WFSS Seeks Assistant Treasurer to Join Board of Directors in Rochester, NY

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Water for South Sudan, Inc., a Rochester-based nonprofit organization which provides water, sanitation and hygiene services in South Sudan, seeks a volunteer finance/accounting professional to work with current treasurer and possibly transition to Corporate Treasurer by June 2020.

Treasurer responsibilities include:

·    create annual budget with Finance Committee and staff;

·    work with audit committee as necessary to facilitate audit with outside CPA firm;

·    review tax return prepared by CPA firm and assist in providing data as needed;

·    support WFSS staff with QuickBooks and general business practices;

·    review payroll, credit card statements, and monthly bank reconciliations;

·    attend meetings, such as finance committee, executive committee and board meetings;

·    serve as backup to Executive Director for US payroll processing and check signing;

·    oversee investment of funds in accordance with established investment policy;

·    support staff as needed to review South Sudan finances and bookkeeping.

 

Time commitment to start includes bi-monthly Board meetings, and possibility of monthly Executive Committee meetings, both held on Wednesday evenings, 5:15-7:15 p.m.

WFSS Mission Statement:  Water for South Sudan delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need.

For more information, or to apply, please send letter, with resume, to Lynn Malooly, Executive Director, Water for South Sudan, PO Box 25551, Rochester, NY 14625 or email to lynn.malooly@waterforsouthsudan.org

WFSS Young Professionals Kick-Off Event

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

We're excited to kick-off our new WFSS Young Professionals group with a visit from Founder and Senior Advisor Salva Dut.

Join us for networking and drink specials! Hear exciting updates from Salva and be a part of the future of an international organization.

RSVP is required as space is limited. We look forward to seeing you Mullers Cider House!

WFSS Seeks Communications Intern at Penfield, NY Office

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Water for South Sudan (WFSS) delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need. The US 501(c)3 nonprofit organization was founded in Rochester, NY in 2003 by former “Lost Boy” of Sudan Salva Dut.

We are looking for a Communications Intern to assist in a number of areas.

Description 

WFSS seeks a motivated, organized and reliable individual to assist in communications and data projects. Position is unpaid but available for academic credit.

Responsibilities

  • Update and maintain WFSS’s social media presence, including scheduling posts and ensuring all accounts portray innovative content

  • Draft monthly blog posts and press releases

  • Assess current fundraising materials available to donors and establish a Fundraising Kit of key resources, creating new documents where necessary

  • Assist in the development of the H2O Project by building an online platform or app

  • Collaborate with staff on new ideas and designs for marketing and communications

  • Assist as needed with WFSS map of wells, and interactive map of school supporters

  • Help maintain well data and donor database

Experience/Personal Qualifications:           

  • Completed or working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, or a related field

  • Previous internship experience in non-profit work and/or public relations a plus

  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite required. Proficiency with Illustrator, InDesign, XD and Spark highly desired

  • Knowledge and prior use of social media platforms required

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to manage multiple tasks

  • Must have interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate in a professional manner

  • Commitment to WFSS mission

Start Date:             This is a fall internship that will begin in September 2019. Exact dates are negotiable.

Hours:                     8-10 hours per week

To Apply:              Please send a cover letter and resume to Elissa Rowley, elissa.rowley@waterforsouthsudan.org by September 13, 2019

Amazing Kids Feature

Our donors contribute in ways large and small to enable our work. We are happy to shine a spotlight this month on Jameson D., a 15-year-old student from New York, for his efforts to support Water for South Sudan (WFSS).

Like thousands of students around the U.S. and the world, Jameson D., a 15-year-old from New York, learned about Salva and Water for South Sudan while reading A Long Walk to Water.  After reading the book at age 11, Jameson was thrilled to start fundraising. Using social media to advertise, visiting local businesses, and reaching out in his community for support, Jameson planned a Walk for Water and raised over $1,100. Shortly after the walk, he had the opportunity to meet Salva at the first annual Brunch to Benefit WFSS—the first of many special visits. After meeting Salva for the first time, Jameson said, “He was very awesome, very inspiring, and very tall!”

