Sisters Celebrate 10 Years of Completed Water Projects


“Yes we’ll gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful river,” sang Dubuque Franciscan Sisters, Associates, and friends who gathered at the American Trust Rivers Edge Plaza Pavilion on the banks of the Mississippi on Saturday, October 21, to celebrate the Sister Water Project’s (SWP) 10 years of completed projects.

The celebration highlighted the generosity of donors as well as shared stories about how the SWP has impacted the lives of the beneficiaries.

The theme of the event was, “From Lemonade Stand to Generous Hands,” which was derived in part from a letter the SWP received from Matt and Sandi Warthan of Maquoketa, Iowa, and was read aloud at the celebration: “Please find enclosed a donation for the Sister Water Project.  This donation is money raised this summer from our 6-yr-old, Dylan, and, MJ, Warthan who is 8-years-old.  Dylan and MJ sold drinks at their lemonade stand twice in August and we are thrilled to say they raised $93 for the Sister Water Project. … Dylan repeatedly told us this summer, “I would like to sell drinks with my brother and all the money raised would go to fund water so those in need could drink in another country.”

Sentiments of gratitude were also expressed from Tanzania from our partners Safe Water for Life and Dignity (SWLD).

“Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary,” wrote James Nyangas of SWLD and read aloud by SWP Committee Member Brian Gilligan.  “The provision of clean and safe water has been very instrumental towards improving people’s livelihoods and poverty reduction.  There is a sharp decline of water borne diseases among households who received water projects from the SWP.  There is also a tremendous economic progress due to good health and availability of clean water.”

Since 2007 the Sister Water Project has completed a total of 167 water projects in Tanzania and 20 water systems in Honduras.  Today there are 225,000 villagers in Honduras and Tanzania who have access to a Sister Water Project well, simtank, or water system.  Since its inception, the Sister Water Project has raised more than $1,000,000.

For more information about the Sister Water Project, click here or contact Sister Kathy Knipper, OSF at (563) 583-9786 or