Celebrating World Water Day!

Just Water, Drilling Updates, and Events in NYC & NJ

Water for South Sudan joins the world in recognizing the need for clean water for all people.

March 22 marks the annual celebration of World Water Day. WFSS is celebrating with an initiative called "Just Water" to raise awareness of the many needs that water fills, and how access to clean water is an inalienable human right.

Please consider supporting this initiative by learning more about the impacts of clean water on the people of South Sudan, and by sharing this information with others. Please also consider donating to our campaign for World Water Week. 


WFSS fully supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our work in South Sudan underscores the importance of SDG Goal #6, which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The UN notes that water and sanitation are at the core of sustainable development, critical to the survival of people and the planet. Goal 6 not only addresses issues relating to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, but also the quality and sustainability of water resources.



Salva in D.C., NJ, and NYC

WFSS Founder Salva Dut and Executive Director Lynn Malooly were in D.C. earlier this week for a congressional panel on WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) and Agriculture. The rest of the week they will be in New York City and New Jersey for meetings, interviews, and special events. Please check our upcoming events page for more information on meeting them and hearing more about our work.

Work Continues in South Sudan

The WFSS teams are continuing their work in South Sudan, bringing access to clean water and hygiene education to those in need. Our 2017 season has been ongoing. Unrest in South Sudan, and famine being declared in parts of the country, only underscores the importance of our work, and of our grassroots efforts for development in the world's newest country.



As of March 21, the WFSS Drilling Team has completed 10 new wells. This year the drilling team is focusing on drilling wells in school areas.

The WFSS Rehab Team, a new pilot program this year, has completed the rehabilitation of 14 of our oldest wells. Our 2015 well evaluation project showed us that some of the oldest wells needed to have the cement platforms surrounding the wells repaired. The new rehab team has set out to repair these wells to our updated design specifications. WFSS is now using a stronger cement mixture for all well platforms, and has also lengthened the channel leading from the pumps down to the drinking pools for animals.

a rehabbed well with updated design.

a rehabbed well with updated design.

This year we have two hygiene education teams in the field, traveling with both drilling and rehab teams, where they work with villagers to identify hygiene practices in need of improvement.

Although the news out of South Sudan continues to show the struggles of the new nation, WFSS has been able to continue our operations. We are in regular contact with our teams who report that they are safe, and able to travel and continue regular operations.

Thank you to all of our supporters around the world who enable our work. 

We will continue to update you on the progress of this season. Please check back here for regular updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the WFSS email news here.

WFSS - A Rochester Story

WFSS Founder Salva Dut and the late John Turner, WFSS's first COO

WFSS Founder Salva Dut and the late John Turner, WFSS's first COO

While many know of Salva Dut's journey as a former "Lost Boy" of Sudan, and his subsequent founding of Water for South Sudan, not as many know another part of the story-- how Rochester, New York, Salva's adopted US home, played a pivotal role in the founding of this nonprofit.

It was the Rochester, NY community, and friends that Salva made there, that helped establish what was then Water for Sudan as a US 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Read more about how Salva's time in Rochester, (including working at Wegmans!), helped start an effort that has been transforming lives in South Sudan since 2005.

Boston Travels with Salva

WFSS Founder Salva Dut presented at TEDxBeaconStreet on Saturday, Nov 19, where he shared his journey as one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. Salva's inspiring and moving TEDx talk is available here.

Thanks to Boston-area WFSS Board member Anne Turner, he was also able to visit a number of schools, including three middle schools who had sponsored wells (Pentucket, Rupert Nock, and Concord (Peabody and Sanborn), and attend a teen event in Brookline. 

In addition, WFSS hosted Celebrate with Salva at the Waterworks Museum on Nov. 17. Supporters came from all over the Boston area; a few "super supporters" traveled much farther, including some teachers from Plattsburgh, NY, but the prize went to Gladys Mouton and her son Stephen who drove 26 hours from Louisiana to meet Salva, their hero!

Watch Salva's moving and inspiring TEDx talk.

