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Water For Life

In March of 2006 it was suggested to the guilds in the Middletown District to have a free-will collection at each of their meetings for the National Council of Catholic Women Water for Life project.

A plastic pitcher was given to each guild with a photo on the front of a woman in the Sudan who has to walk 6 miles for clean water! The guild members were also made aware of the diseases that are eliminated by clean water. Blindness from trachoma can be prevented by washing with clean water; Cases of infection by Guinea worms were reduced substantially by providing wells for clean water and avoiding the contaminated ponds. A twenty year campaign to eradicate Guinea worm cases in Africa was initiated by providing wells for clean water and educating people to filter other sources of water. The number of cases in Nigeria alone was reduced from 650,000 cases twenty years ago to 121 new cases in 2006.

It is estimated that 2-4 million people in the world die as a result of contaminated water including children who die of diarrhea .The Water for Life funds are used by Catholic Relief Services to build water tanks, dig wells, and educate people about the dangers of contaminated water. A source of water also helps farmers to raise animals and grow crops. Where wells were dug the time to get clean water was reduced from having to walk 4-6 hours, to 20 minutes. Estimates are that one person needs 4-5 gallons of water daily for drinking, cooking, and sanitation.

The National Council of Catholic Women partnered with Catholic Relief Services in 1940 under the Works of Peace Programs The programs include The Madonna Plan; Help-a-Child; Refugee Women Emergency Fund; and Water for Life.

The total donation from NCCW to Catholic Relief Services for these programs in 2007 was $279,308. The donation to Water for life was $158,485. The Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women adopted the Water for Life Project in 1981 and has contributed over $10,000.00.

The Middletown District through its parish guilds has donated over $5,000 since the collection started in 2006 through June 2011. This project has helped to make us all aware of how fortunate we are to be able to have clean water by turning on a faucet. We also need to resolve to conserve water whenever the faucet is turned on.

Anna Marie Lanndry

Water For Life

st patrick
Anna Marie Landry
International Concerns Commissioner
Nancy McFatter and Maria Camara of St. Patrick Ladies Guild collect donations for Water for Life