WFS President Salva Dut and board member Glenn Balch had a whirlwind day in Washington DC on September 8. They were accompanied by WFS volunteer John Davidson, who worked tirelessly to set up meetings with many Capitol Hill staffers who might be able to assist WFS in securing federal funds.
Their meetings were most successful as they were able to share the mission and successes of WFS. All were impressed with WFS's ability to drill wells in Southern Sudan. These contacts will be most helpful as we move forward. WFS is beginning to explore contacts with USAID and other groups who are on the ground in Sudan. Additional funds for WFS will enable us to expand our mission to bring clean water to the people of Southern Sudan.
The people of Southern Sudan will vote in January 2011 to determine if they will secede from Northern Sudan. If this referendum passes, as many think it will, the Government of Southern Sudan will become the newest nation on the face of the earth. They will face many challenges. Water for Sudan will continue in our mission to drill wells.
We are most grateful for all the people who made time for our delegation in Washington.Our delegation began the day with California Senator Barbara Boxer's staffer Ann Norris, Senior Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor, and Ariana E. Reks, Legislative Aide.
Next they met with Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers led by Robin J. Lerner, Counsel; and Tamara Klajn, Professional Staff Member, plus Elana Broitman, Foreign Policy Advisor for New York State Senator Gillibrand and Chris Homan, Illinois Senator Richard J. Durbin's Foreign Policy Advisor.
They met with NYS reps including NY Senator Charles E. Schumer's staffer John Jones, NY Representative Daniel B. Maffei's staffer Brian Schaffner and NY Representative Chris Lee's staffer Laura Ringdahl. Kansas Senator Sam Brownbeck staffer Kody Kness was next on the agenda.
Following that meeting they had a phone conversation with Peter Quaranto, from the office of General Jonathan (Scott) Gration, Special Envoy to Sudan. They ended the day with Dr. Reuben Brigety, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Dept. of State
Along the way they were also able to meet Ben Dunham and Andrea Friedman, Legislative Assistants and Counsels, Senator Frank R.Lautenberg (NJ)
Salva and Glenn needed to return to Rochester. John Davidson stayed another day and was able to meet with USAID Congressional Liaison Officer Kate , and USAID Senior Program Advisor Greg Howell. And finally, John was able to meet with Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter's staffer John Monsif.