Dear Friends of WFSS,
Thank you for your continued support. Thanks to donors like you, WFSS can continue to change lives in South Sudan-- helping young girls and women have more to life than walking for water, helping young children survive the critical first 5 years of life thanks to clean drinking water, helping villages to grow and thrive, and helping a young nation begin to develop, one well at a time.
As one drilling season ends, planning for the next one begins. The WFSS team, in the US and South Sudan, began planning for the 2014-15 season in June, with operations meetings at our headquarters in Rochester, NY. Our South Sudan team of Salva Dut, Ater "Lion" Thiep and John Mourwel had extensive meetings with our tireless COO, Don Fairman, and with our board of directors.
Team members debriefed on the 2013-14 season, and made recommendations on improvements for the following season operations. Keeping our drilling equipment and vehicles in good running order is always a top priority as they identified the most urgent repairs and replacement needs.
Looking ahead to 2014-15, the team will once again consult with county officials in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap States in South Sudan, to identify which areas we will drill in. Once the drilling areas are identified, the assessment process will continue, as our team meets with village chiefs in the designated areas. WFSS does not determine final placement of a well. Rather, we leave that decision-making to the village chiefs because the well will ultimately belong to the villages.
Part of WFSS's success, over 10 years, is our on-the-ground leadership in South Sudan. The WFSS management team in South Sudan is four former "Lost Boys" who are now all dual US-South Sudan citizens. Their familiarity with local people, languages and customs helps at every step of the process, from discussions with village chiefs, to working with villagers to drill the well, to training chosen villagers who will maintain the wells once WFSS leaves.
Since 2005, this comprehensive process has allowed WFSS to drill 217 wells, bringing access to clean water to over 500,000 in South Sudan.
In addition to our drilling team, WFSS will continue with the newly formed Hygiene Education Team, started in 2014. This year the team will travel independent of the drilling team, so that each team can move at its own pace, and maximize our impact.
Finally, WFSS will continue the second year of the United Peace and Development Project, a collaboration with Omaha-based Aqua-Africa, led by Buey Ray Tut. Buey, of Nuer heritage, and WFSS's Salva Dut, of Dinka heritage, came together last year to drill 4 wells on behalf of both organizations. Historically the Nuer and Dinka have been in conflict, but Salva and Buey come together as South Sudanese, to show their countrymen that working together is the best way to help their young nation develop. Last year the wells drilled were in Dinka areas. This year we plan to drill in Nuer areas.
We look forward to another productive year of drilling wells, spreading the message of hygiene education, and helping to transform lives in South Sudan. Thank you for your support and contributions. We couldn't do it without you!
Thank you for your continued support. Thanks to generous donors like you, WFSS drilled 40 new water wells in South Sudan this year. With 217 total wells, Water for South Sudan continues to bring access to fresh clean water to over half a million South Sudanese.
At a time when it looks like conflict is consuming the young country of South Sudan, Water for South Sudan is finding ways to become a model for peace and sustainability.
While civil unrest is evident in three of South Sudan’s ten states, Salva Dut, our founder and Executive Director for East African Operations, has reminded us that the remaining seven states are peaceful. It is there we are doing our work, helping peace and development to spread.
UNITED PEACE & DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
This year we embarked on the United Peace and Development Project with Aqua-Africa, an Omaha-based non-profit, led by Buey Ray Tut. Salva, a Dinka, and Buey, a Nuer, come from traditionally conflicting tribes. Their collaboration, however, stands as a model for peace in South Sudan.
Funded jointly by both organizations, WFSS drilled four water wells for the project this drilling season. In one Dinka village, Salva said, “They knew Buey was Nuer, but they called him their brother.” Salva said that there was no animosity or conflict, only two South Sudanese united in rebuilding a war-torn country. “We want to show the world how we can all work together,” said Salva.
This summer, Salva and Buey will scout out drilling projects that serve the Nuer. “It is our hope that one well at time, we can show the world that the people of South Sudan want peace and sustainability,” said Salva.
DRILLING WELLS & TEACHING HYGIENE
This year we were able to drill 40 wells as planned and we also launched our new Hygiene Education Pilot Project. Our new Hygiene Team (one man and one woman) traveled with our drilling team and visited 23 villages, teaching and spreading the message of the importance of hygiene.
As we plan for the next drilling season, set to start in December, Water for South Sudan continues its mission to deliver transformative services to South Sudan. Thank you for your generous support.
Dear Friends of Water for South Sudan,
As we write, the WFSS team is completing another successful drilling season. As the rainy season approaches our team is closing in on their goal of 40 wells, including a well named in honor of our GlobalGiving supporters!
Every year our team faces the usual challenges of extreme weather and poor or non-existent roads. In addition, they often face equipment issues. This season the WFSS team solved a compressor issue, as well as a mud pump repair.
We are very excited to share the news of our new WFSS Hygiene Team! The two-person team (one man and one woman) started traveling with the drilling crew in January. They worked with villagers to identify hygiene problems, and to identify a solution with each village. We are already looking to expand this team to provide even more help and support.
While the news out of South Sudan has been troubling since the outbreak of violence in December, our crew has told us repeatedly that they are safe and able to drill. Indeed, the area in and around Wau, where WFSS drills and has its compound has been very safe. We continue to urge all parties in South Sudan to work toward a peaceful resolution of conflict.
If you are so moved, please consider contacting your members of Congress to urge them to support increased diplomatic initiatives and funding for humanitarian aid for South Sudan. And, urge the Secretary of State and President to use all possible means to continue to press for humanitarian access.
In the midst of all of this, WFSS has been able to continue bringing access to clean water, and healthier lives, to thousands more in South Sudan, where the need for clean water is still great.
Thank you for your help and support. We couldn't do it without you!
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