“It is unbelievable to see how our Dehonian missionaries have contributed to creation: they often achieve miracles with practically nothing in their hands!”
-Fr. Claude Bédard talking about SCJs in Cameroon
Fr. Claude Bédard and Br. Dieudonné Tchouteu, members of the Canadian Region, went to Cameroon at the end of 2012 to take part in the opening of the 100th anniversary year of the SCJs’ presence in the country. The region has supported several water projects there. The following is from Fr. Claude:
“Br. Dieudonné, who is originally from Cameroon, and I recently had the privilege of visiting our African confreres. It was also an opportunity to tour the projects that the Canadian Region has supported in Cameroon and Chad.
“In Cameroon, we have 109 confreres of whom three are missionaries in Chad. The projects that we support are focused on social education with an emphasis on wells of drinkable water and the installation of solar panels in parishes, convents, schools and health centers. Thus, we commit ourselves, with others, to fight the different epidemics that ravage the people.
“With the installation of water wells, we have helped to alleviate cholera and typhoid. As you can imagine, there is a long waiting list for these wells and solar panels. The cost of each water well and its installation is approximately $6,500 and the cost of each solar panel and its installation is approximately $600. We have chosen to support and to work in towns where the epidemics are most devastating. As an epidemic does not target any specific area or religion, we work with those where the need is greatest, whether the area is primarily a Muslim populated area or a Christian populated area.
“I had the honor to be present for the inauguration of three water wells, one of which was located in a predominantly Muslim town. It is unbelievable and moving to witness the gratitude of the people. In the Muslim town, as an expression of gratitude, I was offered the gift of bunches of plantain bananas, cassava carrots and a live chicken! During the ceremony opening the 100th anniversary year we were immersed in song and speeches: a very moving ceremony.
“It is unbelievable to see how our Dehonian missionaries have contributed to creation: they often achieve miracles with practically nothing in their hands! Yet throughout this visit a sadness seized me; a sadness to not be able to do more to help them build a better world.
“I saw and I believed!”