Giving Tuesday Update: Safe Water for Namibia
We asked, and so many friends answered—enthusiastically, and from their hearts. Last November, more than 200 generous donors participated in our special Giving Tuesday campaign to fund two desperately-needed water reserve tanks at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Rundu, Namibia. Their response was so spirited, in fact, that we exceeded our $10,000 goal by more than $1,000! Even better, under the direction of Father Louis Malama, rector of the Salesian community in Rundu, local contractors have already completed the project.
Located in sub-Saharan Africa with very few rivers or lakes, access to water has become increasingly difficult in Namibia. Because rainfall is insufficient to meet demand, municipalities throughout the country are forced to ration their water supplies—which negatively impacts health, hygiene and even educational opportunities for youth.
“Children often bear the burden of searching for, and collecting, water for their families in times of need,” explains Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “Many times, they must search for sources far from home, which means precious time away from school. And, when contaminated water makes them sick, they’re unable to learn.”
This is one of several problems Fr. Louis hoped to address when he requested support from Salesian Missions.
Every day, more than 600 girls and boys attend the Don Bosco Youth Center, where—among other life-changing programs—they go to school, receive career guidance and learn computer skills. But, because the water supply on campus experienced frequent interruptions due to rationing, there was never enough for drinking, cooking, handwashing or even maintaining a clean facility. In a country where 32 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and poor youth still struggle to gain access to an education, Fr. Louis and his fellow missionaries are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure that students can remain in the classroom.
Thanks to our Giving Tuesday donors, Fr. Louis received the funds to proceed. By mid-January, he had secured a company to do the work and by March 30, installation of a 10L water storage tank was fully complete.
“The water project at the Don Bosco Youth Center has been implemented and has produced very positive results, achieving its overall objective of improving and providing sufficient clean and safe water for the young people in our programs,” Fr. Louis reports. Missionaries have observed many direct benefits, including readily available running water; improved hygiene among youth; consistently clean bathrooms; and programs that are no longer interrupted due to water shortages.
“The children and the Salesians would like to thank in a special way the donors who helped make this happen,” says Fr. Louis.
Here at Salesian Missions, we wholeheartedly agree. Thanks to the kindness of so many of you, 600 children now have an even better chance to improve their lives, and their futures. We are immensely grateful for this remarkable gift!
(The excess funds raised during this campaign directly support our dedicated Clean Water Initiative, which benefits children and families around the world who still lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems. For more information on our Clean Water Initiative, further examples of its positive impact, and additional projects that need funding, please visit this page.)
Our mission brings safe, clean water to communities in need around the globe. What’s your mission?