10th Anniversary Celebration
10th Anniversary Celebration Nov. 9, 2013 Kumbo, Cameroon
As the OK Clean Water project celebrates the 10th Anniversary since its inception in 2003 I take this opportunity to share my experiences during my trip to Kumbo, Cameroon. I was blessed to be a part of this joyous occasion and to be a part of this life-giving project over these ten years. I am also thankful for the many generous supporters. Thank You so much!
I travelled to Kumbo at the end of October with my niece, Ali, Sr. Cathy Molloy, the coordinator, Edwin Visi, the consultant, and his wife Doris. They had been in Canada to celebrate the 10th Anniversary at our OK Brunch on October 20th. We arrived in Kumbo at the beginning of the dry season to be greeted by beautiful warm sunshine and a welcoming spirit by all.
November 9th, proved to be a day for all to celebrate and show gratitude for the gift of clean water. The Catholic University Tobin Campus was decorated beautifully and was set up to accommodate approximately 400 people from the various villages in the Kumbo area.
As the ceremony began around 10:00 AM the hall quickly filled to capacity with dignitaries, dancing groups of women and children and spectators. It was truly a moving experience to hear the many speeches filled with hope and gratitude for the gift of clean water.
The speeches included messages of how the water has influenced their lives- a better quality of life, less illness and time to be involved in other activities in the communities. We also heard how villagers with clean water are pledging their support to other villages who still wait in hope.
It was evident from their speeches, songs and mutual support that these people realize and are committed to ongoing training in ensure that each village will maintain the project.
The speeches were interspersed with singing and dancing by school children in their bright uniforms and by women in their colourful dress. Their songs were filled with words of thankfulness for the precious gift of water. Words and praises such as WATER IS LIFE! TOGETHER WE ARE ONE! WATER GIVES ABUNDANT LIFE! As they danced together they brought the message of gratitude home.
The women of Tobin prepared a fabulous spread of food for all to enjoy and the beautifully decorated 10th Anniversary cake was shared by all present.
We were also reminded that we are a partnership- Ottawa- Kumbo- thus OK. We want this partnership to remain strong as together we work to bring the precious gift of water to more and more villages.
This occasion was truly one that will remain with me. I was blessed to have been present for this truly remarkable celebration and I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who have been loyal supporters of this project over the past ten years. As the people of Kumbo would say BERI WO! THANK YOU! May God bless each of you for your generosity and a special thanks to our dear Sr. Norma McCoy who brought this life-giving project to birth in 2003.
President, OK Clean Water Project