Notre Dame de la Merci, the parish church of the seaside village of Petite Riviere de Dame Marie in the Grand’Anse extends beyond the villagers’ pastoral needs. The school counts over 250 children and many come to attend class from the neighboring mountains. Those who live in town, however are plagued by a water source that is brackish and unsanitary due to the close proximity of the sea. An artesian well was requested by Father Belony, the pastor of the church to alleviate the resulting sickness and restore health to the community.
Fundraising for the well was made possible by the help of the 7th Grade class of St. Luke School in Whitestone who enlisted the support of their parents, their friends, their teachers and the students of St. Agnes Academy in College Point, Queens. In February Pere Belony and the well digging company (Kris Kapab) dug the well using very rudimentary means efficaciously.
Digging of the well
Water gushes out — but it’s dirty
Water runs until it becomes clear.
Children are the first to come get water.
No sooner was the clear water gushing from the earth that children ran home to tell others and returned with buckets to bring back clean water home.
Then an old man comes… look at his happy face
The word spread fast and soon over 50 people came to fetch the precious commodity.
The word is out… Everyone comes to get water
Pere Belony is third from the left. He said he was the first to drink from “St. Luke Well.”
Once all the village had their homes filled with clean water, work started to build a hand pump for the well. The well will be named “St. Luke Well.”
Now work starts to construct the top with a hand pump.
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