Student Begins Well-Drilling Project in Sudan
March 19, 2009
A Johnson State College student who first came to Vermont as a refugee from war-torn Sudan will discuss his recent return home to start a well-drilling project to provide clean water.
James Mabior will speak at JSC’s Stearns Performance Space,Thursday, March 19, a 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Mabior, a junior studying business at JSC, was one of the so-called ‘Lost Boys of the Sudan” who fled Southern Sudan during a 20-year civil war. He sought asylum as a political refugee and resettled in Vermont.
Since then, he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the plight of his countrymen, and launched a non-profit organization, Water and Youth Development Association, to raise money to help them.
At the end of last year, he made two trips home to Werkok in Southern Sudan, one to assess water needs, and the second to start the project to drill wells.
‘We hope to drill two wells this time, and the next time I go back, we hope to start drilling on four more wells,” said Mabior. ‘When I went back to do the assessment, I visited five towns, and found that there were also a lot of wells that were not working, and people had to spend all day walking to The Nile to bring water back.”
Mabior has set up a Web site to inform people about the need for clean water in Southern Sudan and what he is doing to improve health, sanitation, and youth opportunities in his homeland.