Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: July 13, 2023

Quenching the Pain of Poverty

“We have come a long way. Our daily headache of searching for water has come to an end,” reports one of our Salesian missionaries serving in rural Ghana, where supporters of our Clean Water Initiative have funded the construction of critical infrastructure in two separate communities.

Both communities are in the Bono Region, where residents—most of whom are poor farmers—depend on nearby streams for all their water needs. Those streams are often unreliable and usually contaminated by grazing animals who depend on that same water. Thanks to kind donors like you, we have been able to make a difference.

This community of 700 includes 300 people who work on area farms but don’t live there. Due to extreme poverty, many of Kojokesekrom’s young people migrate in search of better lives—but the journey is dangerous, and most do not survive. Others get arrested in Libya and are sold into slavery.

“Fortunately, awareness of this issue means that many of these youth have been rescued and returned home in recent years,” explains Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions. “Their best opportunity back home is to become farmers; still, it’s not a lucrative industry by any stretch of the imagination and their lives are very difficult.”

Salesian missionaries at the Odumase Mary Help of Christians Parish serve these youth and their families through 16 outposts in 22 different villages. Under their local guidance, funding from our Clean Water Initiative supported the installation of a borehole and hand pump that now supplies safe drinking water for all of Kojokesekrom. This means that residents no longer worry about whether their streams will dry out, or if they’ll get sick drinking from them.

In 2015, the Salesian Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth started the Holy Family of Nazareth School for children in pre-K through 4th grade. The school is located in an isolated, undeveloped area where missionaries immediately noticed the lack of locally available clean water.

“Students and staff at the school drank out of a stream, which wasn’t a safe water source,” says Fr. Tim. “That led to regular illness among children and teachers, which interfered with learning and contributed to the ongoing cycle of poverty.”

Today, Chiraa has their own mechanical borehole, water collection and storage tower, and spouts that together provide clean water for 340 students, staff and sisters at the school. Additionally, 30 local families also benefit from the spouts whenever they need it.

“We are grateful for our donors who made this new water source possible,” says one of the missionaries there. “We wouldn’t have clean water without their support.”

Learn more about our work in Ghana.

Our missionaries bring critical water infrastructure to communities and families in need. What’s your mission?

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