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The Vital Role of Girls and Water in Building the New South Sudan

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Education is the key to success

Education is absolutely vital to the success of this new nation. Research shows that when you educate a girl in Africa, she’s three times less likely to get HIV/AIDS, have a smaller, healthier family and earn 25 percent more income (source: Camfed). A UNICEF study also shows that children who are marginalized or poor are less likely to make the transition to secondary education and are more likely to experience violence, abuse and exploitation.

Right now in South Sudan, it’s shocking that less than 3% of girls get a primary school education. Drop in the Bucket is working to change this. By constructing wells at schools it allows them to stay in class rather than spending half their day collecting water. It also enables families who had to travel from place to place to find water sources to stay in one place so their children can remain at the same school.

Drop in the Bucket currently has funding to build 20 wells in Bahr el Ghazal, but so much more needs to be done! We aim to expand our much-needed programs in this region in the coming year, and help South Sudan compete with the rest of the world by creating an environment in which young people can become educated, productive members of society rather than dropping out of school and worrying about where to get their next drink of water.

Sanitation education is crucial

Another key component of our work is sanitation education. More than 80% of diseases in developing countries are linked to poor drinking water and sanitation (source: WHO). Many of us assume that everybody knows to wash their hands after using the toilet and to avoid drinking from the same water sources where they wash their dishes and clothes. But this is far from common knowledge in South Sudan. Oftentimes people will defecate right next to open water sources, contaminating the water used for drinking. It’s vital that we educate students about proper hygiene and sanitation practices—lessons they take back to their families that help prevent typhoid, cholera, malnutrition and other maladies related to poor sanitation.

Drop in the Bucket believes that a good education is the most surefire way to break the cycle of poverty and empower the people of South Sudan and throughout sub-Saharan Africa to become leaders and entrepreneurs and take control of their future.

Get involved!

Visit for more information about these programs and to find out how you can get involved. Drop in the Bucket welcomes personal contributions to fund wells and sanitation systems. Or get creative and concoct a unique fundraising campaign! Click here for a few ideas.

Also, read about our triumphs and challenges in Africa in Drop in the Bucket co-founder Stacey Travis’ blog.

Meanwhile, our friend, spokesperson and alternative rock icon Henry Rollins reminds us of how valuable a resource water is in this lighthearted video.

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Photo by Deng Deng

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4:06AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Great work and thanks for letting us know!

10:10PM PST on Jan 13, 2012


11:32AM PST on Jan 12, 2012


8:19PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

great work

9:54AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Shouldn't this be an issue for UN to solve? There must be a solution to this problem, where the water can be brought to the people instead of the other way around! Thanks for sharing!

9:46PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Thanks for an inspiring article. Clean water for villages and toilets at school for girls make an enormous difference for facilitating girls' education, which in turn helps the prosperity of the whole community. Educating girls has so many benefits.

4:12PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

id like to get involved

7:23AM PST on Jan 10, 2012


1:57AM PST on Jan 10, 2012


6:20AM PST on Jan 9, 2012

I wish these women better life...Thank you for sharing!

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