Watch Salva's inspiring TEDx talk, where he tells of his journey as a "Lost Boy" of Sudan.

School Visits in Boston

Thanks for the warm welcome from Pentucket & Rupert Nock Middle Schools, Mario Umana School, Beacon Academy, and Concord Middle School (Peabody & Sanborn). 

Thanks to all who came out to meet Salva and WFSS! Salva lives in Africa now, and only travels to the US about twice a year. Schools around the world do have the opportunity to win a visit with Salva through our Iron Giraffe Challenge. Each school year WFSS challenges schools to raise at least $1,000 for WFSS. Schools who complete the challenge by the deadline are then entered into a drawing to win a visit from Salva. Details available here. 2017 pledge forms due Feb. 15. All funds are due March 31, 2017.


Waterworks Museum Celebration

We had a wonderful time at the lovely Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Boston. We met many supporters, including a number of teachers and students. Salva shared his story and was able to visit with many attendees, who were also able to visit the impressive displays of early municipal water systems.

TEDxBeaconStreet and Brookline Teen Center

Salva shared his story of hope and perseverance at TEDxBeaconStreet on Nov. 19, 2016. Watch his talk here. Thank you to the Brookline Teen Center for hosting our final event in Boston, where Salva again told of his journey as a "Walking Boy." We enjoyed meeting so many enthusiastic supporters, many of whom had read the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water, by award-winning author Linda Sue Park.

Salva is now back home in Africa, helping the WFSS teams prepare for our upcoming season. Thanks to supporters in Boston, across the US, and around the world, WFSS will continue to transform lives in South Sudan. Stay in touch with WFSS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for our email newsletter here. Please share our story and help us do even more.

"Rooted in Rochester, Blooming in South Sudan" Celebration Brunch a Success

WFSS Founder and Senior Advisor Salva Dut traveled to the US for a whirlwind trip in November, visiting our headquarters in Rochester, and helping us celebrate the success of our Watering the Seeds of Change campaign. Boston photos, and a link to Salva's TEDx talk, will  be coming soon.

Rochester Celebration Photos

Smiles and hugs with Salva, dancers, awards, auctions and more at our Rochester Celebration.

Thanks to all who attended our "Rooted in Rochester, Blooming in South Sudan" Brunch in Rochester!  In addition to a wonderful celebration, including a special water dance entitled "Everyone's Delicious" by Present Tense Dance, and the WFSS Marketplace, we honored the seven original board members of WFSS:  Scott Arrington, John Bevier, Jim Blake, Nancy Frank, Robin Hill, Chris Moore and Nancy Reinert. They all received the inaugural Founder's Award.

We also presented our new Long Walk Award to Ben Dobbin, an AP Reporter who wrote the first national news story about Salva, and has traveled to South Sudan with WFSS twice, and his wife, Linda Sue Park, author of the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water, which has brought Salva's story to readers around the world.

Thanks to all the attendees, sponsors and volunteers who helped make the day so special.

Handwashing Saves Lives

Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 

Celebrated annually on October 15 since 2008, Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

Global Handwashing Day is designed to:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap

Source:  http://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/about-ghd/

The 2016 Global Handwashing Day theme was “Make Handwashing a Habit!” 

In South Sudan, Global Hand-Washing Day was celebrated at Muktah Primary School, near WFSS’s Operations Center in Wau. T-shirts and caps designed by UNICEF in partnership with the government were distributed.

The celebration was opened with words of prayers from the Bible and Quran, presented by Christian and Muslim students.

Many NGOs and government institutions participated, including: WFSS, Red Cross, IOM, UNICEF, WHO, OXFAM GB, Meltaster International. Several government ministers and
other distinguished guesses were also invited.

Other invited guesses included students and teachers from 10 different schools who presented drama and songs related to promotion of hygiene in South Sudan. The main event of the celebration a hand-washing demonstration.

Representatives from NGOs WASH Cluster and Government delivered speeches, and gifts of soap were given to all the participating schools.

WFSS Sanitation Manager David Majok attended the event and reported that “It was fantastic for WFSS to be part of this event!”


