Salva Dut was born in a rural village in southwestern Sudan to the Dinka tribe. At 11 years old, the Sudanese Civil War reached his village and separated Salva from his family. He joined thousands of boys, famously known as the “Lost Boys,” on their journey by foot to seek safety in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. After living in refugee camps for 10 years, Salva was given the opportunity to move to the United States, where he was embraced by a family in Rochester, New York. Several years later, Salva learned that his father was still alive in Southern Sudan but was suffering with disease caused by waterborne parasites. His father’s illness inspired Salva to help both his father and his country by bringing clean water to those in need.
He is the founder of Water for South Sudan (WFSS)
Salva’s story is told in the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park