by David Tesitor
WALSENBURG, NAIROBI, KENYA- Local Walsenburg businessman John Chadil learned that a small village in Kenya had difficulty obtaining fresh water and decided he needed to do something to help. Chadil made a missionary trip to Nairobi Kenya in 2009 at the prompting of a friend, Anestasia Kendye, a former Franciscan Sister of the Flock of Mary based in Spain. According to Kendye, twenty years ago, a group of twenty young Kenyan women immigrated to Spain to join the convent. The water project began because the Order is comprised of many Kenyans, and this was a way to help their villages.
Today, women of the village walk three miles to obtain water drawn from a lake where animals drink, defecate and urinate. They then must boil the water to make it useable for human consumption. Chadil admits, “After a long journey, most of the women don’t take the time to boil the water before they make their first meal.”
The current project has inspired John to offer his assistance. The Women’s Irrigation Project is sponsored and being built by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Flock of Mary and endorsed by the Very Rev. Father Joseph Mbatia, Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Nyahururu. The project is developing a fresh-water well by casing the borehole, which is already in place, building storage facilities and laying pipe for irrigation. The primary purpose is to empower the women of the village to become self-sufficient.
John took on the funding of the project himself, vowing to raise the estimated $7,600 (USD). Chadil spoke at the local Catholic Church to solicit money three weeks ago. He is in the process of gaining permission from the Bishop to approach other Diocesan parishes about the project. So far, John has raised about a third of what he needs to fund the project. He also said that one hundred percent of the money he raises goes directly into the project. There are no administrative costs. Chadil will pay for his September trip to Africa out of his own pocket when he hopes to oversee the completion of the well.
John solicits the funds, but the sisters have established a bank account through the First National Bank-Huerfano County Branch. He encourages donors to pray about it, then they can write a check directly to the Franciscan Sisters of the Flock of Mary and take it to the bank for deposit.
John is seeking help from other churches and is willing to speak with any group willing to learn more about his mission project. You can reach John at (719) 890-0045. Letters attesting to this project are available.
This is Chadil’s second fundraising project, and as soon as this one is completed, there is another project in the works.
This spirit of generosity and giving is a testimony to the truly good nature of the people of a small community such as ours. Thanks in part to missionary John Chadil, a well in arid Kenya is being constructed.