Bringing Water to Remote South Sudanese Villages

Villagers in bookanyara village receive hygiene education from wfss.

Villagers in bookanyara village receive hygiene education from wfss.

Water for South Sudan (WFSS) continues to deliver on its mission to transform lives in South Sudan by bringing access to fresh water and hygiene education. 

Our team was able to drill 23 new wells in the 2015-16 season, and is hard at work planning for the upcoming 2016-17 season with goals of drilling up to 40 new wells, rehabilitating 20 older wells, and bringing hygiene education to all villages in which we drill.

There are many ways to support our work, through giving online on our website, and also supporting online projects like the WFSS well through GlobalGiving.org

Check out our latest progress report on GlobalGiving!


WFSS Seeks Lead Mechanic in Wau

WFSS is currently seeking a full time lead mechanic for its Operations Center in Wau. The lead mechanic will be responsible for general mechanical work, repairing and maintaining cars, trucks, and generators.


Applicant must be a South Sudanese citizen with at least two years’ experience as a mechanic with an International or National NGO, and must present a letter of recommendation from a former employer.

Applicant must have a basic understanding of diesel and gasoline engines.

Applicant must be fluent in English and able to communicate with US personnel in English, including technical description of problems, parts, and tools, and without needing the assistance of additional South Sudan management/staff.

For the full job description, all requirements, and application information, please see job description here.

WFSS Celebrates World Humanitarian Day and World Photo Day

"World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk."
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

WFSS joins the global community in marking World Humanitarian Day. We honor all those who work to aid the suffering in our world. We especially honor our team in South Sudan, who work tirelessly to improve processes and impact as we work to bring access to clean water and hygiene education in the world's newest country.


As we also mark World Photo Day, here are some photos of our team members in South Sudan. Today, and ever day, we salute you!

Students Raise $35,000 to Benefit WFSS

port chester  middle school students present a check for $25,000 to wfss board member jack mckelvey (far right) as part of their lead2feed award.

port chester  middle school students present a check for $25,000 to wfss board member jack mckelvey (far right) as part of their lead2feed award.

Our student supporters across the US and around the world continue to amaze us with their passion, enthusiasm and results in raising funds for Water for South Sudan (WFSS).

One of the most recent outstanding efforts comes to us from Port Chester, NY where students at Port Chester Middle School helped raise $35,000 for WFSS.

Inspired by A Long Walk to Water, the New York Times bestseller by Linda Sue Park, the students raised $10,000 in 10 weeks and also won a grand prize in the national Lead2Feed Challenge, an annual contest sponsored by Lead2Feed. The award brought another $25,000 to donate to WFSS, for a total of $35,000 which will fund two full water wells to be named for Port Chester Middle School. Lead2Feed is a leadership program that nurtures a new generation of leaders while working to end hunger or meet another need in their communities.

Students in Allison Silverman’s eight grade leadership classes came up with the project, as part of the annual Lead2Feed Challenge, after reading A Long Walk to Water, which is required for all seventh graders in New York State. They decided to develop a project to help fight the global water crisis. Naming their project PC Hydration Nation they set out to encourage every student in the school to donate $10 over a span of two and a half months.

About 2,400 schools submitted projects to the challenge, which required them to go through three rounds of judges . Port Chester Middle School was named one of six grand prize winners, earning them $25,000 to be donated to the nonprofit of their choice (WFSS), as well as $10,000 worth of technology—they chose iPads—to the middle school.

Teacher Allison Silverman noted that her students went far beyond what she had expected. “This was one of the greatest accomplishments of my career,” she said.

Read more about Port Chester’s award and the Lead2Feed Challenge here.

Clean Water for a Happy Mother's Day

Women walking for water in south sudan

Women walking for water in south sudan

Cards, chocolates and flowers will be given to many women this Sunday. As preparations are made to honor moms on Mother's Day, May 8, the need for many women in the developing world is starkly different. Women need clean water to keep themselves and their children safe, healthy and alive.

