Still Dancing for Clean Water

This blog has been very quiet recently, but we’re back with new vigor. We still look to provide clean water for Malual-Chum Village, near the city of Tonj in South Sudan. This past Town Day in Arlington, Massachusetts, we had very encouraging results, thanks to our three dancers. Here’s our video. If you’d like to donate, just hop on over to our donation page. The ongoing strife in South Sudan means our work is not done. Help bring clean water to a people who will not otherwise have it.

From Village to Town Day

Arlington Town Day is part street fair, part welcome to newcomers, and a chance for Arlingtonians to get the word out about their favorite causes. So, of course, Village Help for South Sudan has a booth about our Malual-Chum project. Since project manager Peter Manyang Malang lives and works in Arlington, and his children go to Arlington schools, all sorts of people stopped by: customers from Trader Joe’s, where Manyang is a popular crew member, his kids’ teachers, and friends from school, sports, and summer recreation programs and their families.

Peter Manyang Malang, manager of Malual-Chum project, chats with those stopping by his Arlington Town Day booth.

Peter Manyang Malang, manager of Malual-Chum project, chats with those stopping by his Arlington Town Day booth.

Many were surprised to learn that their friends’ family back in Africa doesn’t have clean water to drink. But we noticed that as Arlington grows more diverse, several of those who stopped by could identify personally with our project; they had the same situation in their homeland. Our donation jar filled up nicely, and many took our cards and bookmarks to learn more about the program.

Of course, the kids had to do Town Day, too: some bouncy house, some face painting, some fried dough and kettle corn. It was a great day to raise awareness from town to village and back again.

What's Town Day without some face painting?

What’s Town Day without some face painting?

Dancing for clean water

We had a wonderful time at the fundraiser organized by Trinity Baptist Church for Malual-Chum Project. There were so many highlights, including the traditional South Sudanese dancing headed up by our project manager Abuk Madut. That’s Abuk in the center of these photos.

Abuk dancing 01

  Abuk dancing 02Abuk dancing 03

 Regina Ringador was the center-stage dancer in this segment:

 

 And thanks to drummer Mayuen Angara:

Mayuen drummingThanks again to the people of Trinity and those in and around Arlington for attending. Good attendance, great music, and substantial headway in raising money for clean water for South Sudan.

Singing! Dancing! Refreshments! All to benefit Malual-Chum Project

BENEFIT CONCERT

for The Malual-Chum Village

Clean Water Project In South Sudan Wells in Malual-Chum

Gospel Music

Jazz

Traditional African Music

 Featuring

Paul White Music

Paul White has performed throughout the US and internationally as a recitalist, with his jazz trio, Paul White & Company and with music legends Nina Simone, Bill Gaither, Billy Preston, and Rev. James Cleveland.

Sudanese Musicians

And A Special Guest Choir

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 7:00 P.M.       

Place:

Trinity Baptist Church

115 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474

781-643-4771 – trinitybaptistarlington.org

 

All WELCOME! REFRESHMENTS! FREEWILL OFFERING & PLEDGES RECEIVED

You, too, can donate on YouTube

We’ve had a YouTube presence for years, but now we have an exciting new improvement: a new VHSS channel with a donation button. Right now, we’re featuring our video showing the need for clean water in Malual-Chum: You can still make an on-line donation via our web site.  We want to make it as easy as possible for you to help bring clean water and health to a remote part of South Sudan. Go ahead, click!  

You can eliminate guinea worm with clean water

Mention guinea worm to our Malual-Chum program directors, and they shudder. Both have  scars from where long, white worms have emerged with a pain like fire. Both have relatives who are still infected with guinea worms to this day. The larva lives in dirty drinking water. A year after drinking infested water, a blister forms on the body, and the worm comes slowly out. The only relief is to place the effected body part in water; when that happens, drinking water is infected again. There’s no vaccine or medicine that will kill guinea worm. The only solution is to stop the worm from re-infecting people.

South Sudan is one of the few places left on earth where the guinea worm still causes pain and suffering. The impact on economic growth, education, and infant health is significant; when you are incapacitated for a month or more because worms are burnng their way out of your body, you can’t really farm or go to school or take care of a baby.

The Carter Center has been doing fantastic work in eliminating guinea worm around the globe. In a fascinating walk at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Donald Hopkins, the Carter Center’s vice-president for health programs, showed where guinea worm remains: in South Sudan, mainly in Eastern Equatoria and Warrap States. The Carter Center has deployed thousands of volunteers in its years of working in South Sudan, and hopes to reach all of Warrap State soon. This video (which is graphic) shows the problem and the Carter Center’s work.

