South Sudan

A New York Times bestselling book by children’s writer Linda Sue Park helped put a once small, but mighty nonprofit on the global map. Today, Water for South Sudan is a name known around the world. Its work to bring clean drinking water to villages throughout the African nation is changing lives for young people in South Sudan. It’s also helping to raise a new generation of leaders as students in classrooms around the world join the cause. Salva Dut, whose story was shared in Linda Sue Park’s book A Long Walk to Water is the founder of the nonprofit birthed in Rochester. He joined Need to Know’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer during a visit to the states this month to discuss exciting changes being made.

South Sudan celebrates their seventh year of independence, but with an ongoing civil war in the region is there anything to celebrate? This week on Need to Know, we talk about the triumphs in South Sudan you may have not heard about.

Salva Dut is the founder of Water for South Sudan. He's one of the 17,000 Lost Boys of Sudan who fled his village when war ravaged the country between 1983 and 2005. Dut walked thousands of miles from his home to Ethiopia, and then to Kenya, where he lived in refugee camps for years. In 1996, he came to the United States as a refugee, and realized how many Americans take food and water for granted. Back in Sudan, villagers must walk miles every day just to gain access to clean water.

Dut made it his mission to help improve conditions for people in South Sudan. In 2003, he formally established Water for South Sudan, a non-profit which drills wells for villages. Dut is in Rochester for several events at Monroe Community College, but first, he shares his story on Connections. In studio:

  • Salva Dut, founder of Water for South Sudan
  • Lynn Malooly, executive director of Water for South Sudan

On this edition of Need to Know Rochester – learn about a local campaign joining a national movement to put an end to a word some say is dehumanizing and offensive. Also on the show – we examine the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and new initiatives by local non-profits to help bring change and stability to the nation. It’s all part of the final installment of WXXI’s Schools for South Sudan series. And a look back at the most critical issues in Rochester during the civil rights movement. We’ll hear from leaders and educators in the community about whether those issues have been resolved.