We are Secular Franciscans and Franciscan Youth from all over Europe: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine united for a common cause: to guarantee a fundamental human right to safe drinking water and to install wells in Africa, starting with specific communities in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi. We want to respond to the encouragement of Pope Francis: „access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water” (Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 30).
We understand that we will not be able to help all, therefore, we decided to first help those who belong to our family in the faith (see Gal 6:10), that is, members of the Franciscan family from African countries. National fraternities of Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi have already responded to our call indicating local communities which experience a serious lack of water. Our primary goal is to collect enough funds for three boreholes. Installation of one borehole costs around EUR 10.000. After having implemented the first projects, we will continue the social initiative to make it an on-going mission of the Franciscan Family.
The Secular Franciscan Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, OFS), also known as Brothers and Sisters of Penance or the Third Order of Saint Francis, today unites about 300 thousand members and is present in 112 countries of the world. The Order is comprised of families and single people, who live according to the Rule approved by the Pope, gather in fraternities, undertake social and public initiatives and bring testimony of faith to their environment. The OFS has full autonomy, a coordinated structure and is directly subordinate to the Holy See.
More information about the Secular Franciscan Order: ciofs.org.