World Water Day is March 22 and commemorating it aligns with our BVM Directional Statement commitment “to take up the urgent appeal of Laudato Sí to listen and respond to the cry of Earth and the cry of the economically poor by making it a community policy.”
World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness that over two billion people worldwide do not have access to safe water. It is women and children in remote villages who carry the daily burden of walking over two miles to simply get water for their family’s basic needs. For many girls, this means that that they cannot be enrolled in school because of their daily water trek. Recognizing World Water Day can inspire action towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. Learn more at: www.worldwaterday.org.
Living out the BVM commitment to respond to the cry of the economically poor, especially for those who do not have access to safe water is not a new endeavor for BVM sisters. When they learned about the Dubuque Sisters of St. Francis’ Sister Water Project , which was created to bring safe water to villages in Tanzania and Honduras, they wanted to get involved. Sisters at Mount Carmel and the surrounding areas made personal contributions that were added to a large donation from the BVM fund.
I have been a member of two Sister Water Project teams to remote villages in Honduras, one in 2007 and again in 2017. These were wonderful experiences of working alongside native villagers to dig trenches and lay pipes to bring safe water to their villages. It gave me a greater appreciation of how incredibly blest we are to have access to safe water by simply turning on a faucet.
This year, Sisters of St. Francis are celebrating their 15th anniversary of the Water Project and inviting people to join in the celebration between March 15 and March 22. BVMs have accepted the invitation to participate in the “walk for 15” . . . walking 15 minutes per day, 15 blocks, or 15 miles over the course of the week, and thinking about the men, women and children who walk daily to obtain clean water.
So, whenever you have a drink of water, perhaps tip your glass or water bottle in gratitude and pray that all may have access to safe water.
About the author: Nancy Miller, Social Justice Coordinator for the Sisters of Charity, BVM and Sisters of St. Francis | firstname.lastname@example.org