The Water for the Sudan’s Project

More than half the population of Sudan does not have access to clean water.
In many villages young children are walking kilometres each day to fetch water in jerry cans. Many have only one meal a day, because the rest of the day is taken up by fetching water.
SSNET has partnered with International Aid Services (IAS) to provide
clean water to the people of the Sudans. SSNET funds specific water projects within the borders of the Sudans.
Annual visits to the Sudans and the specific projects, by the members and
partners of SSNET, ensure accurate feedback to our supporters and funders.

On a visit to the village of Nimule in September 2018 where SSNET funded
the drilling of a borehole, the wife of the village chief remarked:

“We used to carry water from the town to our village on our heads in buckets. Because of this labour our hair at the top our heads stopped growing. Now that we have this borehole we do not have to carry on our heads anymore so the hair will grow back. Thank you for allowing us to be beautiful again.”

IAS (International Aid Services) began its work in Sudan in 2002 with a vision to help the most vulnerable and needy.With drilling rigs in four rural states (Red Sea, South Kordofan, West Darfur, and South Darfur) and years of experience in well drilling, IAS is recognized as one of the leading organizations drilling new boreholes in the Sudans. In 2015 IAS drilled 27 new boreholes, in addition to rehabilitating 42 existing boreholes and constructing 7 mini water yards. Today, thousands of Sudanese have cleaner, more reliable supply of water because of this work.

Without real changes in hygiene practices, clean water alone will not be enough to change the high rates of diarrhea and waterborne disease in many rural communities. As IAS drill new boreholes and rehabilitate broken ones, they go further to work together with these communities to educate them on fundamental hygiene issues and promote changes which will bring long-term improvement to their health and wellness.

 

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The Beja People’s Project

What urged a former Mrs. World to travel to the ends of the earth to get involved with the Beja people? Manda Gomes, S4J athlete and former Mrs. World Universal 2013, did just that by traveling with a team from South Africa. Her mission was to, as part of the S4J, connect with Beja people where they live in North East Africa.

Who are the Beja peoples?

The Beja is a group of traditionally nomadic shepherds who live scattered across the desert regions of Sudan, Egypt, and Eritrea. The Beja are an important people group and represent the largest non-Arabic ethnic group between the Nile River and the Red Sea. They are an assertive people with small, strong, wiry frames, long noses, and oval faces.

How are we involved with them?

The focus of SSNET among the Beja people is to bring hope and relief in practical ways. We do this through the people who live and work among the Beja. This help is given in various forms like addressing critical medical and educational needs. More specifically, eye surgery and learning resources.

How did decide how to be involved?

A team from South Africa visited Egypt in February 2019. Through a journey of discovery, the group was lead to decide on supporting eye surgeries and education among the Beja people. A first donation was made towards this during the visit to Egypt.

Our involvement with the Beja people stretches over many years. As a fundraiser, this is the baby among the four S4J projects. Although in its first year of inception, as a fundraising project this group is in the lead for quite a number of months now.

Norman Johnson

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S4J Wally Hayward Water table

S4J was on their post again at the Wally Hayward Marathon. It was a day filled with fun and fellowship. Once again a big THANK YOU to the girls from St. Mary’s DSG and the Polsslag Voortrekker Commando. Without you we would not have been able to make this work.

For the first time we had lots of little souls running around and making the point a very lively and more than usually busy place

And then there were those that could just not wait to serve the potatoes…

All told it was a day that the Lord blessed tremendously. We were so glad to be part of it.

Next up……… COMRADES!!!!!

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Save the Date!!!

18 May 2019

Our  S4J Team Braai will be held on 18 May 2019. It will be held at 55 Dely Rd, Maroelana, Pretoria. We start the fires at 12pm.

We are going to have very interesting speakers for you in the afternoon. We are also going to have the support bags available for the two Support Stations which we will be manning for the day at the Comrades.

All you have to do is let Norman or myself know that you are coming and we will make sure that you will have an afternoon to remember. You bring along something to braai and something to drink. We will take care of the side dishes.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Eddie Howden

 

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From both sides now: an athlete’s perspective on working at a water point

Joni Mitchell sang a very popular song about love: “From both sides now”. The lyrics “ I’ve looked at love from both sides now”, might just as well be translated into “I’ve looked at races from both sides now” for the purpose of this article.

As athletes, we sometimes forget about the hard work that goes into the organising of a race. We take for granted the fact that everything; from the entries, toilets, water points and traffic marshals, will be in place. We bargain on the fact that there will be a well-stocked water point every 3 km, and that there will be in fact water, cold drinks etc. What we often forget, (and by “we” I count myself as well!), is that the helpers at a water point are volunteers, who have no control over how much water there are, how cold the water is, etc. They are there to serve, and make the race more pleasurable for the athletes.

I’ve had the privilege to be a helper at a few S4J water points, and being an athlete myself who has run countless races over the years, I think I can give an accurate view of a race from both sides of the water table. 😉

For the sake of brevity I’ve used the following abbreviations: WPH = water point helper
A = athlete

1. Early morning
A: Get up at 4h30, get ready, drive to race, do all the necessary things to line up for a 6h00 start.

WPH: Get up at 3h30, get ready to be at water point at around 4h00. Put up tables, stack cups, pour cold drink into said cups; break big blocks of ice into plastic containers; cut open countless boxes of water sachets and throw them into the container. Ensure that all helpers know what to do, where to stand (out of athletes’ way!) etc.

2. Start of race
A: Start running when the gun sounds

WPH: Depending on which point in the race your water point is, get ready to serve. Might take up to 40 minutes of waiting.

3. Water point (first round)
A: Get to table, grab some water sachets (or 2 or 4, or on some cases 8!), maybe drink some Coke. Thank or don’t thank the WPH. May complain about water not being cold enough. Drop sachets in bin, next to bin, or in the vicinity of the water table. Carry on with race.

WPH: For the next 30-40 minutes, some or all of this happens: stand and hand out sachets. Pour cold drinks. Hand out sachets. Again. Explain why all the sachets aren’t icy cold. Pour some more cold drinks. Try to keep the plastic container with the water sachets cold with extra ice, which you buy from the nearby garage. Use the rake to gather the discarded sachets together. Start picking up rubbish. If it is a double lap race (10/21 km, or 21/42 km), get ready to do it all over again in the next hour.

4. Water point (second round)
A: See point 3. May complain louder about the lack of water, or the coldness thereof. Discard sachets anywhere near the water point. Or not even near. Carry on with race.

WPH: See point 3. Give up trying to rake the sachets out of the way of the athletes. There are too many (sachets, and sometimes athletes..). Try to explain that it is not your fault that there is no water left, or that the water that is left, is not cold.

5. After the race.
A: Finish the race. Collect medal. Rest. Go to club gazebo and complain loudly about the lack of water at some races, and the fact that you almost fell while slipping on “so many!” water sachets that are just lying on the ground at the water point. Go home.

WPH: After the last athlete has passed the water point, start to pack up, clean up, pick up, rake etc. Ensure that the area around the water point is completely clean. Chase a few stray water sachets that the wind blew into drains and neighboring gardens. Fold up the tables and pack away. Go home.

Although I may have over-dramatised some of the negative things happening, I must also say that most of the athletes that go through a water point are friendly, say “thank you”, and try to throw their sachets in the bin. When running a race, I make a point of thanking the helpers, and try to throw my waste in one of the bins.

I wish every athlete gets a chance to serve at a water point. It is very rewarding to help, and also a great way of giving back.

-Annelize Hietbrink, S4J Ladies Captain

 

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