The Dut Jok Youth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It was created in a University of Pennsylvania dorm room in 2011 by Dau Jok to empower South Sudanese youth through the vehicles of education, recreational sports and leadership building programming. The foundation aims to produce generations of South Sudanese youth who are both academically and socially vibrant. We believe that by engaging and unifying the youth through these initiatives we can instill the most fundamental instruments of success, break gender barriers, discourage destructive behavior, and provide a refuge for youth to feel safe to discover their true progressive potential. We have reached more than 2,000 youth since 2011 in South Sudan, Uganda and the United states.
Who is Dut Jok?
The Late Dut Jok was a Commander in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who was killed in one of Africa’s longest and bloodiest wars. He was a man of equality, development, justice, and a protector of his people during Sudan’s Second civil war. His death was felt in the Lakes State community, and it especially demoralized the people of the Gok Dinka tribe. His death erased any hopes of a better future of the youth of the region. As a relentless warrior, leader and humanitarian, Dut Jok lived his life for others. The foundation is named in his honor to carry the ideals and beliefs for which he lived and eventually died for. The foundation seeks to empower the youth of South Sudan, regardless of religion or ethnicity, through athletics and education to challenge the current cycle of violence and poverty in future generations.
Dau Jok remembers the struggle to get an education in his homeland growing up during Sudan’s Second Civil War. He learned Dinka under trees with no pencils or notebooks, instead, writing on the beautiful sand using his fingers. Although South Sudan is now an independent nation, the lack of education and opportunities, violence and engagement still persists to this day. The Dut Jok Youth Foundation was founded in 2011 as a project to deliver sports equipment to youth in Cueibet, Dau’s hometown, but the vision grew. Dau was named the 2011 University of Pennsylvania Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace Award Recipient in 2011. The $10,000 grant along with a 1,000 soccer ball donation from the United States Marine Corps and unwavering support from Penn students led Dau to create the Dut Jok Youth Foundation Fund with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines (Iowa). In 2014, the Dut Jok Youth Foundation was recognized as a 501©3 organization by the IRS. Fighting violence, gender barriers, and providing opportunity for young people are the foundation’s main priority. Help us change the trajectory of the young nation.