Thanks to the Pope’s donation, excavation work will begin to reach the groundwater table. The enthusiasm of the Comboni missionary Father Marco Canofi and the Abitolem community
David Dionissi – Vatican City
Five thousand euros for the construction of a well in Abitolim, in the Diocese of Moroto, in Uganda. Pope Francis’ donation surprised everyone, and its recipient, Father Marco Canofi, a Comboni missionary for fifty years in Karamoja, northeast of the country, on behalf of the entire community, expressed his “great gratitude” to the Supreme Pontiff for his enduring concern for the poor and for Africa.
Masks of Reggio Emilia prisoners
In Apeitolim, a semi-desert area inhabited mainly by the sheep-breeding Karamojong ethnic group, prisoners from Reggio Emilia Prison had already mobilized. During the most severe phase of the epidemic, thanks to volunteer Anna Protopaba of the Jane Nova Association, they made masks for the children of the mission. In fact, the restrictions led to an increase in the poverty rate, and in that region the incidence of cholera increased, also because “in order to survive, here people put everything in their mouths. They are nomads who have lost all their livestock and, going forward, he had to choose agriculture. But This is not easy.” That was the priest’s warning cry.
The second pandemic wave
Father Marco welcomed the arrival of the captive masks as “a testimony that encourages and gives hope”, because, according to Comboni, the selfishness that often characterizes our lives has been overcome by the “gesture of tenderness with which it moves. Those who know it.” Uganda is currently experiencing a second pandemic wave that experts say could peak between late July and early August. The Ugandan Ministry of Health confirms 83,636 cases and 1,939 deaths so far. The African country is facing a second wave of the epidemic, which prompted President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to impose new containment measures earlier this month, and parliament eventually closed until July 11 after officials recorded more than a hundred infections among employees. So far, less than 2% of Ugandans have received at least one dose of the cholera vaccine.
Thanks to the Pope, water for 35,000 residents
“The construction of the well will allow the local supply of water and will put an end to the long journeys of the women and children of Amaler, Kalwakanir and Abidoro,” explains Father Marco. The first available source, in fact, is about five kilometers from the settlement and they have to travel every day on foot to supply the 35,000 residents.
“At first, I shared the news with those close to the house and the next morning, at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, I informed the faithful of the Pope’s tenderness towards us. It is a paternal gesture, a blessing and help that will be noticed every time people draw water from that well. There was a cry of joy. Followed by a fervent prayer during the Eucharist
Warm appreciation and constant prayer
After the news of the Pope’s hospitalization, Comboni adds, we convened the council several times to pray together: “We want to bear witness to our tender gratitude, which becomes an intense prayer for this Father that we have before God,” he continues. . “A father who thinks of us, helps us, gives us hope and encourages us not to be afraid and not to feel lonely.”