water. Projects are underway now that will eventually bring clean and safe drinking water to more than 25,000 people in Bangladesh, India, Uganda and Ghana. The projects were born out of sisters’ own experiences with people and places in dire need of this essential resource. “We received 28 project proposals from sisters,” says Sister M. Rose Edward (Goodrow), CSC, director of development. Each proposal was assessed on degree of sustainability and overall impact. “Because our donors responded so generously,” adds Sister Rose, “we could fund, at least in part, 24 of those proposals.”

Moreau Nursery and Primary School dormitories now have a filtered water supply for boarders 24/7.

Moreau Nursery and Primary School dormitories now have a filtered water supply for boarders 24/7.

Students in Bakshanagar, Bangladesh, enjoy a fresh drink of water.

Students in Bakshanagar, Bangladesh, enjoy a fresh drink of water.

Widespread benefits

The outcome of this joint effort: 14 water wells, 12 working water filtration systems, four rainwater storage tanks, and a public toilet facility for a rural village that had no such amenities. In addition to the widespread benefits to villages near sisters’ living communities, the Congregation’s ministries also will be made safer with the addition of filtration systems at educational institutions, dormitories, training centers and convents. “Those who have given so generously have promoted the sacredness of life by reducing waterborne illnesses that run rampant in Asia and Africa,” says Sister Rose.

Around the world, the sisters rejoice — giving thanks that the gift of life in clean water now flows.

“Those who have given so generously have promoted the sacredness of life by reducing waterborne illnesses...”


—Sister M. Rose Edward (Goodrow), CSC

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This story also appeared in inSpirit magazine. To receive the magazine or the Annual Giving Report, use the button below and fill out our online request form. You can also sign up to receive the online newsletter from the Congregation’s Development Office.