Dominicans Making a Difference in South Africa

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Dominicans Making a Difference in South Africa
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On 18 March, 25 tons of clean, drinkable water was delivered to the drought stricken area of Matwabeng, Senekal in the Free State. This was a project of the Dominican Order which is celebrating its 800th Jubilee of foundation. The project was assisted by Radio Veritas and a few generous helpers.

The water was transported by three generous companies - Efficient Engineering, D & H Transport and Stellar Transport.

In this Jubilee year of Mercy it was felt that a constructive action like this would make a big impact and bring relief to people in our drought stricken areas.  Dominican brothers and sisters have been involved in parishes and schools for almost 100 years. An appeal was made to Dominican parishes and schools to encourage pupils and parishioners to make a contribution of water. These institutions responded overwhelmingly. Indeed, many non-Dominican institutions also made contributions.

The response of the people of Matwabeng was overwhelming. When the three huge trucks arrived with the water, the people sang and danced with joy and very soon old and young started unloading the water. It was inspiring to see children who could hardly walk struggling with bottles of water. People were greatly relieved. “You don’t know how happy we are to receive clean water that, for a change, won’t give us diarrhoea!” exclaimed an excited recipient of the water at the local Catholic Church.

This act comes at a time when Pope Francis, having declared the Jubilee Year of Mercy, called for people to focus not only on their individual needs but also to open their hearts and homes to those who were less fortunate. “We, as Dominicans, wanted to respond to a crying need in our country, and the ravaging drought provided us with an opportunity to make a difference”, said Father Emil Blaser OP.

 

(25 March 2016)