About SSFI

South Sudanese Friends International develops long-term solutions to humanitarian needs such as health care, education, trade, industry, and infrastructure by empowering local communities.

South Sudanese women at the community well.

South Sudanese women at the community well.

Our History

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 Sudan. They heard stories of overwhelming hardship and horror. But they also heard ideas about the future.

Julia and Wal Duany SSFI Founders

Julia and Wal Duany
SSFI Founders

Wal and Julia returned to the United States and founded SSFI in 1994. They firmly believe that the best way to help the people of Southern Sudan is to involve local people in projects that use their own talents, preserve their dignity, and encourage self-reliant living.

Our Mission

Our programs train South Sudanese people to assist and manage their own development and education projects. We work to create a climate of mutual understanding between ethnic groups and build support for democratic values, free elections, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, free enterprise, and a culture of tolerance.


We aspire to share the love of Jesus Christ with the people of Southern Sudan in a way that leads them towards peaceful and self-reliant living, so that available resources will meet the needs of communities.

What We Do

Peacemaking - SSFI works in South Sudan at grassroots, national, and inter-national levels to initiate and encourage peacemaking.  Wal and Julia Duany specialize in working behind the scenes, bringing people together for talks, and helping them find common ground for reconciliation.

Advocacy for self-governance - SSFI helps people in Southern Sudanese communities learn to support one another and live together in peace by teaching and applying principles of pluralism, democracy, and respect for human rights within the context of the Christian faith and the Sudanese culture.

Community Development - SSFI conducts self-reliance programs in South Sudan to empower families both individually and collectively to solve their own problems.  SSFI has distributed seeds for home gardens, provided fishing nets, and taught community health workers and mothers ways to improve nutrition, hygiene, and water purification.


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 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 Sudanese people.