Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University's Campus Ministry raised $1,000 to help build a well for the new Sacred Heart College in Gweru, Zimbabwe run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
For the past five years, FranU's Campus Ministry has focused on advocating and bringing awareness to global issues that also have a local impact. The ministry raises money for whichever cause they adopt and then donates the funds to an organization that supports that issue.
Director of Campus Ministry Tammy Vidrine said, "In our planning meetings, we determine which campaign we will focus on for the next academic year. We then begin advocating awareness through events such as Welcome Week, Finding Common Ground, Agape Dinners and other campus activities. This year, we sold FranU Beanies and Jesus magnets to also help in raising funds."
Vidrine spoke about the issue of clean water disparity throughout the world even in a first world country such as the U.S. "Making people aware that in most countries there are no water systems, and most young girls as young as five-years-old have to harvest the water from a nearby watering hole prompts us to discuss the negative effects: contaminated water, no education for girls, poor nutrition and disease."
She continued, "In first world countries, contamination from industries cause unknown cancers and cause learning disabilities from lead and arsenic filled water systems. The infrastructure of the water systems in rural and marginalized areas are outdated."
Vidrine recalled that she knew exactly where the money raised should go after talking with Brother Paul Montero, S.C. He informed her of the work the Brothers were doing in Zimbabwe with the installation of wells at schools for the children to collect water while at school.
Provincial Brother Ronald Hingle, S.C., stated, "Please know how grateful we are for the generous donation from the students of FranU for our well in Zimbabwe. Despite the best-laid plans and $2 million in donations for construction, the school didn't factor in the digging of a well. It wouldn't have been able to open without one. We gave them permission to drill the borehole in the hopes that we could raise the $6,000 to subsidize it."
"In addition to the plumbing and drinking water this well will provide, it will also assist in a number of self-sustaining projects which are crucial to the success of any enterprise in Africa. I was able to see the temporary home for pigs, cows, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. I also saw the fields that have been planted to help feed the students. It's a massive undertaking and a great sign of hope for the people there as well as for our Eastern and Southern Province of Brothers," said Hingle.
The school is an independent, Catholic, co-educational, college preparatory high school located in Gweru, Midlands, Zimbabwe. It is an elite Catholic private school run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, registered with the ministry of primary and secondary education and offers a Cambridge Curriculum.
The School opened its doors January of this year with a carrying capacity of 420 boys and girls. It became the second school owned by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Province of Eastern and Southern Africa in Zimbabwe after Sacred Heart High School in Mwenezi.
According to the spokesperson for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Brother Wellington Mutimurefu, the idea was prompted by the need to have a modern Catholic School with state-of-the-art facilities that meet 21st century standards and needs. The acquisition and development of more schools by the Catholic Church are meant to instill Catholic ethos in the development of children so that they become responsible citizens in the future. The idea is also about complementing the Government of Zimbabwe's efforts to provide basic and comprehensive education to all children.