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Sharing God’s gifts

Helping hand: Bracken Ridge parishioner Terry 	Tolhurst and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sister Rita Grunke during her recent visit to Australia. Photo: Robin Williams

Helping hand: Bracken Ridge parishioner Terry Tolhurst and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sister Rita Grunke during her recent visit to Australia. Photo: Robin Williams

By Emilie Ng

VILLAGERS in Bori, South Sudan, will have their first taste of clean water when they install a water well with donations from Bracken Ridge parish this month.

Bori is the seventh South Sudan village to receive money for water wells from Bracken Ridge parish’s World Action Group.

World Action Group member Terry Tolhurst will send the money to Daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sister Rita Grunke, who missions in South Sudan, this month.

Wells provided by the parish’s donations are already operating in Amartnhom, Piny Path, Dhieuwel, Panamat, Dulo Boma and Titagok.

Mr Tolhurst said a well cost 10,000 Sudanese pounds to install and, after having started the project three years ago, the parish had raised more than $70,000 for wells in South Sudan.

He said the wells meant women did not have to make a painstakingly long three-hour journey to get their day’s supply of water from a “grotty, dirty river”.

The wells have also brought a new burst of life to the seven South Sudan villages, including a group of widows who have begun to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables.

In South Sudanese culture, women are usually “sustained” by their husbands, but can be neglected if they become widowed.

“A group of widows banded together and are creating market gardens, growing fruit and vegetables for daily needs, all thanks to the water wells,” Mr Tolhurst said.

Parish priest Fr Gerry Hefferan received news over Christmas that villages using the wells were making it through the heavy rain seasons which normally cut them off from the markets.

“The fruits they planted in the village with the water from the wells kept them going,” Fr Hefferan said.

“It was a little Christmas present to hear that.”

Bracken Ridge parish is now raising money to install an eighth well in South Sudan.

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