Depending on where you get your news, the separation of Sudan into two territories is either great human interest news fraught with difficulty, or disastrous ongoing drama marked by violent ruptures.

Time did this feature painting the story blood red.

On July 9, two new nations will come into being when Africa’s largest country splits into two: a smaller, mostly Arab and Muslim Sudan, ruled from the old capital, Khartoum, and a mainly black African and Christian South Sudan with its capital in Juba.

On radio Monday, I interviewed a guest who just returned from Juba and reported that while things are dire there, what some of these big media reports leave out is the jubilation of the Christian people to be newly free of Sharia law and able to determine their own fate. Which in the immediate term, requires the bare essentials to survive.

Starting with water. Both guests are behind this project. They were preceded by dedicated Christian relief workers for decades, who met the needs of local villages and communities as best they could with little world attention. Now, the church steps up to celebrate South Sudan’s independence.

Which requires sustenance on a basic level.

Bishop Mario Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told participants at a meeting regarding the future of water supplies around the world that water is…a common good that belongs to everyone…

It is the responsibility of political authorities to mediate between private interests and public needs, keeping in mind that “the right to water is the basis for the respect of many other fundamental human rights.”

Which gets back to the guys I interviewed Monday, the ones behind the Dig Deep Water Project. “Thirst is finite. Our capacity to help others is anything but,” is their slogan.

Their newest initiative, launched Monday, is the ’50 States 50 Wells’ project. It’s ambitious, for good reasons. Like this one. It’s inspiring and hopeful.

DigDeep is a human rights advocacy and development initiative committed to promoting and protecting the right to water with a Whole Life ethic.

Our work brings us into contact with many young men and women fighting for human dignity across the globe. That’s why we’re happy to support the Francis Bok Experience, a Sailor Group / Movie To Movement documentary currently in production.

Francis Bok is a former child slave who spent 10 years of his early life in captivity. After several dangerous attempts, Francis was finally able to escape his master, flee Sudan, and settle in America. Francis’ story of survival is a testament to the strength of the human spirit – and one we’re excited to share with the world.

DigDeep

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....