Clean water for God's thirsty children
Growing Successful Partnerships in Uganda
Jim Wilhite speaks during a training session for new Water Women in Uganda.
The Sisters of the Sacred Heart invited the Water With Blessings team to help them provide clean water for Sudanese refugees who have crossed into northern Uganda.
A group of newly-trained Water Women proudly display their new water buckets.
In 2015, Jim Wilhite was teaching in an area of Uganda called Kagoma Gate and began to notice the many graves of small children.

“The people there didn’t even name their children until they were 2-years-old because they thought they were going to die,” Jim said. “Most did.”

A year later, working with Water With Blessings as Uganda Coordinator, Jim brought the first Sawyer PointONE filters to the area. Now, in an area once overwhelmed by typhoid, 2,600 people are drinking clean water. And children no longer die from contaminated water.

Partnering with the Comboni Missionaries, Jim and Water With Blessings have helped train and equip nearly 1,500 Water Women across Uganda. One area of recent concentration has been Moyo in northern Uganda, adjacent to southern Sudan. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart invited Water With Blessings to help provide clean water in the resettlement areas filled with Sudanese refugees.

Because of the terrible water conditions – often slimy, thick liquid teeming with worms and mosquito larvae – people are even reluctant to drink the filtered water until Jim samples it first.

“If they see me drink the water, they believe it’s safe,” he said. “The little ones come up and take a drink. They understand immediately that it doesn’t taste the same and they want more and more and more.”

The Water With Blessings method fits with the ideals of St. Daniel Comboni, who in the late 1800s recognized the talents and gifts of the people he served in the African missions. The Water Women take responsibility for providing clean water for their own and 3 other families. Some have gone on to help in training others.

“In one area where the women were being chosen, when the last woman’s name was picked she leaped in the air, praising the Lord,” Jim said. “She said ‘I prayed the Rosary all night asking that God would give me this gift (of being a Water Woman ).’

“We don’t have to do anything after the training. The women know what to do.”
A young girl savors her
first drink of clean water.
The Power of One:
Providing The Gift of Life

What is the potential contained in one little child? What will that one be able to do with her life? Will the others growing up around her have the opportunity to fulfill their potentials? And if they are able to grow and learn and work, how many other lives will benefit?

It comes down to one of our most important beliefs: the Power of One .

One gift of $75 to Water With Blessings will equip a  Water Woman  with a bucket and a Sawyer PointONE filter, and provide the training needed for her to provide clean water to her own and 3 other families. It's just that simple.

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The Comboni Missionaries: Our Partners in Uganda
“The work of Water With Blessings is summed up in its name: they are a blessing,” said Fr. Ruffino Ezema MCCJ, who has served as a Comboni Missionary for 30 years. A native of Uganda, he now coordinates the Comboni leadership team for North America.

“People are so grateful to them for providing clean water,” Fr. Ruffino said. “In a very simple way, Water With Blessings is at the disposal of thirsty people. And by improving the health of the people, there is an improvement in the possibility for other development.”

As Mission Partners, the Comboni Missionaries have also helped with funding Water With Blessings’ efforts in Uganda.

“This work makes me remember the cry of Jesus on the Cross: ‘I am thirsty’ , ” Fr. Ruffino said. “And instead of giving Jesus clean water, the people gave him something bitter to drink. In the same way today, so many people are crying ‘I am thirsty.’ And they too are given bitter things, such as indifference, or people responding: ‘I don’t care.’

“This makes the work of Water With Blessings a critical need. Every time I see how people will fetch water from a dirty source, and then watch them filter it clean. They are filled with such joy!
This Week's Coffee Chat: Into the Heart of Uganda
Jim Wilhite, Uganda Coordinator, will join us to give an update on our expanding efforts across the country. You won't want to miss his passion for mission and his ability to make you feel like you are are with the wonderful Ugandan people.

Also, we hope to be joined by the Comboni Missionaries' leader, Fr. Ruffino Ezama, a Ugandan native.

Be sure to prepare a morning beverage, pull up a comfortable chair, and log in at 9am on Friday to take part in what promises to be one of our most exciting Chats so far.

We'll be looking for you.
We believe every child should be drinking clean water. Are you with us?
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