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30 Days of Giving

30 Days of Giving 2017 – Day 18: Monroe CC Helps Walk for Water

Salva Dut signs a book for one student in a group of many students at Monroe Community College.

They had only read about him in a book. But on Oct. 11, 2017 more than 300 Rochester-area middle school students actually met former Lost Boy Salva Dut, Monroe Community College (MCC) alumnus, founder of Water for South Sudan, and protagonist of Linda Sue Park’s internationally renowned book, “A Long Walk to Water.” An estimated 15,000 students and teachers—representing 512 schools from 33 states and five countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel and New Zealand—tuned in via live stream video. This is the fourth time MCC Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project (HGHRP) student leaders have hosted “conversation sessions” with Dut and Park, creating an unforgettable learning experience that shows how reading can help change the world. But they weren’t done yet.

Later that same week, MCC’s HGHRP held its 10th annual Walk for Water for South Sudan.  The organization that Dut founded has drilled 304 wells in South Sudan to prevent disease and stabilize villages — and lives. However, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese—mostly women and children—still walk for hours daily to access a non-contaminated drinking source. The water they drink is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria and, as a result, disease runs rampant throughout greater East Africa. “The challenge is enormous to those of us who uphold the sanctity of human life and the moral imperative to provide water to the thirsty,” said Dut, who is a member of MCC’s Alumni Hall of Fame. “Fresh water is an absolute requirement for a community’s health. It is a stable developmental platform on which a community can build its future. It is, in short, life.” Since the inception of the annual walk, MCC students have helped raise more than $60,000. Four wells in South Sudan bear MCC’s name.

For additional information on this annual Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Project, please contact Jodi Oriel, director, HGHRP at: 585.292. 2533 or email:

CAPTION: Local middle school students flocked around Salva Dut, anxious to meet the person they were first introduced to in Author Linda Sue Park’s award-winning book, “A Long Walk to Water.”


30 Days of Giving 2017:

  1. Day 1: Shopping with a Smile
  2. Day 2: Erie Community College Cook-Off for Kidneys
  3. Day 3: Stony Brook Medicine Helps in Puerto Rico
  4. Day 4: A Day of Service at Onondaga CC
  5. Day 5: New Paltz Students Make a Difference
  6. Day 6: Buffalo State College Dares to Care
  7. Day 7: Niagara County CC Students Lend A Hand for Thanksgiving
  8. Day 8: Old Westbury Helps Haiti
  9. Day 9: A Day of Service at SUNY Potsdam
  10. Day 10: Helping Animals at Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless
  12. Day 12: Morrisville Athletes Go Local For Service
  13. Day 13: SUNY Poly Gives Back Throughout the Region
  14. Day 14: SUNY Oswego Honors Those Battling Ovarian Cancer
  15. Day 15: Brockport Students Volunteer at Thanksgiving
  16. Day 16: SUNY ESF Sends Acorns to Action
  17. Day 17: Doors Open at the Columbia-Greene Community College Giving Closet
  18. Day 18: Monroe Community College Helps Walk for Water
  19. Day 19: SUNY Cortland Supports Crop Hunger Walk
  20. Day 20: Making Music at Farmingdale State to Help the Hungry
  21. Day 21: Increasing Food Security at Dutchess Community College
  22. Day 22: Addressing Food Insecurity On and Around SUNY Geneseo
  23. Day 23: Westchester Community College Plays the UnHunger Games
  24. Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University Assisted Community Schools
  25. Day 25: Mohawk Valley Community College Gives Back To Their Community
  26. Day 26: SUNY Oneonta Students Help Area Children Learn
  27. Day 27: Rockland Community College Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico
  28. Day 28: Empire State College Donates to Caribbean Relief
  29. Day 29: Schenectady County Community College Students Provide Support to Foster Families
  30. Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi
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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.




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