(2005) Our first international project began with the meeting of a Ugandan Priest on a Sabbatical rest period in Buffalo, NY in 2002. Fr. Evarist Lubega happened to be the priest director of the St. Charles Lwanga, Butende Technical Institute which we lovingly nicknamed "BTI." While giving Fr. Evarist an opportunity to share his story and the story of his many students at BTI, the congregation of St. Martin de Porres responded excitedly by initiating a Penny Collection Drive for the cause.
St. Charles Lwanga BTI is a vocational trade school that provides skills training to orphaned youth so as to prepare them for employment and self-survival in the city and towns. After a few months and 60,000 pennies later the work began to dig a hugh cistern well that would collect rain water from all the buildings through a system of galvanized gutters and pipes which the student's themselves fabricated. It joined all the run off rain water into the large cistern well. A small water pump enabled the water to rise from the underground tank to the water depository in order to fill the student's 5 gallon jerricans.
Soon, the volume of students in the school increased and the former three mile walk one way for dirty unsafe water ended. What a blessing a few American dollars was able to provide and what an accomplishment for all the students, faculty and staff of St. Charles Lwanga, Butende Technical Institute, BTI.