He didn’t stop there. Jameson has continued to support WFSS over the past three years and now volunteers with our Operations Manager, researching tools and tents for our field teams in South Sudan. While conducting his research on tents, Jameson decided to fundraise. Again, reaching out to the community and using social media, he was able to raise over $400 to cover the expense of 14 newtents for the drilling team to use during the 2019-20 season.

Jameson, Salva, Lion, and AJ (2019)

Jameson, Salva, Lion, and AJ (2019)

Though he makes it sound easy, Jameson had this advice for people interested in fundraising: “Find a cause you’re passionate about—something you really want to change in the world. Set a date, share it with your community, and put it out on social media. Instead of looking at the entire fundraiser or activity you’re planning, break it down by steps to get it done.” When talking to people in the community about his fundraising, Jameson said he talks about the book and shares the specific cause.

Not only does Jameson support WFSS, he also loves volunteering with the Challenger Baseball Program, Foodlink, and Salvation Army. Jameson’s mom Jessi had this to say about her son’s efforts: “I’m so proud of him and the way he wants to make a difference in the world.”

Though he’s not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, Jameson loves math and science. His favorite activities are video gaming and traveling. He’s already visited many U.S. states, Iceland, France, Germany, England, and the Netherlands.

We are so grateful to Jameson, his family, and his community for supporting WFSS and watering the seeds of change in South Sudan!

Do you know an amazing kid?

Click the button below to complete the nomination form.




Super Supporter of the Month: Michelle Hammond and Stephen Decatur Middle School

Fun with Mrs. Hammond in the classroom

Fun with Mrs. Hammond in the classroom

Water for South Sudan is pleased to highlight Michelle Hammond, the students and staff of Stephen Decatur Middle School, and their community for their outstanding support. Since 2017, they have raised over $33,000, enabling us to drill two new wells and deeply impacting lives in South Sudan.

We sat down with Michelle Hammond, a 7th grade teacher at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Maryland, to learn more about how she and her students have been inspired to support Water for South Sudan.

WFSS: How did you first get involved with WFSS?

MH: About three years ago we started implementing the state standards to bring more non-fiction into the curriculum. I connected with our social studies teacher and selected A Long Walk to Water to read with my class. The social studies teacher helps students to understand the geography of Africa while I focus on South Sudan. In science, the students learn about natural water filtration and why the aquifer is safer than ground water, as a great way to connect to the book.

I will never forget that first year reading the book. One of my students stood up and said, “We have to do something to help these people.” We found the WFSS website and set a goal to raise $2,000 at our first Water Walk. We had 350 kids participate the first year and I was blown away by how much money the kids were bringing in—they shared their ice cream money, birthday checks, and change—helping to raise over $8,800.

WFSS: What has surprised you most about WFSS over the years?

MH: I could not believe WFSS only had four full-time and one part-time staff members in the U.S. to help manage everything. They make it so easy to support this cause.

WFSS: What do you wish other people knew about WFSS?

MH: I wish they knew how far the money goes. A donation of $15,000 will save hundreds of people from illness and help to provide schools and jobs.

There are always new ways to raise awareness and funds. This water well was created by Michelle’s son to collect change.

There are always new ways to raise awareness and funds. This water well was created by Michelle’s son to collect change.

WFSS: When talking to your friends and family about WFSS, what do you say?

MH: I spread the word by talking about the need for clean water and sharing the book. My niece is in college and must do a service project so I gave her the book. She now plans to host her own fundraiser this year.

I also believe that no matter your trade or job, you can help. My 28-year-old son is a mechanic and he made a well for the school kids out of old tires. Kids throw their change in the tire after lunch as an easy way to fundraise.

WFSS: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

MH: I’m an introvert and read books to recharge after school. I collect chickens on the side of the road and raise them with a good life.

In 2007, I was named Maryland Teacher of the Year. This is an in-depth process and you must be nominated at the school, district, and state level to win. I also submitted a portfolio about my teaching philosophy—both conventionally and unconventionally. I was given the option to take a year off of school to travel and give speeches, speak to state legislatures, and attend conventions for professional development. I met President Bush and won a car (Pontiac G6)—the first new car we ever owned. I traveled with other teachers and even attended space camp. Many teachers who win end up leaving for a higher-level position but I didn’t want to leave the classroom and my students.

