Rome, Italy — Kerala, India — Chardon, Ohio USA
These three geographically disconnected sites found a spiritual connection with the Sisters of Notre Dame in September, 2004. The connecting reality: WATER!
During the 2004 SND General Chapter held in Rome, water became the topic of conversation among Sisters Sreeja and Jayanti, chapter delegates from India, and Sister Sally Huston, a USA delegate from Chardon. Our Indian Sisters spoke of the poor farmers who lost precious ground water and suffered soil contamination due to over-drilling by the Coca-Cola Company.
These facts were shared with Chardon’s Environmental and Social Justice Committees. In response, both groups began to take steps in support of the people of India. In January 2005 Sr. Carol Brandt, co-chair of the Justice Committee, took part in a month-long United Nations immersion experience. In the context of “Water as a Human Right,” Carol learned of the coming 2005-2015 UN Decade for Water program. Meanwhile, Sr. Alice Dugar and Sisters of the Environmental Committee shaped a statement of corporate stance addressing the concerns that surfaced at the Chapter.
In March 2005, both committees attended a presentation on the “Growing Global Privatization of Water.” This meeting proved an effective forum for discussion. From this meeting our corporate stance broadened to embrace the goals of the UN Decade for Water. Within a few months, every Sister received the proposed statement of our corporate stance and materials for further education, reflection and discussion.
A presentation was given to the Province members at our annual province gathering in July. Voting began and was completed by mid-September. Our Sisters responded with a strong 94% approval of Water For Life which was officially released on September 12, 2005.”Water For Life” became a living corporate stance for the Chardon Sisters of Notre Dame on September 12, 2005.
Water For Life is one that commits us to transform our prayer, our planning and our personal and communal actions. We do this in concert with the United Nations millennium goals for global sustainability.
Water: cohesive, transparent, life-giving.
These three qualities of water teach us to undertake our corporate stance in the company of collaborators, friends and associates of Notre Dame.
Please join with us and share in personal, local and global transforming actions to restore and protect the waters entrusted to us by God’s Goodness.
India: Drought in Kala Dera made worse by Coca-Cola Bottling Plants.
Support our Missionaries… fast from Coca-Cola products!
More than a decade ago, Coca-Cola started its bottling plant in the northern village of Kala Dara despite a water report issued by the Central Ground Water Board that classified the groundwater of Kala Dera as already over-exploited. According to government figures, the water tables of Kala Dera fell nearly ten meters (over 30 feet) in just the first five years of Coca-Cola’s operations. Elsewhere, one of Coca-Cola’s largest plants located in the village of Plachimada in southern Kerala India has been shut down since March of 2004 due to similar water exploitation and resulting community opposition. The state government of Kerala has moved to seek compensation from Coca-Cola for the damages it has caused. For more information, visit: www.IndiaResource.org.