Water for South Sudan Receives $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

Water for South Sudan (WFSS) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to Water for South Sudan was made by Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to the empowerment of individuals.

The grant to WFSS will be used to rehabilitate several of its older wells and to provide hygiene training in villages. In 2015, WFSS conducted an evaluation of 80 of its earliest drilled wells. The wells were all found to be operational and the water was safe. However, there was a consistent issue with broken cement platforms around the wells. In 2016, WFSS’s operations team studied the problem and possible solutions. The cement platform was redesigned and the design was tested and subsequently refined.

An example of a well before and after the rehab process.

An example of a well before and after the rehab process.

In 2017, WFSS launched its rehabilitation team. The rehab team travels to wells drilled in WFSS’s early years to repair the cement platforms, upgrading them to the new design standard. WFSS did not begin providing hygiene education in villages until 2014. Therefore, each village where a well was drilled prior to 2014 will also receive hygiene training.  WFSS’s hygiene education program follows a “train the trainer” model. Village representatives are trained in best practices and they then go out to train the rest of the villagers.

“Rehabilitation of our older wells and hygiene education program are both crucial to the sustainability of the wells that we drill,” said WFSS Executive Director Lynn Malooly, “we are grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for their recognition of the importance of this work and for their generous grant to help us to get it done.”

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.

Watch Salva Dut's Inspiring TEDx Talk!

WFSS Founder Salva Dut gave a moving and inspirational talk at TEDxBeaconStreet in Boston. I Kept Walking tells the true story of Salva's journey as one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, and how his faith, hope and perseverance helped him achieve his goals.

Please watch and share!

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!

US Water for the World Act Becomes Law

On December 19, 2014 The White House announced today that President Obama signed HR 2901, The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act, into law.

WFSS President Glenn Balch applauded the move, saying, "The importance of WASH programs cannot be overstated. We thank all who helped pass this important legislation."

Deputy Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), longtime champion for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues, led the effort to get the bill to the Senate floor. "Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services sickens and kills thousands of children every day, and leads to poverty across the globe," Durbin said.

The bill accomplishes the following:

  • Codifies the existing two positions (one at State, one at USAID) to make sure water issues are coordinated in the agencies among bureaus and missions, and that WASH does not get lost in the design and execution of programs – this is important!

  • Sets more criteria (but not too restrictive) for the way USAID prioritizes, and reports on, WASH activity in countries – using JMP and similar data, assuring that most assistance goes to communities and countries in greatest need, not just a small number of politically important countries; this prioritization policy is critical, and strongly supported by our Congressional cosponsors in both parties.

  • Sets deadlines for written comprehensive water strategies is for both USAID and State. Eight years after the 2005 Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (current law, PL 109-121), USAID produced a strategy for its water programs, covering 2014-2019. The State Department has not done one. The bill outlines the coordination on strategy by the two agencies and requires them to get on task for the future.