Instead of giving something up for Lent, Stanley Congregational Church, UCC in Chatham, New Jersey asked its members to donate $1.00 for each cup of coffee or tea they drank at coffee hour and support the “Water Wells of Machaze” project in Mozambique. This outreach effort collected $200.00. The scarcity of water in Machaze is a very serious problem and heavily affects women and girls who walk long distances and stand in line for hours to get one bucket of water. In many cases, girls are forced to abandon school to guarantee water for the family. In addition to the scarcity of water, past efforts to provide more access have had limited results because the water table in this area is very deep and wells have not been dug deeply enough.
The project consists of the construction of four water wells with depths more than 110 meters in each of four communities. It is estimated that about 100 families would benefit from each of these wells. The wells would be secured and the community members will be trained to insure that the wells are maintained and conserved. Water pumps would be powered by solar panels, an important consideration for Stanley Congregational Church as they work toward their own GreenFaith Certification, an interfaith environmental certification program for houses of worship.