Living in right relationship with all of creation.

The Dubuque Franciscan Sisters launched the Sister Water Project in 2006 to bring safe water to villagers in Tanzania and Honduras. Months were spent studying, discussing and praying about global water issues to fulfill the sisters mission statement of, “living in right relationship with all of creation.”

Since that time, the Sister Water Project has completed/restored over 400 well projects in Tanzania and 45+ water systems in Honduras.

“We are proud of our community commitment and grateful for all those who have joined us in this effort,” said Sister Kathy Knipper, OSF.  “The continued need is immense, the challenge remains, and our commitment is unwavering.


In Tanzania, out of its population of 59 million people, 16 million people (28% of the population) lack access to safe water. ( Only 50% of households in Honduras have access to quality water free of E. Coli. (National Survey of Demography and Health 2019)

Years and Counting

Well Projects

Water Systems

People Served
Sister Water Project - Tanzania


1 in 10 people in the world do not have access to clean water
Source: World Vision 2023

Providing clean water makes a significant impact on the lives of people in Honduras and Tanzania. Along with improved health, having access to clean, nearby water sources empowers women and children to improve their future economic and educational opportunities.

The name for the Dubuque Franciscans’ Sister Water Project is taken from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creation,” in which he refers to everything in creation as “sister” or “brother” such as “Brother Sun,” “Sister Moon,” “Brother Wind,” etc.

The Sister Water Project Speakers Bureau offers at no cost, presentations to school, civic organizations, or non-profit groups. Members of the Sister Water Project Committee seek to share the Sister Water story and help raise awareness about water issues and water usage.

To schedule a presentation or to learn more, contact:

Sister Maureen Leach, OSF

Honduras trip
Honduras trip

Get Involved

The Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque are seeking volunteers for a service trip to Honduras with the Sister Water Project July 22-August 1, 2024. The Sister Water Project Service Team will help make potable water accessible to people in a rural village in Honduras.

Team members must be 21 years old (or 16 and older if traveling with a parent/guardian); capable of physical work at high altitudes; and be willing to participate fully in the work, prayer, and team building of the daily schedule. Team members will also need to have a passport that will still be valid at least six months after the end of the trip. Travel insurance and the appropriate vaccines are highly recommended.

The cost is expected to be $1,500—which may vary depending on the number of participants. The service trip fee includes round trip travel (ground and air from Dubuque to Honduras), food, and lodging in Honduras.
For more information about the trip, contact Sister Maureen Leach at (210) 621-5755. or To apply for the Sister Water Project service trip to Honduras, email Stacy Francois at for an application. Applications are due by Friday, March 22, 2024.

Tanzania trip


Of donations to the Sister Water Project goes towards water systems in Honduras or Tanzania

Interactive Map

Select the pins to view the projects in Tanzania and Honduras.

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