The Story

The Bbanda Water Project began with a group called Friends of the Poor in Uganda. The organization, a small assembly of men from the village, formed to help those in the village who were in need, whether it meant driving them to the hospital, helping to tend to their crops, or getting them water. The people they helped were often elderly, had no family, or were poorer than others in the town. One of the members of Friends of the Poor, Father Emmanuel, began to come to America every summer. He met with another priest who worked out of St. Mark’s Parish in Dorchester, Father Dan Finn, and started to help out around Dorchester. As he helped, he would tell the stories of his hometown, and Friends of the Poor. Many of St. Mark’s parishioners wanted to help, so they decided to start another organization called Friends of the Sick and Poor. Friends of the Sick and Poor began to donate money to Friends of the Poor, who used it to pay for AIDS medicine. However, Father Emmanuel had an experience that changed the focus of Friends of the Sick and poor from AIDS medication to water hygiene. He brought medicine to a woman who suffered from AIDS, but when he went to her water can to get her a drink to take her medicine with, he discvered the condition of her water. It was polluted with dirt and bugs. Father Emmanuel realized that drinking the water was only going to make her sicker instead of helping her. He told Friends of the Poor and Friends of the Sick and Poor what he had seen, and both the organizations began to work on developing new ways to distribute clean water to all villagers.