South Sudan Celebrates Second Anniversary of Independence

South Sudanese prepare for independence day in 2011.As South Sudan celebrated its second anniversary of independence on July 9, observers noted the need for continued international support for the world’s newest country.

The top United Nations envoy to South Sudan recently commended the new nation on the progress it has made in its first two years, but also noted there are many challenges facing the young nation including tackling insecurity, addressing human rights violations and strengthening public institutions. 

The UN head of Department of Peacekeeping Operation Hervé Ladsous visited South Sudan and pledged UN support in helping the new country develop into a modern state.  "We are very supportive to make the country a modern state with functioning institutions with full respect for human rights. This is the fundamental objective of the United Nations," said Ladsous, who was accompanied by other top officials of the peace keeping operation.

Ladsous said the challenges facing the country could not all be solved at once, but UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) is working to support it in becoming a modern state with working institutions and full respect for human rights.

“A lot has already been achieved in two years,” he said. “We are working solidly with the Government… to continue making progress in providing the citizens with all that they expect from the state.”


WFSS Drills 168th Well

31 Wells Already Drilled in 2013 Season

WFSS crews put finishing touches on the cement around a well in Gogrial East County.The Water for South Sudan crews have been hard at work, once again drilling successfully in some of the most difficult environments imaginable.  To date, crews have drilled 31 wells this year, for a new total of 168 wells drilled since 2005.  Drilling in the remote areas of South Sudan is only possible for WFSS crews in the dry season, approximately December through May.  Once the rainy season begins, "roads" turn to mud, making it impossible for the large WFSS trucks and drilling rig to travel.  

This year all wells have  been drilled in Warrap State, in northwestern South Sudan.  WFSS estimates that at least 46,500 more people now have access to fresh, clean water with these new wells.  With each well, a new future can emerge for a village and its people.  Girls and women no longer have to walk miles for water.  Markets spring up.  Schools and clinics can be established.

Donors from across the United States, from 49 states (every state except South Dakota, at this writing), and around the world, make this life-changing work possible.



John Prendergast Endorses Water for South Sudan

Enough Project Co-Founder Speaks About South Sudan, WFSS, How People Can Help


South Sudan - Building a New Nation from Water for South Sudan on Vimeo.

John Prendergast, world renowned co-founder of the Enough Project and Salva Dut, founder of Water for South Sudan, shared a stage at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY on March 4, 2013. The event was part of a day-long set of activities sponsored by The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Project, a student organization at the college.

Prendergast engaged the audience to identify their personal "enough moment"  that moment that inspires a person to take action of whatever sort to make a difference in the world. He urged attendees to identify how they can help, citing Salva and Water for South Sudan as an example of local action with global impact.

In this video interview Prendergast talks about why it's important for people in developed countries to pay attention to what's happening in South Sudan. He endorses WFSS and its work as one of the most effective organizations working on the ground in South Sudan.




Salva Dut to Speak at International Conference in Boston

Wheelock Conference Focuses on Global Community

WFSS founder Salva Dut will speak at the Wheelock College Conference- Global Challenges and Opportunities Facing Children, Youth and Families.  The College's 2013 International Conference will address three strands of importance to the global community:  education, health, and human rights.

Dut will participate on a panel on Thursday, June 20 entitled A Dwindling, Precious Resource:  Access to Clean Water and its Human Rights and Health Implications.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Cherie Blair, founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Kevin Carroll, speaker, agent for social change; and Kerry Kennedy, president, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

For more information on the conference or to register, click here.


2013 Drilling Season Has Begun!

Fresh water is pumped up from a new well.

WFSS crews have begun drilling and have completed 8 new wells as of this writing.  The first wells of this season have been drilled in Tonj East County. They will be heading to Gogrial County next.

Many villages still need access to clean water.  Drilling manager Ater Thiep works with local government officials and local village leaders to determine where the wells will go.  Once a well site has been determined, local villagers help prepare the site. When the well is completed WFSS trains the villagers to maintain the well.  

All 145 WFSS wells are still operational, supplying clean water to hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese.

The goal for this drilling season is 40 wells.  Drilling will continue through the dry season, into the month of May.



WFSS Co-Sponsors John Prendergast in Rochester Mar 4

WFSS is proud to be a co-sponsor for Monroe Community College's Visiting Scholar Series featuring human rights activist John Prendergast, founder of The Enough Project, on Monday, March 4.  WFSS Founder Salva Dut will travel from South Sudan to make an appearance at the event.

Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for over 25 years.  He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity.

Event starts at 7 PM in the Building 4 Theater on the Brighton Campus, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester 14623.  Parking is in Lot F. Tickets are available here.

Event is sponsored by Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Project, Civility Project/Enough is Enough Campaign, Damon City Campus and Water for South Sudan, Inc.  For more information please contact MCC at tickets@monroecc.edu or 585.292.2534.



The Walking Boys Play Available for School Use

THE WALKING BOYS tells the true story of Salva Dut and the "Lost Boys" of SudanEducator and playwright Robert McDonough wrote the play, The Walking Boys, to tell the story of WFSS Founder Salva Dut, and to give his students a chance to share the story with their community.  

The Walking Boys is a play based on the true story of Salva, who fled the war-torn region of South Sudan as a twelve year old boy.  McDonough brings Salva's autobiography to the stage, raising awareness of the plight of these young refugees and the ongoing struggle for autonomy of the South Sudanese. Written for a middle-school audience, the play depicts the horrifying reality of this journey without explicit violence; sound, light and choreography artistically punctuate the dramatic events, leaving no question about the very real dangers these children faced along the way.

This play was inspired by Salva Dut’s life story drawn from several hours-long interviews the playwright conducted with him, Salva’s unpublished autobiography, the book Just Add Water, written by Robin Hill and Charles Hall, and Robert gratefully acknowledges the inspiration of A Long Walk to Water, a book about Salva’s life written by Linda Sue Park.

McDonough is pleased to share his play with other students and teachers. Learn more about the play here.  Information on obtaining the script and rights to the play is available here


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