I visited the Jesuit retirement center in Nairobi in late May, 2008 to reconnect with friends living there. The Jesuits because of my close friendship with Fr. D’Agostino, have welcomed me with open hearts. I feel blessed enjoying time with many of them especially Father Val, the superior head of the Jesuits in northeast Africa and Father Jim Strzok among others.
We discussed projects in Uganda, Tanzania and one here across the valley visible from our lunchroom at the Jesuit Center. Father Jim who is here in Africa for many years is from the U.S. and is an environmental scientist and has been active in helping communities. He explained that there is the Nkaimurunya Primary School, which has 750 students and a very active involved community of parents. They have no clean water and must travel down to the stream to bucket water which is unsanitary. The plan is to place a borehole well on the school grounds and provide clean, safe drinking water to the students and the community village. The testing has been completed and the permits obtained, only the funding and some other important issues need to be decided. We discussed the great benefits and I offered some ideas of how to settle some of the issues to move the project along to completion. The cost is approximately $30,000 U.S. and the benefits to many thousands of people can be accomplished in partnership. The Rotary Foundation has agreed to participate with Traveling Mercies and possibly one other donor to finance this project.
I believe this is an excellent project with great benefits and I intend to help Father Jim implement the water system by revisiting there shortly. From a lunch table that I sat with Fr. D’Agostino almost two years ago and we looked across at that school site, I return today to continue helping the children of Africa he so much loved.