Looking Forward to 2017

If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one. — Mother Teresa

Many questions remain about South Sudan’s political and economic future. On the one hand, there has been no recent upsurge of violence. It was reported that New Year’s Eve was celebrated in Juba without any gunfire. On the other hand, hyperinflation and food insecurity remain in South Sudan. Education and clean water for all are elusive goals.

A small non-profit like ours looks at enormous problems that governments and international NGOs cannot overcome — and turns back to doing what it can do.

We aren’t able to provide massive distributions of emergency food. But we were able to provide aid to farmers to buy seed in 2016. And we were able to provide price supports at the market so the resulting crops could be sold at lower prices, while still give farmers a profit.   peanut harvest 04 2014We also, by building Wunlang School back in 2008, have provided a place where food supplies can be distributed. About 160 girls attending Wunlang School received sorghum, lentils, and cooking oil through a UNICEF program.   wunlang-school-girls-receiving-sorghum-may-2016 Girls’ literacy is still far behind boys’ (40 percent to 60 percent), but we have seen girls’ enrollment increase steadily in Wunlang since the school was built. Word of Wunlang School has spread. As other parts of South Sudan become too difficult to live in, families have come to Wunlang to give their children a chance at education. Even when children are hungry, reports field manager Yel Maduok Ngor, they still show up for school. wunlang-school-classroom-june-2016 Back in America, Thiou Village Project has raised enough money to enable us to provide school supplies and money for repairs. We also had a remarkably successful fundraising day for our Malual-Chum project. It is our goal to get a well drilled in this village this year. Then women and girls like this won’t have to haul up dirty water with a tin can.   Wells in Malual-Chum You can help with all these goals by making a donation. Then you will have done your part to bringing education and opportunity, despite all the obstacles, to remote parts of South Sudan.        

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.

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.