WFSS: How would someone describe you?

MH: Quirky, driven, and always with my nose in a book.

We are so incredibly thankful to work with Michelle and be supported by the students and staff of Stephen Decatur Middle School, and supporters from their community. You are watering the seeds of change in South Sudan!

Livestream with Salva Dut and Linda Sue Park

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM EST

Monroe Community College

We invite you to tune in to this Livestream presentation by Salva Dut and author Linda Sue Park. They will discuss Salva's story as told in A Long Walk to Water, the work of Water for South Sudan, and more! Presented in conjunction with the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project, this presentation will be streamed live from Monroe Community College in Rochester.

Salva and Linda Sue will answer pre-screened questions during the presentation. If you would like to submit a question for a chance to have it featured, please email questions@waterforsouthsudan.org.

The Livestream recording will be available on YouTube for two weeks after the event.

A Tremendous Year for WFSS- 399 Wells Drilled Since 2005!

Water for South Sudan (WFSS) completed the 2018-19 season with 399 wells drilled since 2005. We are on the brink of an impressive milestone, and look forward to drilling our 400th well to start the next season!

WFSS has become about so much more than drilling. While we drilled 50 new wells this past season, we also rehabbed 65 of our older wells, and completed 110 hygiene trainings – helping expand the impact of clean water in every village we visited.

The drilling team completed 42 wells during the regular season, and went on to drill eight additional wells during an extended season in June, using the new drilling rigs that were purchased in January. The rehab team got off to an early start and rehabilitated 60 of our older wells by April and then joined the drilling team to help them reach their goals.

WFSS Country Directors Ajang Agok and Ater Akol Thiep traveled to US headquarters in June. They met with staff and board members to debrief on the season, plan for the 2019-20 season, and work on strategic planning for the future.

Country Director Reflects on Season, Impact of WFSS

Country Director Ajang “AJ” Agok said that the WFSS teams did tremendous work and had a record-breaking year, going over goal on rehab (60 wells, plus 5 additional rehabs in August), and drilling 50 new wells, exceeding the initial goal of 40.

When asked about the impact of our work, AJ noted that WFSS “has had great impact on the people of South Sudan. Most importantly, the people appreciate the consistency of WFSS, when we drill wells, and when we come back to rehab them. Most NGOs never come back. WFSS goes farther than many NGOs, working in remote rural areas. The villagers are so appreciative of WFSS, its team members, and donors. We are all pleased to see WFSS keep going, and grow, to serve more people in South Sudan.”

Photos from 2018-19 Season

 Plans for 2019-20

·       Launch second drilling team, operating in tandem with current team

·       Create additional hygiene team, to travel with new drilling team

·       Assess site for next school latrine project

·       Continuous improvement in all we do!

All of this happens thanks to the generous support of our donors around the world. THANK YOU!

Super Supporter of the Month: GlobalGiving

Village of Makuach Rual, where GlobalGiving’s first well was drilled in 2012.

Village of Makuach Rual, where GlobalGiving’s first well was drilled in 2012.

Water for South Sudan is pleased to highlight GlobalGiving, the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world.

With an organizational mission to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving’s impact is about more than moving money to where it’s needed most; it’s also about helping nonprofits access information and ideas that will help them listen, learn, and grow.

Since 2011, GlobalGiving supporters have donated over $42,000 to WFSS, helping to deeply impact lives in South Sudan. You can find Water for South Sudan’s project on GlobalGiving here.

We interviewed Alison Carlman, Director of Impact and Communication at GlobalGiving to learn more about the organization and their beliefs about the global community.

WFSS: How did it all begin?

AC: By 1997, Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle were convinced many key innovations in global development weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Believing there had to be a better way to provide aid, they started an experiment. In February 2000, they invited any social entrepreneur to pitch his or her earth-changing idea at the World Bank. The 300+ participants ranged from a group of NASA scientists to a woman who’d never before left her Ugandan village.

