Thank you, everyone, for following our journey in South Sudan.
Andrew Wyton and I (Jeff Lang, Co Founder & Chairman) have just returned home from Juba on Saturday, May 11th.
We had a very productive trip and Andrew did an amazing job capturing pictures and video footage. Andrew is an amazing storyteller and his work helps us tell our story. Thank you, Andrew, for travelling all the way to South Sudan, again, to help.
We had the privilege of having the First Vice President of South Sudan, HE Taban Deng Gai.
The FVP was very impressed with the progress at the school and the clinic. It was humbling to hear how grateful he was to all the Canadians who have supported the Jebel Lado Project over all these years. He is so thankful that we never gave up. He explained how so many others have come to help however they didn't stay. CEDASS is a friend of RSS. The FVP is an amazing man with a vision for his country. He mentioned several times how important our project is to his country and sees it as a model to replicate throughout the country.
“He asked me specifically to greet and thank the CEDASS team in Canada for everything they have done and are doing.”
Our partners, Green Horizon, are harvesting the last of the onions at the Canada Farm. This is the first commercial crop of onions in the country's history. The impact on the local market has been incredible. The market price of onions has dropped by 50% with the introduction of the locally grown product.
“This is just the beginning. The benefit to the community is remarkable. Employment and lower food prices.”
GH has their planting plan ready and will be in full operation within the next few weeks. Their plans are to continue to expand the farm and go into several new crops this year. Employment is over 200 local people and it is growing exponentially.
It was a great pleasure to spend time with Yoash and General Ziv during this trip. Their vision and commitment to South Sudan are contagious.
The School planting program, lead by our very own Stu McCutheon is moving along very well.
The fields are cleared and Stu is ready to plant. Teaching the kids how to farm is a critical component of our education program. If, I mean when Stu's vision is realized, we will have a fully functional vocational school teaching life-changing skills to the next generation.
May will be the month that we begin excavation for the water lines to the community. The clean water project will have the greatest long term impact on the community of any program we have done. It will improve health and change the daily lives of hundreds of women. Women travel great distances each day to collect dirty water. Bring clean water to them will change everything for these communities. We will be working hard to raise funds to expand the water project as we see this as critical to the survival of the South Sudanese.
Thanks also go out to Ken Kalopsis for arranging our trip into and out of South Sudan. This was a great trip. Stay tuned for more updates this month. Stu was leaving Canada as we were returning. Stu will have lot's to report shortly.