Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help the Children of St. Francis School for the Deaf and Blind in Nigeria

In the past, whenever I have written to you, I have tried to explain some of the difficulties facing the men, women, and children living in communities surrounding our missions throughout Africa. Incredible poverty grips nearly everyone and everything. Those who are desperately poor are isolated from modern conveniences such as telephones, televisions, transportation, healthcare facilities, electricity and others that so many of us take for granted.


Everyone here is in need of a fresh water source.

Sr. Eucharia

Dear,

In the past, whenever I have written to you, I have tried to explain some of the difficulties facing the men, women, and children living in communities surrounding our missions throughout Africa. Incredible poverty grips nearly everyone and everything. Those who are desperately poor are isolated from modern conveniences such as telephones, televisions, transportation, healthcare facilities, electricity and others that so many of us take for granted.

Those issues alone are enough to overwhelm even the strongest human beings. However, imagine the challenge of living in such an environment with physical handicaps as well.

Imagine living in a remote region of Africa — without necessities — and being blind or deaf. On the other hand, perhaps even worse, trying to care for deaf and blind children without the assistance so many of us in the United States and elsewhere have come to expect. That is what Sr. Eucharia Ugwu and the staff at St. Francis School for the Deaf and Blind in Vandeikya, Nigeria in West Africa are facing every day.

What a wonderful and yet an incredible ministry! Nevertheless, when Sr. Eucharia wrote
asking for help, she did not ask for books, clothing, or Christmas gifts for the children.

She asked for water.

“There are presently 86 deaf and blind children here at our school,” Sr. Eucharia writes. “Neither they, nor our staff housing, nor the convent, nor the local villagers have a source of drinkable water.”

“Everyone here is in need of a fresh water supply source,” she continues. “We are in a very rural area in Mid-East Nigeria. A number of years ago, the community donated a tract of land for us to build the school. Recently, we have also identified a section of the land that will perk when we begin drilling for water. We still need to clear the land — which our sisters will do with machetes, hoes and other tools. But the thing that neither we — nor any other villagers can do ….is to drill the borehole well that is needed.”

“A borehole well requires only basic maintenance which we can carry out annually. The maintenance is very cheap, but we need financial assistance to drill the well as well as purchase a pump and construct the water delivery system. Please, can you help us?”

Along with her letter, Sr. Eucharia has enclosed a breakdown of the costs of the project. In addition to the cost of drilling, funds are needed for bricks, mortar, scaffolding, pipes and other plumbing items, and a pump. The sisters and the local villagers will provide all of the labor that is needed.

My friend, can you imagine the struggles the sisters, the villagers, and especially the children have endured for so long without having a source of fresh water? For those of us who can easily turn on a faucet for a glass of clean water, it is more than we can understand!

Many times, I have appealed for help for water projects, each time a different place, but always the same basic need!

Some years ago, Fr. Lynch (my predecessor) asked people from a parish in the Midwest to collaborate in his Christmas appeal. He suggested that in thinking about “Christmas gifts” each person would cut spending by one-third and give that portion as a gift to the Christ-Child for those in need of necessities! The results were away beyond his dream! It was wonderful!

Today may I suggest that you consider such a possibility in your own Christmas gift plans and give a donation in support of Sr. Eucharia and the children of St. Francis School for the Deaf and Blind. I am hoping that we can raise at least $58,000 for her well, and other similar needs. Thank you in advance for whatever you can send. I wish you God’s blessing this Christmas!

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development

My friends…as we celebrate the festival of lights, our hearts always turn to the least among us, the poor, homeless, lonely, and abandoned but to our loved ones and people like you who have sustained our mission with your generosity and prayers. Our Missionaries know of all the good you do for the African people and extend their blessings to you & yours!