A Long Walk to Water FAQ


FAQs for students, teachers, and readers of A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)

1. How can I get in touch with Salva Dut?

Salva regrets that he cannot answer individual e-mails or letters.  He now lives in South Sudan, where he oversees WFSS drilling operations. Salva relocated to South Sudan when his country gained independence in 2011.  Salva visits the US once or twice a year to meet with US operations staff and WFSS Board of Directors in Rochester, NY.

There is a lot of information about him and the organization on this website. He hopes you will enjoy visiting the site to learn about his life and the work of Water for South Sudan. 

You may be interested in ordering a DVD featuring Salva making presentations of his story to children and adults, as well as many of the videos on this website. See excerpts of Salva’s presentations to young children and adults here.

2. How can I get in touch with Linda Sue Park, the author of A Long Walk to Water? Can she visit our school?

You can write to the following address:
Linda Sue Park
c/o Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003

(Please note that Linda Sue does not always receive mail in a timely manner, and it usually takes at least two months to receive a reply.)

Lnda Sue regrets that for the foreseeable future, she is unavailable for in-person or virtual school visits. If your school is interested in learning more about A LONG WALK TO WATER, she strongly recommends a skype or a visit from author/illustrator Jim Averbeck. Jim knows all about Salva's story because he illustrated the original version, which appeared as a newspaper serial. He's also written and illustrated several other wonderful books. 

CLICK HERE for more information. You can contact Jim through his website, jimaverbeck.com, or at inablueroom@gmail.com


3. Can Salva Dut come visit our school or do a Skype call?

Given Salva’s notoriety with so many students reading A Long Walk to Water, we receive many, many requests for Salva to visit or Skype with students. We are sorry to say that Salva is not able to make individual school visits or Skype calls.  The exception is that every year we run the Iron Giraffe Challenge.  Schools around the world commit to try and raise $1,000 and those that do are entered into a drawing to win a visit from Salva.  Second and third place are a Skype call with Salva or Linda Sue Park.

In addition, WFSS staff and board members are available to do Skype calls and some visits with schools. Please download speaker request form for more information.  An honorarium may apply. 

Our most recent presentation with Salva and Linda Sue Park was recorded on March 18, 2016 and is available here!


4. We would like to donate money to Water for South Sudan, or help in other ways. How can we do that?

It’s great that you want to help! Click here to find out how.

See what others have done: Supporters' Success Stories

See the Fundraiser Support Materials available to you.

Please see details on our new Iron Giraffe Challenge for schools, and help WFSS buy a new rig!

5. How much does it cost to drill a well?  Can our school get our name on a well?

The full cost to drill a well is about $15,000.  WFSS does offer the possibility of sponsoring a well starting at the $5000 donation level. Please see well sponsorship page for details.

6. Is Nya a real person? Can I write to her?

Nya is not a real person. She is a fictional representation of many children who live in South Sudan. If she were a real person, she would be very happy to know that you have read about her and are interested in her story!

7. How old is Salva now? When is his birthday?

Salva was born on December 1, 1974.

8. Can you recommend other books about the Lost Boys?

  • JUST ADD WATER, by Robin Hill and Charles Hall, illustrated by Sherry Stasse Wright, published by Water for South Sudan.  Salva Dut's story written for younger readers, grades three to six. 
  • THEY POURED FIRE ON US FROM THE SKY, by Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsian Deng, and Judy Bernstein. Adult memoir by three ‘Lost Boys’. Advanced middle-school readers and up.
  • WHAT IS THE WHAT, by Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng. Adult novel re-creating the story of a ‘Lost Boy’ refugee who settled in Atlanta. High school and up.
  • BROTHERS IN HOPE, by Mary Williams, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Picture book, ages 9-12.
  • GOD GREW TIRED OF US: A MEMOIR, by John Bul Dau and Michael S. Sweeney. This is a stark, first-person account of trauma and survival. Dau tells it quietly, in fast, simple prose true to the young teen's viewpoint. There is also a Sundance award winning film by the same title featuring John Bul Dau.

8. Additional Info:

Another interview with Salva and Linda Sue Park.

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