By Barb Arland-Fye
When Father Juvenalis Ndaula returns to Tanzania in June for a visit, his colleagues in the Davenport Diocese hope he’ll have enough money to build a well for a school there.
Fundraising efforts, which began in January at Sacred Heart parishes in Lost Nation and Oxford Junction and St. James Parish in Toronto, have raised $3,700 toward the $5,000 cost of a well, said Fr. Ndaula.
Now a student at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, he gave a presentation March 21 at Sacred Heart Parish in Oxford Junction about his Tanzanian homeland and the critical need for potable water. It was his second presentation to the cluster parishes of which Father Bill Kneemiller is pastor. In addition to the two presentations, money also has been raised through a word-of-mouth campaign.
Fr. Kneemiller hopes to keep the momentum going by encouraging other parishes in the diocese to host a presentation by Fr. Ndaula and contribute to the well project.
The money would fund a water well for St. Peter Claver English Medium Primary School in Tanzania, which Fr. Ndaula helped open. The school has one well, but needs a second and even a third one to accommodate the school’s needs.
“The water from the well will be used for cooking, laundry, drinking, irrigating a garden for their vegetables, and to have running water in their toilets,” Fr. Ndaula said. “Without water, these kids would be in trouble.”
He is confident about being able to raise the remaining money needed for the well because people who hear the story of need are touched by it.
“I would like to recognize and thank those who have contributed and those who will contribute. May God bless.”
Last year, parishioners from Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Anthony and St. Mary parishes in Davenport contributed almost $10,000 to pay primarily for the education of several orphans. Some members from those parishes are working to establish a nonprofit corporation to help support the school further.
Fr. Ndaula strongly believes in education. He served as a superintendent of schools in Tanzania. Then his bishop encouraged him to come to Davenport to further his studies in education. Most recently, he has been student teaching at J.B. Young Intermediate School in Davenport. He will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in education. After his trip to Tanzania in June, he will return to St. Ambrose to work on his master’s degree.
For more information or to make a contribution to the well project, contact Fr. Ndaula at (563) 324-0298, or in care of St. Vincent Center, 2706 N. Gaines St., Davenport, Iowa, 52804.