Drilling Season Just Ended — 28 Wells Completed!
104 Wells Since 2005!
Salva and the WFS crews brought water and life to 28 new villages this season, bringing the grand total of wells completed to 104!
Salva just spent a month in the US for some meetings (related story below) and brought us news of this season’s drilling. The political situation in South Sudan overshadowed the drilling this year, but our crews were still able to accomplish a tremendous amount. The teams have drilled 28 wells, ending just as the rainy season began. While the WFS crews were never in danger, they did need to wait for several weeks after the January 9 referendum, in which South Sudan voted overwhelming to become independent from Northern Sudan, to be certain they could drill safely. As a precaution, the crews only operated one rig so that they could be together and ready to evacuate if any danger arose.
Salva told the WFS board that, “I was worried so much this year about the January voting for South Sudan separation. Luckily no violence happened in the area where we were drilling. The mood for Southerners was very good toward separation from the North. The vote was 98 percent for South Sudan separation.”
Salva has returned to Sudan to wrap up the details from this drilling season. Many thanks to our dedicated crews in Sudan for persevering during a particularly challenging time. Thanks as well to the continued dedication of WFS COO John Turner and Vice COO Bob Smith for their work in the US supporting WFS African Operations. And, as always, Salva and all of us at Water for Sudan are deeply grateful to all of our supporters for enabling us to have another successful drilling season.
Salva Dut Receives Highest Award from Rotary International
The award was presented by Rotary International President’s Representative Sally Adelblue, a Rotary Past District Governor from Simi Valley, CA. In giving the award she explained, “The honor is the highest honor that is given. The importance of Service Above Self has long been recognized for Rotarians who understand the power and reward of helping your friends and neighbors in need. While many Rotarians distinguish themselves through service, it is important to recognize those outstanding few who have indeed made service a way of life.”
A LONG WALK TO WATER Wins Children’s Book Award
A LONG WALK TO WATER by Newbery award-winning author Linda Sue Park has been named the winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. The book is based on the early life of Salva Dut, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” and founder of Water for Sudan, Inc.
The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
Linda Sue Park tells us, “I can't really express how thrilled and honored I am by this award. An award for peace and freedom. Doesn't get any better than that. Best of all is sharing the joy with Salva Dut and Water for Sudan.”
The award is given by the Jane Addams Peace Association, founded in 1948 "to foster a better understanding between the people of the world toward the end that wars may be avoided and a more lasting peace enjoyed."
The Jane Adams Peace Association is the educational arm of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WIPF), founded in 1915 with Jane Addams as its first president. Jane Addams was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 1931.
A Quick Look at Water for Sudan, Inc.
Water for Sudan, Inc. is a US not-for-profit corporation under section 501(c) 3 of the IRS code. It is based in Rochester, NY and operates in South Sudan.
Water for Sudan, Inc. was founded in 2003 by former “Lost Boy” Salva Dut and a dedicated group of people who became the WFS Board of Directors. In 2005 WFS began the drilling work that brings safe, fresh water to the people of South Sudan’s remote villages. To date, in just six years 104 wells have been drilled, transforming the lives of thousands of Southern Sudanese, particularly women and girls, in one of the world’s poorest countries.
WFS does this work with a comparatively small budget and dedicated professionals who volunteer their time and expertise. We are able to direct 83% of our funds to direct African drilling expenses. That means that the administrative/management portion of our budget, including fundraising, is just 17%. According to non-profit professionals, such financial management is an amazing feat for any organization, particularly a small one with a limited staff and so dependent on volunteers and donations.
WFS is governed by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and financially supported by thousands of individuals, many civic associations, religious congregations, schools, corporations, and foundations enabling this humanitarian work.
Working in South Sudan requires much planning. It is an extremely challenging physical and political environment in which to operate. In addition, like other non-profit organizations in that country, WFS must be registered with the following entities:
- U.S. Department of the Treasury to conduct humanitarian activities in Sudan including the transfer of funds (Reg. No. SH-98179);
- Republic of Sudan Government Southern Sudan (GOSS) – Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission; and
- Government of Southern Sudan Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development.
Copies of our IRS letter of determination, all Government certifications, the latest Water for Sudan, Inc. Form 990 and financial statements are posted here. Water for Sudan, Inc. is also listed in Guidestar, a database of 1.8 million IRS-Recognized Nonprofits. A full report on Water for Sudan, Inc. can be found here.