Morgan Wood, Gwinnett Magazine Intern
Sugar Hill Elementary School's Junior Beta chapter has initiated a fundraiser benefiting Water for South Sudan, hoping to earn at least $1,500 in donations to be used for the rehabilitation of existing wells and construction of additional ones.
Water for South Sudan (WFSS), an organization geared toward providing both wells and education in the region, was founded by Salva Dut. As a young boy, he was among the thousands of children forced, by the 1985 civil war, to flee their communities. These courageous children were coined "The Lost Boys of Sudan." Dut relocated to the United States in 1996 and founded his organization in 2003 in an attempt to aid South Sudanese children experiencing the hardships he so personally relates to. Although he holds dual citizenship in both the United States and South Sudan, he spends the majority of his year in Africa, overseeing the drilling and educational efforts of WFSS.
Ms. Chris Wood, the club's sponsor, explains, "When considering the leaders I most respect, I realize they're the ones who are working to make the world better while serving others. When we work together to support organizations such as WFSS, our students not only learn the importance of leadership through service but that they can already impact their world. They don't have to wait until they're adults or until they have titles attached to their names." Everyone in Junior Beta is already living Gandhi's quote, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'"
Gracie Mani, the secretary of the Junior Beta Club, asserts, "It's important to do this fundraiser because when we were researching it, we learned these people only get little cups of water for their families, and if they don't get clean water they can get sick and die. Hearing some of the stories makes you think of how lucky we are and how we should help them because we should appreciate what we have. I feel lucky to be able to go to school and have the things I need."
"In Junior Beta, the theme is 'let us lead by serving others,'" says Karis Doker. As president of the club, she was inspired to pursue this fundraising opportunity in hopes that it would provide a brighter future to students in South Sudan. Abigail Marley, vice president of the club, expands on this thought, pointing out that, "When we give water to South Sudan, we are serving them."
To support the efforts of the Sugar Hill Elementary Junior Beta Chapter, visit https://water-for-south-sudan-inc.networkforgood.com/projects/46092-jr-beta-club-sugar-hill-elementary-school-s-fundraiser.
More information about WFSS can be found at http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/.
In the photo, left to right: Gracie, Karis, Abigail, and Ms. Chris Wood.