The event was a success, and Mari and Dennis realized good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. They also realized there were many others who wanted to support good ideas. So they left the Bank to launch the world’s first crowdfunding community in 2002. Today, GlobalGiving connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. We make it possible for donors of all types and sizes to give to nonprofits of all types and sizes, anywhere in the world. We also give nonprofits access to the tools and training they need to raise more money and to become more effective at improving their communities.

WFSS: What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the projects supported by GlobalGiving?

AC: We believe everyone in the world should be able to access the money, knowledge, and community input to make the world a better place. We believe in community-led change. People themselves, especially those closest to the front lines, know what they need. We start with trust. And we hold ourselves and our partners to an expectation of systematic curiosity, feedback, and learning: We call it Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.

WFSS: What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating?

AC: GlobalGiving makes it possible for you to give to community-driven organizations that are working to educate children, preserve our environment, build houses, train women (and men) with job skills, and do hundreds of other amazing things. We also give nonprofits access to the funding, tools, training, and support they need to be more effective at making our world a better place. GlobalGiving is a top-rated charity on Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and BBB. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. Find out more at www.globalgiving.org.

WFSS: What do you think will change about funding global projects over the next five years?

AC: I think we'll continue to see donors understanding why community-led approaches are best. Community-led means being accountable to the vision and priorities set by a community. Community-led approaches put the people most affected by the work in the lead, ensure diverse representation in decision-making, mobilize the community’s own resources, and use feedback to improve. They are more sustainable and a better "solution" in the long term. GlobalGiving makes it easy to give to vetted community-led organizations in 170 countries!

WFSS: What is it like working for an organization that is helping to improve the lives of people around the world?

AC: It's a true privilege to work with a team of folks who care about creating access and resources for people who want to change things in their own communities. We're committed to learning and improving as we go, and I love learning from organizations around the world every day!

Thank you to Alison, the staff at GlobalGiving, and supporters from around the world for helping to water the seeds of change in South Sudan. Your support will continue to impact lives for years to come.

WFSS Finishes Regular Season with 42 New Wells - 391 Wells Drilled since 2005!

Well sponsored by Concordia International at the Aduktik Primary School in Gogrial State, South Sudan.

Well sponsored by Concordia International at the Aduktik Primary School in Gogrial State, South Sudan.

As the rainy season brings our regular operations season to a close, we are pleased to report that WFSS went over goal and was able to drill 42 new wells! Thanks to the generosity of our donors around the world, 42 villages and schools are benefiting from life-saving healthy water.

Our other field team—the rehabilitation team—got an early start in the fall and also exceeded our initial goal, completing the repair and rehabilitation of 60 older wells originally drilled by WFSS.

Each field team is accompanied by a hygiene education team that helps villages improve hygiene practices. Access to clean water and hygiene education helps to reduce diarrheal and waterborne diseases, and helps villagers employ better hygiene practices personally, and in their homes.

Schools in particular benefit greatly from access to clean water and hygiene education.

Mary, a student at Aduktik Primary School in Gogrial State, noted that “Life was difficult [before the well] for pupils, who used to go far distances to fetch water. WFSS improved life in this school, and also provided hygiene promotion, which led to improvement of hygiene behavior.”

Villagers celebrate the rehabilitation of their well in Tonj State.

Villagers celebrate the rehabilitation of their well in Tonj State.

In addition, WFSS continued our collaboration with Omaha-based Aqua-Africa on our United Peace and Development Project (UPDP). This year, the organizations worked to drill four new wells, and provide hygiene and micro-democracy training. The UPDP is a joint effort led by members of two historically conflicted tribes—the Dinka and Nuer—coming together to provide access to clean water. The continued success of this collaboration inspires us all, and we look forward to developing future plans.

The WFSS team will launch a small “extended season” drilling project in June, with plans to drill at least eight wells in the Wau area, near the WFSS operations center.

Our Country Directors Lion and AJ will visit the US this summer to review the past season, meet with staff and board members in Rochester, NY, and plan for 2019-20 and beyond.

