How Friends of the Sick and Poor Started

Friends of the Sick and Poor, or FOSAP, is an organization founded by members of St. Mark’s Parish in Dorchester, Massachusetts, aiming to strengthen the fundamental health and educational needs of those living in the villages of Bbanda and Buyami in Uganda. Although they expect to expand their efforts to other parts of the world, FOSAP is currently focusing on the water supply in Bbanda and working to find solutions for the lack of access to clean water and the frequent consumption of contaminated water. The organization was originally established when Father Emanuel Mwerekande, a priest from Bbanda, arrived in Boston to lend a hand to Father Daniel Finn, the parish priest. During his stay, Father Emmanuel told stories of Bbanda, the village of his birth. He educated the church’s members about his beloved home, which continued to be seriously affected by the AIDs epidemic, leaving many people devastated and without the resources to live healthy lives. While listening to the description of this village, members of St. Mark’s immediately recognized Bbanda’s adverse condition and decided a change was needed. As they began to collect small contributions, Father Emmanuel returned to his home in Bbanda. He soon came across a woman consuming contaminated water while taking ARV medications. Realizing the dangers and health risks that come with drinking impure water, he turned to his friends at St. Mark’s Church, asking them to help him find a solution to this issue.