In the Nation’s Capital, Georgetown Students Work for Clean Water in Kenya
Tags: Africa, Georgetown University, Jesuit, Jesuit Father Richard Curry, jesuits, Society of Jesus
Georgetown University students partaking in a unique Catholic studies seminar have taken on an ambitious goal: to raise money to support clean drinking water in Kenya. The seminar, “Kenya: Clean Water Project,” is taught by Jesuit Father Richard Curry and was conceived by two students, Matt Demicola and Pat Clancy, who approached Fr. Curry with the idea.
During the course, which was first offered in January 2012, the class organizes and manages a business in order to raise money to provide drinkable water in Nairobi.
“We want to make a major contribution to clean water in Africa and work with the organizations already in existence so they can lean on the generosity of this university,” Fr. Curry said.
Students are handpicked for the course. “We were looking for zeal,” Fr. Curry said. “We were looking for people with a business background, but even if they didn’t have that, if they had zeal, we wanted them.”
Last year, the organization raised $4,000 for Sister Mary Owen, who co-founded the Nyumbani Children’s Home with Jesuit Father Angelo D’Agostino in 1992. Nyumbani Home was Kenya’s first facility for HIV-positive orphans.
This year the seminar is focusing on two goals: to become incorporated as a nonprofit organization and to actively build a well in Nairobi.
The organization’s emphasis on Catholic values, which uphold that clean water is a basic human right, benefits from Georgetown’s Jesuit network.
“This is not going to be a mission accomplished solely by 10 Georgetown students and a Jesuit priest,” Clancy said. “We’re going to have a lot of help from Jesuits over in Kenya, and there are Georgetown connections to St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School, a coeducational Jesuit high school in Nairobi. It’s definitely an ambitious goal, but it’s something we think is possible.” [The Hoya]