No health-care workers have come to Malual-Chum to talk about how to fight the scourge of guinea worm. But they may not have to. Dr. Brown pointed out that the best, long-range solution to eliminating guinea worm is clean drinking water from a well. With a well in Malual-Chum, no insects will be dancing on the water with their load of suffering. We can stop guinea worm ourselves in this remote part of South Sudan.

Get your T-shirts here! Support clean water in South Sudan!

Support clean water in South Sudan! Get your Malual-Chum T-shirt on Ebay.

At our Town Day booth you saw the cool T-shirts Manyang and his friends were wearing; they were for sale at the booth, too. Now they’re for sale on EBay!

We offer adult sizes L-XS (the tag says Youth Large, but our supplier assures us that Youth Large and Adult Extra-Small are the same size).

If you’ve never used EBay, it’s easy. Our shirts are in the “buy-it-now” category, so it’s very much like shopping on-line at other web sites. EBay takes Paypal. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Paypal account; you can enter your credit- or debit-card information there. We’re offering free shipping and Priority Mail shipping.

Our shirts were designed by Manyang ‘s almost-teenage daughter and printed by the good folks at Rocket Science Screen Printing.All the proceeds from our EBay sales will go to Malual-Chum project. With a T-shirt sale your support will go even further when people ask you about how to provide clean water in South Sudan.    

It takes a Town Day to get clean water

Peter Manyang Malang of Arlington and Dominick Deng Aloung of South Boston raise money and awareness on Town Day in Arlington, MA.  (Abuk Madut, who staffed the  booth in the morning, is not shown.) Manyang’s middle daughter told passers-by, “My grandmas need clean water!” while Manyang’s youngest daughter concentrates on eating her watermelon slush.

Malual-Chum Village Project’s first foray into raising money and awareness was a smashing success. Every fall, the center part of Arlington, MA is closed off for Town Day. The street is lined with booths featuring the businesses, groups, and activities. Village Help for South Sudan has had a Town Day presence for years, but this is the first time we have featured Malual-Chum Village Project. “Clean Water for South Sudan” was our theme, and as one donor put it, “Everyone needs clean water.”

Folks who know Manyang as a favorite Trader Joe’s crew member stopped by, as did parents and friends of the kids, who are active in school, church, and town recreation activities. The kids were an important part of the preparation: Manyang’s older son and younger daughters worked on our display board, and his oldest daughter helped design our new T-shirts (wonderfully printed by Rocket Science Screen Printing). At  the event, crowds flocked over when Manyang was holding the baby!

We more than met our goals of raising money and awareness about Village Help for South Sudan’s newest project. Manyang and Abuk gained confidence, too, in making a presentation about their village’s need for clean water. Feel free to use our contact page if you’d like them to speak to your group.    

Welcome, Malual-Chum Village Project

We are absolutely delighted to introduce our newest project and its managers — Malual-Chum Village Project and the husband-and-wife project managers Peter Manyang Malang and Abuk Mathiang Madut.   Manyang came to America as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and (as Jacob Makur) attended Arlington, MA, High School. When he became an American citizen, he went back to his village, in Warrap State, north of Tonj, for the first time in 18 years. He met Abuk at the village-wide party in his honor. Abuk arrived in America through the fiancee visa program, and they were married in Arlington. Manyang and Abuk live in Arlington with their five kids — twins Achan and Ngor, the little girls Achol and Apeu, and baby boy Aru. Manyang works at the Arlington Trader Joe’s, Abuk is taking English classes, and the kids are well-known around town through school, pre-school, church, sports, and summer programs.   In May and June of 2012 Manyang traveled back to South Sudan and shot this video of the wells in his village. As you can see, the hand-dug, open-pit holes are dancing with insects (“Snakes, too,” Achan remembers from her years in South Sudan). Manyang’s mother gets guinea worm every year — she just suffers through it, as there is no nearby clinic — because to dirty water. Stomach problems, worms, and diarrhea are common. Manyang came back determined that he and Abuk should do something for their village.
Like all our other projects, Malual-Chum Village Project is beginning with a well — drilled, with a hand pump, so clean water is available. If you need a presentation on Manyang and Abuk’s efforts, feel free to e-mail them at manyangmalang@aol.com or abukmadut@aol.com. Watch for fundraising events, too. Of course, you’re welcome to get this project going now by donating on-line (the process lets you designate donation to this project) or through the mail. Send your check to: Village Help for South Sudan, Inc. P. O. Box 8067 Lynn, MA 01904 and mark the memo line Malual-Chum Village Project.