Julia and Wal Duany


Partnering with grassroots organizations for 20 years

About Us

SSFI believes “Peace is a total way of life.” This holistic understanding enables us to reach across multiple areas of need to lay the foundation for self-reliance. Another distinguishing aspect of SSFI’s work is our emphasis on the long-term educational process. We want to give people the skills and resources they need to help themselves. SSFI has been supporting projects to build peace and self-reliance in South Sudan for 20 years. 

South Sudanese Friends International is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation founded in 1994 to promote peace, justice, and democracy in Sudan. Our activities are funded by contributions from individuals, religious organizations, and civic groups that share our love for the South Sudanese people. 

OUR Mission ​ 

Our mission is to partner with grassroots initiatives to empower the people of South Sudan through sustainable, community-driven change. We aim to support local leaders working in education, women’s empowerment, health and agriculture in order to promote peace and lasting change throughout the nation.

Our work

SSFI empowers through 5 key areas of development: 

Peace and reconciliation 

Helping to lay the foundation for a peaceful nation remains at the core of our mission. We have worked at every level of peacemaking in South Sudan, bringing people together for talks in villages, camps, and government offices. Our future plans include community workshops and dialogues, a soldier community reintegration program, and community watch program.

Educational equity

Our school, The American School of South Sudan (TASOSS), is on track to expand into a full PreK-12 program by 2025. We are providing children a strong educational foundation and the skills they need to become leaders in their communities. We hope to soon provide scholarships for children with financial need. 

Women’s Empowerment

SSFI has always seen the power of women in building peace and community. That's why we created a women's network, Women Working Together. In the future, SSFI aims to create a Women’s Resource Centre and Shelter to support survivors of rape and other forms of gender-based violence. We aim to provide holistic services including legal, medical, and psychiatric support along with childcare services and vocational training.


SSFI works to create healthier communities. We plan to focus on highly neglected areas including maternal health and chronic disease management. We aim to create a Midwife Association to reduce maternal and child mortality rates along with a clinic to provide much-needed local care for conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, and heart disease.


SSFI’s past seed projects have shown the transformative power of agriculture to support livelihoods and improve food security. SSFI aims to amplify this impact by working with local farmers to improve existent farming practices and introduce export opportunities for dehydrated fruit. 


Though we are guided by Christian principles, SSFI is not affiliated with any religious or political entity and offers hope to people in need irrespective of race, culture, or religion.


South Sudanese Friends International (SSFI) is the outgrowth of the vision, scholarship, and professional experience of Drs. Wal and Julia Duany of southern Sudan. Wal and Julia laid the groundwork for SSFI during their peace-making mission to southern Sudan in 1993. They visited cities, refugee camps, and remote areas, and in every place they saw that nine years of civil war had all but destroyed the region. They heard stories of overwhelming hardship and horror. But they also heard ideas about the future. Wal and Julia returned to the United States and founded SSFI in 1994. 

  • 1994 SSFI Founded 
  • 1994 SSFI organizes a regional peace conference and delivers humanitarian aid to refugees 
  • 1995 SSFI encourages involvement of women in the peace process 
  • 1996 SSFI registers as a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit corporation
  • 2000 SSFI funds the creation of a mobile medical clinic
  • 2001 SSFI raises funds to sponsor five aspiring pastors and opens Women Working Together 
  • 2004 SSFI sends medicine and medical supplies to Pading
  • 2005 The Comprehensive Peace Agreement is signed. SSFI's founders focus their efforts on peace and reconciliation work 
  • 2008 SSFI establishes Sport Revolution Girls, an after-school mentor program for girls
  • 2009 SSFI's nursery and pre-primary school, Juba Kidz Zone, is established
  • 2011 South Sudan gains independence
  • 2013 Juba Kidz Zone expands to become The American School of South Sudan (TASOSS)
  • 2014 20th Anniversary of SSFI