Found this piece on The Holy Family Parish newsletter of last weekend and was more than a little humbled.
WELLS FOR ZOË’. This church-door collection for alleviation of poverty in the southern-central African country of Malawi will take place on the weekend 12/13th April, facilitated by students from Blackrock College.
A group of 6th year boys from Blackrock College (including two young parishioners of Holy Family Parish) will travel to Malawi after their leaving certificate examinations this summer, to spend two weeks working on projects with Wells for Zoë and the St John of God Services.
Wells for Zoë is a small Irish non-governmental organisation dedicated to the provision of clean safe drinking water and water storage for irrigation in four remote rural areas of Malawi. Set up in 2005, Wells for Zoë now works in over 40 villages and helps some of the poorest people in Africa by supplying clean drinking water. Wells for Zoë concentrates on low cost, small scale, appropriate and sustainable water technology. Wells are hand dug, jetted and fitted with a Canzee hand pump. Its work has since expanded beyond simple wells to include activities as diverse as fish farming, agricultural education and micro-credit facilities.
The trip also involves the construction of an agricultural college and teaching and helping in a St John of God school, the Elvira Institution for mentally and physically challenged children for 4-15 yrs and working with the Umoza Programme for Street Children.
The boys from Blackrock hope to raise €80,000 for the various projects, all of which will go directly and exclusively to the fund. Everybody who is traveling in the group will pay their own travel and accommodation expenses so that all monies generously donated to help this work will go directly to the projects.
They will be collecting outside the church after Mass on the weekend 12/13th April and would be deeply grateful for any contribution to assist them to improve the lives of impoverished people living in South Eastern Africa. The boys would also be absolutely delighted to provide a report of their work and experience on their return.
Wells for Zoë website is http://www.wellsforZoë.org
Wells for Zoë’s aims are to:
- Establish a competence in well drilling and pump installation;
- Promote water storage in its many forms, by advising on simple technologies, in association with local Government staff, and providing low cost credit (or grants, when there is no other way forward);
- facilitate the local manufacture of the pumps, by building and equipping a small factory at SJOG, Mzuzu;
- Train the local people, men and women, some of whom are clients of St. John of God’s, in the manufacture and maintenance of the pumps;
- Promote the use of alternative irrigation methods and a better range of crops;
- Empower people to help themselves, by using sample gardens in lands provided by the Chiefs;
- Organise all projects within a local village management structure.
Note: – As one who has lived & worked in semi-arid climatic conditions in Eastern Africa for over two decades, I strongly recommend this sustainable development project to your generosity. M.O’Connor, Adm.
The efforts of the Blackrock Boys and the wider school community shows what a real community effort can be. Thank you all JC.