The Out of the Hut Foundation’s second annual multi-family garage sale was held in McLennan on June 9.
Held at the Ecole Providence gym, the garage sale is part of an ongoing fundraising initiative to help build water well in the small community of Mading Biong in South Sudan.
The June 9 event raised $1,286 bringing the Foundations funds to almost $8,000, roughly the half way mark of the $15,000 need to build the well.
Contending with civil war and all its associated problems, many South Sudan communities struggle to provide fundamental needs to their people.
Some of those necessities such as housing, access to water and education, are especially difficult to acquire and maintain in the midst of conflict.
South Sudan became an autonomous nation when it declared its independence from Sudan in 2011 following a referendum where 98 percent of the people voted for independence.
The country has an agricultural based economy and though it has the potential for prosperity with substantial oil resources, due mainly to a protracted civil war, it is one of the worlds least developed regions.
In 2017, the United Nations anticipated that six million people, approximately 50 percent of South Sudan’s population, will experience food shortages.
Joseph and Abraham Deng, who immigrated to Canada nine years ago, established Out of the Hut Foundation to address the needs of people in their homeland.
The Foundation, which is based in Grande Prairie where Joseph Deng now lives, sees these various of the people in their homeland as dynamically interdependent, knowing that onsite water in communities can also have a positive influence on the education of young people and on the well-being of entire communities.
Regarding education, onsite water is especially important to girls’ education, as it frees them from the responsibility of drawing water from a distance and allows them to spend that time in the classroom.
While based in Grande Prairie, Out of the Hut Foundation has members in the McLennan who are committed to building the well in the South Sudanese community of Mading Biong.
Members of Out of the Hut Foundation involved in this initiative include Abraham Deng and his wife Deborah Kon, Isabella Dubrule and her son Maxime and daughter Justine.
An additional positive outcome from the garage sale is that unsold items are donated to St. Paul’s Heritage House Committee’s annual, summer-long garage sale at the McLennan Legion.
Out of the Hut Foundation are planning additional fundraising initiatives, such as a bottle drive in the near future and another event sometime during the winter.