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Homepage > Projects > June 2011 Projects

Brazil, South America

Project objective - To Build Rainwater Cisterns for Forty Families.

Paroquia N. Sra imaculada Concelcao is a parish in Ceara, Brazil and they have been involved with projects such as assisting with the building of chapels for communities, attending to the elderly and involved with a pastoral work with unwed mothers.

The parish has received funding from the World Mercy Fund to construct rainwater cisterns for fort families in small, poor and distant communities of the parish. The round cisterns of cement plaques are durable, relatively easy to construct and inexpensive. Each cistern holds 15 thousand litres of rainwater for drinking and cooking purposes.

Fr. Richard Cornwell who runs the charity has asked the local communities to decide which families who own their homes will get the cisterns. Preference will be given to widows and large families with young children.

During construction of the cisterns each family dug a hole for the cistern and each family also provide at least one member to help during construction of the cistern. The building of the cisterns will be a community effort. After completion of the cisterns, those who can afford to will donate what they can to the parish so that other families can have the opportunity to have the cisterns built and provided for them.

Through the support of the World Mercy Fund, these families will have a healthier life with clean water for their everyday use.


Brazil, South America

Project objective - The construction of Bathrooms for Poor families.

The project of building bathrooms for 8 needy families was organised by Citizens' Forum of Umburanas, which is a non-government organization set up by the local people in 2003. It was financed by the World mercy fund.

The Citizen's Forum been involved in many activities such as; Training courses on social justice; reform of houses; building of bathrooms, analysing of the public accounts and campaign against the privatisation of the town's water system.

The aim of this particular project is to help poor families to build bathrooms in their homes to improve the level of hygiene and therefore reduce the level of illness.

The most important rule is that the bathrooms are built in schemes of voluntary labour with the help of brick layers who work with the Citizens' Forum. This is a self help project which means each family must help with the basic work of the building of the bathrooms of all the other families in the group, and in return all of the others help them. They are required to dedicate 2 days per week to this voluntary work.

Another important rule is to prevent families becoming dependent on financial support, the Forum requires that each family makes a small monthly contribution into a Solidarity Fund, to help towards the construction of more bathrooms for more families. This voluntary contribution amounts to 25% of the cost of one bathroom, paid in on a monthly basis over a period of three years. Most families contribute for the first year, but after that, many find it difficult to continue. What is important to the Citizen's Forum is that they perceive the project as a self-help project rather than a handout. This helps to keep the family's sense of dignity and self respect, and the Citizen's Forum emphasize that at all times this aspect of the family's sense of dignity and self respect, and the Citizen's Forum emphasize that at all times this aspect of the family's active participation both through their voluntary labour and through the monthly contribution.

The 8 bathrooms are now complete and the families are very happy with the outcome and would like to express their sincere gratitude to the World Mercy Fund Committee.


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