This blog post is a long-winded and roundabout shill at the end of which I'll ask you to give money to charity.  You should read it anyways.

South Sudan's been in the news lately (BBC).  The world's newest country, it hasn't had it easy in its first six years.  Beyond the systematic problems many young nations and many African nations face--there's an undesirable Venn Diagram intersection right there--the nation has been gripped by civil unrest and violence again and again in its short history.  The effect is that the population of the nation, those just trying to live, suffer greatly.  

I sat down with a friend of mine from the University of Toronto on Sunday morning.  His name's Thuch (center of the photo), though he's kind enough to let me call him James.  James is from South Sudan, and he is, well, unstoppable.  There's not enough time or space here to detail his many causes, so rather feel free to read up on him here and let's talk about just one: Rainmaker.  

James identified, after many years of hands on investigation into the social and economic climate of his home and neighboring countries, that if you follow the journey line of many of South Sudan's problems they tend to stem back to two things: water security and food security.  Now these are not the only instigators to be sure, but they are significant ones.  

Poor health?  Effected by access to clean drinking water and nutrition.  Lack of education?  Effected by trade-offs in time necessary to walk miles and miles for clean water.  Many young men turn to soldiering for income?  Effected by the necessity to earn money with no other way to buy food.  Solve the water crisis and you help the food crisis and so much more.  With Rainmaker, James intends to do that.

As he told me about the problem I started to think he was a little out of his depth.  And to think that about the sort of guy James is, says a lot.  And he described the challenge himself: how do you make an impact on a complex system like the water security of a nation embroiled in conflict without resulting in only a short term solution, or long term dependence on foreign aid?  

The answer: do it locally.  But if it could be done locally it would have happened already.  That means one things needs to happen.  Rainmaker needs to raise money so that it can install it's pilot project: a solar powered pump connected to an aquifer to pump clean water onto a farm and excess for locals to safely consume.  This will get the local effort moving.  The pump is Kenyan, the workers for the farm will be South Sudanese.  They'll be able to earn a wage and save and eventually buy their own pumps, drill into the aquifer and start their own farms.  

Food and water, locally.  

I think that's pretty awesome.  That's why on June 11th I'm riding in support of Rainmaker's project.  You should come too.  Find out more details here and please consider giving to support this awesome mission.  

If you have any comments or questions about the above or anything else click here and I'd be happy to chat.

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