At the organization’s inaugural 2015 Run4Water fundraiser, Wells of Life President Pete Callahan led a team of Santa Margarita Catholic High School students and families, raising enough money to fund three water wells. This group of compassionate students decided that well #133 should be named in honor of Pope Francis’ life, love and compassion for the poor.
Executive board member and Wells of Life advocate, board member and SM alumni parent Rand Sperry and his wife Rosemary recently visited the Vatican. At the suggestion of Wells of Life Founder and CEO Nick Jordan, a photobook of the well named in Pope Francis’ honor was prepared as a special gift to him. With 10,000 people waiting and four rows back, the Pope miraculously made his way towards Sperry’s group and their friend Dennis Alfieri was able to place the book in the Pope’s hands. Pope Francis stopped with interest and thanked him for the gift saying, “This is not just for me, but for the people of Uganda - the poorest of the poor - and for the ministry of Wells of Life.”
The following day, the Vatican released an article entitled “Pope Francis Advocates for Global Access to Clean Drinking Water.” Pope Francis called the current statistics ‘a huge shame for humanity.’ He stated, “The Holy See and the Church are committed to access to drinking water for all.”
Jordan believes the Pope’s clear message and call for action will increase the reach of the global mission of Wells of Life for years to come. He is especially hopeful as he and the executive board are leading fundraising efforts to build the organization’s first Training and Visitor Center in Uganda. The project broke ground in August in partnership with the local government and Kingdom of Buganda and is scheduled to open in August 2020.
Pope Francis’ well was drilled at Kawo Primary School located in Bukedea District, Kachumbala Sub-County, Koutulai Parish, Kokwakipi Village where 526 students are enrolled. Thirteen-year-old student Jessica Alupo from the school says it best, “Our community is blessed daily to receive this life-giving water. We give thanks that the Holy Father has heard our prayers for water!”
To enjoy images of the well and find out more about Wells of Life, click here.