Salva Dut’s story has been an inspiration worldwide, and it has brought significant positive change to communities in South Sudan.
Dut is a former “Lost Boy of Sudan,” one of 17,000 boys who escaped the violence of Sudan’s civil war by fleeing into the bush. Tragically, about 5,000 of these boys lost their lives due to harsh weather conditions, illnesses, violence, and encounters with wild animals while walking hundreds of miles to reach refugee camps. Dut emerged as a leader among these boys and was among the first to be resettled in the United States, specifically in Rochester.
After spending five years in the United States, Dut received news that his father was alive but suffering from illnesses caused by contaminated water. This revelation inspired Dut to establish what is now known as “Water for South Sudan.” This nonprofit organization drills wells and offers sanitation services in South Sudan, effectively saving lives and improving living conditions in villages.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the organization’s founding, and Dut has returned to Rochester to discuss its profound impact. In our conversation, we delve into the transformative work undertaken by his organization.