Thank you to all of our supporters who enable our work.

You truly are helping us to water the seeds of change in South Sudan.




Amazing Kids Feature

Our donors contribute in ways large and small to enable our work. We are pleased to shine a spotlight on three Amazing Kids for their efforts to support
Water for South Sudan. We thank their families and communities for helping to impact lives in South Sudan.

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Jorie W., age 14 from Connecticut

At age seven, Jorie was introduced to A Long Walk to Water by her school librarian, Judy Gafney. After reading the book with her mom and meeting author Linda Sue Park, Jorie knew that she wanted to do something to help the people in South Sudan.

For the past seven years Jorie—whose birthday party always falls on Super Bowl Sunday—has held a fundraiser to celebrate her special day. Instead of presents, she asks friends and family to donate to Water for South Sudan. According to the budding philanthropist, “It doesn’t matter if you’re not going to get gifts. It will make you feel good and be the best gift you can get. Holding the fundraiser makes me feel great inside.”

An outdoorsy fourteen-year-old, Jorie loves going camping with her mom and has been skiing since she was three. She also loves acting, basketball, and softball. Eventually, Jorie wants to become a lawyer and practice family law with a focus on child custody.

We thank Jorie for supporting WFSS for half of her life! We also thank her family and community for helping to impact lives in South Sudan. Way to go, Jorie!

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Selah H., age 10 from Alberta, Canada

For each of the past three years, Selah has selected a charity to support. A homeschooled student, Selah listened to the A Long Walk to Water audiobook with her siblings and decided that Water for South Sudan would be her charity of choice for 2018.

As she did for her previous fundraisers, Selah planned to hold a bake sale. Her mom, Sara, recorded a video of Selah describing the book and Salva’s story and shared it on Facebook and Instagram. They invited family, friends, neighbors, and fellow church members to attend her bake sale. As for the reason she fundraises, Selah said, “I’m raising money because I want to help, and some people don’t have as much as I do.”

Selah went all out for her WFSS fundraiser, baking cookies and holding an open house during the holiday season. Over 30 people came to purchase her cookies and she ultimately raised over $1,200 to help the people of South Sudan. To other kids interested in fundraising, Selah has this advice: “Think of a place you really want to help, think of something you’re good at, and gather some friends to help you.”

When she’s not baking, Selah loves to read, crochet, and make crafts. Her dream is to work at NASA in Mission Control.

Many thanks to Selah and her family, friends, and community for making a difference in the lives of people in South Sudan!

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Trevor S., age 12 from Maryland

After reading A Long Walk to Water, students in Trevor’s class learned about Water for South Sudan and started collecting money for their Water Walk. Nominated as an Amazing Kid by his teacher Mrs. Hammond, Trevor went above and beyond as a fundraiser due to his “enthusiasm, dedication, and knowledge of the plight of the South Sudanese.” He went online to learn about the Dinka culture, learned about WFSS, and started collecting money for the walk. Their goal was to raise enough funds to build a new well in South Sudan.

Trevor and his fellow classmates set up a walking track behind the school and painted pictures of wells and the Dinka people on water jugs, which students carried during the 1.5-hour walk. Trevor also reached out to the local American Legion for a donation and explained the purpose of WFSS. Impressed by Trevor’s dedication and knowledge of the water crisis in South Sudan, they made a $500 donation. Trevor also asked for donations from friends and family and saved his own money to donate. “I felt it was really important. We have so much in the U.S., and a lot to give away,” Trevor said. “It was such an accomplishment, and something to be proud of.”

Mrs. Hammond shared that Trevor “helped make adults in his community aware of a problem in the world and asked them to help create a permanent solution by contributing toward a well.” Trevor and the seventh- and eighth-grade students at his school raised enough money at the Water Walk to build a new well in South Sudan.

A well-rounded student, Trevor loves to skateboard, play soccer, and practice archery. He hopes to be a professional soccer player or an artist when he grows up. Huge thanks to Trevor, his family, and his community for watering the seeds of change in South Sudan!

Do you know an amazing kid?

Click the button below to complete the nomination form.