by LeeAnne Lavender, Concordia Service Learning Coach
The Concordia community has built a well in rural South Sudan! Thousands of people will now have access to clean drinking water because of our partnership with Salva Dut and his organization Water for South Sudan.
In the fall, students in several classes at Concordia read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, a book that tells Salva’s story as a Lost Boy of Sudan alongside the story of a young girl who can’t go to school because she must walk for water each day. As students engaged with this text and did research about water access in South Sudan, an idea began to grow: what if we could all experience what it’s like to walk for water so we could understand life for millions of people on our planet?
The Concordia Community Water Walk was born out of this idea. Before long, classes from all three divisions of the school were on board and students were encouraging parents to join in. On the day of the Water Walk, over 1200 people participated, carrying buckets of water around the track to build empathy for people in rural South Sudan.
The next week, Salva Dut visited our school and spent time meeting with students, talking about his experiences and raising more awareness about water access issues in his home country.
It was a powerful experience, and students and teachers alike were impacted in a deep way by Salva’s time here.
Now, we have the privilege of sharing that impact through the well partnership. In the village of Mayen-Rual, right next to the Aduktik Primary School, the Concordia well is now bringing clean water to villagers and residents of the area.
The GPS coordinates of the well are N:08’ 10’ 891” E:028’ 19’456” and the village chief’s name is Madut Bol Madut.
We are filled with gratitude to participate in this partnership and to bring the gift of clean water to this village. What a beautiful way to celebrate what it means to love and serve in our world.