Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of the good done by kind hearted people. On this note, The Buseesa Mission is appreciative to the Hilton foundation for the tremendous support of various projects such as water projects and a fish pond in Mpala community. We have always been grateful and we will forever be, for the generosity rendered to the African Child and the entire mission of the sisters of Notre Dame in Uganda.
Our mission was elevated to the next level in terms of health, sanitation and nutrition. We used to have scarcity of water but Hilton fund helped us to put up a sub-massive tank. Last year, we got a water purification system installed in our schools and Parish residence. So many children are getting clean water helping us eliminate most of the water bone diseases.
Since our mission started in Uganda, we have been requesting for funds and we have been receiving generous support from outside groups. We are grateful to God for the good relation we have had with Hilton foundation. We have experienced God’s presence in our mission due to the support. We pray that this support continues and we pledge to use the funds with due diligence.
Sr. Rozaria Katusabe reflects on the impact of their recent grant from the Hilton Fund for Sisters.
Most residents of Buseesa rely on boiling water to purify it, mainly by using collected firewood. In the past 25 years Uganda has lost 63 percent of its forest cover due to tree-cutting for firewood, timber and charcoal, one of the fastest deforestation rates in the world, according to the National Forest Authority. Accessing firewood is difficult in addition to being damaging to the environment.
The second method for purification in use at this time is purifying tables made from iodine or chlorine. When used correctly, they are effective at killing microorganisms and bacteria. At high doses, they can damage red blood cells and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, water purifying chemicals do not rid the water of chemical contaminants like pesticides. Evidence suggests there might be health consequences for children who ingest these tablets over a long period of time. A healthier solution to water purification was needed for the Buseesa students and community.
With funds from the Hilton Fund for Sisters, St. Julie Mission installed a water purification system in all of the school sites: St. Julie Model Primary School, Notre Dame Academy, St. Julie Nursey School, Notre Dame Nursey and Ugandan Martyrs Parish in Buseesa. Our institutions, sisters, and parishes have clean and safe water for drinking. For a very long time we have been struggling with drinking water for children because of constantly buying aqua safe tablets which I believe may not be healthy for children’s health. Even that water would be put in containers whereby children used different containers to draw water in the buckets making the water dirty hence causing typhoid among children. Before getting the water purification system, children often got sick of typhoid, forcing them to go home for extended periods of time. Cooks would try to treat water but due to businesses or inexperience, water would not be properly treated. Parents would be constantly called to take children at home for treatment and care due to typhoid.
We have worked and continue to work with our students to ensure their academic life is not hindered by illness and infections that can easily be prevented with a different approach to hygiene. Housemothers, teachers, sisters, and older students impress upon the younger children the importance of washing hands, bathing, laundry, and cleaning. Every day, students at the mission participate in “family work time”, which includes washing laundry and dishes, chores on the farm, and then showers. At the moment children are happy at school, with the number being sent home for illness reduced. Children are learning with fewer interruptions.