By Virginija Mickute, OFS, and Monika Midveryte, OFS
MARCH 2019 — The “Well4Africa” project, flowing out of the 3rd European OFS and YouFra Congress in Lithuania last year, is moving ahead in various phases in Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Drilling water wells in needed areas was meant to be a special fruit of the congress, with over 38,000 euros raised at the time. Since then more donations brought the total raised so far to 52,000 euros, with work started in two of the countries.
A borehole is already drilled and operating in Namane community, diocese of Blantyre, Malawi. Total cost of the project was of 8150 euros.
A more sophisticated water supply system is underway in Kihani parish, Mbarara archdiocese, Uganda. This project involves three phases. The first phase has been completed, including excavation and construction of a shallow well, construction of a pump house, election of solar panel stands and installation of a water pump, construction of 50,000-liter capacity water tank at Kihani parish church, trenching and pipe laying from the well up to the church tank and further extended to St. Joseph’s primary school and St. Anne’s secondary school. Phase 2 shall involve construction of 50,000 liter-water tank at St. Mary’s primary school, trenching and pipe laying from the well up to the primary tank and extension of water to two community villages of Irwaniro and Kitambeya, construction of tap stands and control chambers. Phase 3 shall include extension of water line from St. Mary’s primary tank to Katunguru community village, Allied primary school, Katunguru community marketplace, Bright Model primary school, St. Anne’s staff quarters and Kagunga community village. The total cost of the project is around 41,420 euros (depending on changing rate of Ugandan shilling).
The third project is aimed for Nehumambi village in Zimbabwe.
The National Council of Lithuania had launched the “Well4Africa” social initiative, together with components of the European Franciscan family, to respond to the call of Pope Francis to ensure the human right to drinking water for all and to express solidarity with the poor, creating “conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ“ (Rule 13).
Initially 13 national OFS fraternities (Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Gibraltar) and four national YouFra fraternities (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Poland) responded to the call.
Anyone may follow the progress of the projects online at well4africa.eu.
During its fall session CIOFS Presidency endorsed continuing the “Well4Africa“ initiative under the responsibility of Lithuanian National Council, thus becoming an ongoing mission of the Secular Franciscan Order.
Soon the floor will be opened for new applications from Franciscan communities in Africa.
National OFS and YouFra fraternities are invited to start or continue fund-raising activities for “Well4Africa“, which has been entrusted to Our Lady, Queen of the Franciscan Family. Feel free to translate and use well4africa.eu website and logo as promotional tools.