South Sudan is among the poorest countries in the world. This is largely due to it also being one of the newest countries in the world as it gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of Civil War.
Civil war broke out again in 2014 between the leaders of South Sudan due to ethnic rivalries and and poltical conflicts. This left the youth of South Sudan, already experiencing dire poverty, even worse off. Many of these young men turned to crime or armed insurgency as a means of taking out their aggressions.
Using Rowing as a means of promoting competition as an outlet for this aggression is an entirely new concept as South Sudan does not not have any rowing programs, and very few sports programs. Travel bewteen cities and states is also difficult due to lack of paved roads and it being so dangerous. This makes athletic competitions between other regions effectively inmpossible.
However, this does not mean they cannot be helped, which is why Row4Life was created so as to use sports to give these young men and women a second chance at a better life.
Rowing in particular was chosen due to my own background within the sport as during my high school years where I rowed frequently and entered the Mid-Atlantic erg Sprints numerous times.
Rowing was also chosen due to the Concept 2 ergometer's (e.g. rowing machine's) efficiency at measuring performanced. These machines are all used by Olympic teams around the world and allow a true and fair competition to be held by two different athletes at the same time, but with each athlete in a different location (or country). These rowing times can then be sent to American and British universities for rowing scholarships.
Row4Life's creed can best be summed by the following quotes by the great American Olympic rower Jim Dietz; "Rowing is a sport for dreamers. As long as you put in the work; you can own the dream."
Let us work together to help the boys and girls of South Sudan make and realize their dreams for a better life for themselves and the future generations of South Sudan.
Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your question.