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March 2012

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In This Issue
Drinking in Joy
Navajo Nations in Need
A Cup of Sludge
Quick Links
Seemingly Small Innovations Change the World!
boy with tea cup of water
A young boy in Breves, Brazil, joyfully helps himself to a cup of clean water. In Brazil, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur create improvised "water coolers" by fitting plastic spigots into recycled margarine tubs. First, they must boil and filter the water before it is acceptable for drinking. 
Water is a Human Right
The daily task of securing clean water for impoverished families in the developing world typically falls to women and children. Forced to walk hours each day tending to this basic survival need interferes with a child's ability to attend school and a woman's ability to earn money and care for her family. One of the first things the Sisters do when assimilating into an impoverished community is to improve the health and nutrition of the people. The Sisters are dedicated to promoting peace and justice through education. Impoverished children cannot learn when they are thirsty or suffering from ill health as a result of a contaminated water supply. What the Sisters accomplish outside the classroom is equally as important as what they accomplish within it. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur believe that access to potable water is a human right.
For a Simple Sip of Water...
black water kettles on fire
The goal is to continue providing SNDdeN missions in Congo with photovoltaic systems designed to purify water. Until that happens, Sisters at several Congolese missions must resort to boiling water in kettles such as above. Watch a 45-second video of what it takes to collect water from a well at the Sisters' mission in Mpese, Congo.
 In many parts of the world, taking a simple sip of water starts with a fire. Boiling and filtering water collected from
riverbeds, road runoffs or open wells is imperative in remote parts of Brazil, Zimbabwe, Congo, Nigeria and New Mexico
-- all places the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur live and work.
To call attention to the importance of clean water, the United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day. The Vatican Council of Justice and Peace recently released updates to its document, "Water, An Essential Element for Life." For those living in extreme poverty, every day is a struggle for clean water. You can help.

Remote Navajo Communities in Need
 Water is a precious resource in the barren environs of the Eastern Navajo Nation, New Mexico. St. Bonaventure Indian Mission staff members deliver potable water directly to many residents of the area. Those who receive the barrels of water are elderly or disabled. Most residents lack transportation to haul their own. Water is a constant concern for almost half of the Navajo households that rely on water hauling to meet their daily needs for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning.
Navajo school children & water barrels
Navajo boys are all smiles posing in front of mission-supplied water barrels. Your support of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur increases the likelihood of the boys' continued health and well-being.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who administer and teach at St. Bonaventure Mission School, enroll 200 students from pre-school through eighth grade. More than 90 percent of the students live at or below the poverty line, making them eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Entire families living on the Reservation survive on less than $6,000 year.


Sisters in Brazil Monitor Town Water Supply
Sister Maria holding cup of filthy
Sister Maria in Breves, Brazil, holds up a cup of "drinking" water before it has been boiled and filtered. Your contribution can help Sister Maria provide the impoverished people of Breves with potable water and better health.
Every morning, Sister
Maria climbs to the top of the Sisters' water tower
on the island of Breves, Brazil. She
routinely looks for cracks or ruptures in the holding tank and pipe connection that allows water to flow into the Sisters' compound from the one public water source on the island. After her daily inspection, Sister Maria must boil and filter the water before anyone is allowed to drink it. The day she found the water tower choked with mud was the day the island's water supply line had been ruptured, allowing groundwaters and sludge to contaminate the town's water supply beyond its usual level of impurities. Until this break was repaired, there was not one drop of usable water on the island. Sister Maria mobilized neighbors and community members to address the problem immediately. The inhabitants of Breves are too poor to have running water in their homes. They rely on rain water runoff or water piped in by the government, all of which must be stored in containers or towers and purified before use.