The health of women and children, particularly pregnant women and young children, is often directly linked to the access of clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Without clean water, women and children can be more prone to infection. Without access to water or proper hygiene and sanitation (toilets) women and children are more vulnerable to experiencing violence as they must travel farther to collect water or relieve themselves. Without access to clean water, the hope of an education is gone, as often times, the task of collecting water falls to girls. When girls spend their days walking for water, as they often do in South Sudan, there is no time to attend school.

Read more about the need for complete WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) programs to ensure maternal health: No Maternal Health Without Clean Water by Katie Millar, MPH, RN, Technical Writer and Publication Coordinator, Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene would be our wish to help every mother have a Happy Mother's Day.

To give the gift of clean water to women and children, in honor of a mother in your life, please visit our donate page.

The Importance of Sanitation for All, Especially Children

After seeing the success of our hygiene education program, Water for South Sudan plans to launch a pilot sanitation program next year. Sanitation is defined as “the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces." Sanitation differs from hygiene in that it provides the means for people to be hygienic. Hygiene is the ability to participate in “conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease."  

The WFSS Hygiene Program has helped South Sudanese villagers learn the importance of maintaining good hygiene by changing behaviors such as hand-washing. Our hygiene team helps villages identify hygiene practices in need of improvement, and helps create a plan to move forward. We have seen how improved hygiene practices can help extend the impact of clean water. Now, it is time for WFSS to take the next step and develop sanitation programs for the people we serve.

Sanitation is important for all, helping to maintain health and increase life-spans. However, it is especially important for children. Around the world, over 800 children under age five die every day from preventable diarrhea-related diseases caused by lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. In addition, diarrhea causes children to lose their appetites, which can lead to malnourishment. Limited access to sanitation has become such a worldwide problem that 1 in every 4 children suffer from stunted growth. This leads to “irreversible physical and cognitive damage."



Developing a sanitation program in South Sudan is the logical next step for WFSS and will enable us to fully move into the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector, and will help build better health for those we serve.

Our plans for 2017 include a pilot sanitation project, most likely at a school. Improved sanitation can help maintain school attendance through latrine facilities like this one pictured below. This facility was constructed by UNICEF in Lohanosy, Madagascar, outside of the Lohanosy Primary School.

Sanitation is a vital piece of health and development around the world. The WFSS sanitation program will help address access to health and education in the world’s newest country.

Please join us in helping to bring access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation. To donate, please visit our donate page


WFSS in the News on World Water Day

Water for South Sudan's celebration of World Water Day, March 22, 2016 included news coverage in Rochester, NY and online in the Huffington Post and Forbes.com, as WFSS kicked off our Watering the Seeds of Change Capital Campaign. On March 22 WFSS had already raised $750,000 toward a goal of $1,500,000 to replace worn drilling equipment, bolster staff in the US and South Sudan, and develop a pilot sanitation project.

An article by Ryan Scott, Founder and CEO at Causecast, appeared on both the Huffington Post and Forbes.com. In his article, On World Water Day, A Story To Make You Feel Good About The World, Scott talks about WFSS Founder Salva Dut and how New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park inspired the book's publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) to donate $15,000 to drill a well in South Sudan.  HMH also created an employee giving campaign which raised an additional $15,000 in just two weeks.

Scott noted that the employee effort "thrilled the employees of HMH and drew many of them closer to their company, connecting them with the larger purpose and impact of their jobs. All because of one boy’s determination to survive and then help the people he left behind."

WFSS Interview on World Water Day

WFSS Founder Salva Dut and WFSS Executive Director Lynn Malooly were interviewed on local Fox news show "Good Day Rochester."

Salva talked about WFSS operations in South Sudan and how a new well impacts a village.  Salva said that "drilling the well is just the beginning, you see a lot happening around the well." He noted that clean water brings improved health and greater opportunity for all, including opportunities for children to go to school.

"That seed of water you plant triggers so many things," he said. Salva also thanked the Rochester community for helping him start WFSS, and also thanked supporters around the world for helping WFSS carry out its mission in the world's newest country.

He noted that today "we are all one village, taking care of one another." 


Other media coverage included a radio story on local PBS affiliate WXXI.