The Cost of Kindness

Presentation highlights the value of kindness, accepting help, and supplying clean water to developing communities.


Elaina Franzen

Buey Ray Tut, founder of Aqua Africa, speaks to students at EHS. Tut was chosen as this year's Student Council Speaker.

Emma Grubbe, Reporter

Pullquote Photo

My life is a clear example that no one does things on their own, so don’t dismiss people who are offering to help you.”

— Buey Ray Tut

Water. It’s something we all take advantage of. But some parts of the world, like South Sudan, Africa don’t have the accessibility that we do. Elkhorn students gathered into the crowded gym April 12th to listen to a speaker Buey Ray Tut. Tut is an advocate for clean water in developing countries in Africa.  Tut founded the non-profit organization Aqua Africa.
The EHS Student Council searched for this year’s speaker, and said they chose Tut because he and his organization stand for a very important cause. Junior Jackson Habrock, a member of the student council, searched for the right organization to showcase.
“I thought that Aqua Africa would be beneficial for the student body hear,” Habrock said.
The student council donated their time and money to Tut too- $1000 of it. Habrock listened to the speech and thought that Tut kept the audience’s attention well.
Tut started the speech revealing his past- he is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and attended Burke High School, where he was treated unkindly because of his native language and accent. In his speech, Tut decided that he wanted to tell students of Elkhorn how to help students who are different from them.
“In terms of being kind, the cost is cheap but the value is immense- people who step up mean a lot to others,” Tut said.
When Tut heard of the water crisis in South Sudan, he wanted to help. Tut talked about his mother and how she had to walk three miles to the Nile River just to get drinking water- and it wasn’t clean. When he was a child, he remembers that a well was drilled for them, and water was made more accessible.
“A water well was drilled for us, and then there was clean water- for everyone. This is what I wanted to do when I went back to South Sudan,” Tut said.
In 2015, Aqua Africa built their first water system with the help of volunteers. When the organization built the well, they were able to provide clean water for up to 2,500 people per day.
Tut said the organization was able to accomplish this by working with other organizations who wanted to help.  “No one does things on their own- you need help, you need cooperation- and you need to accept people,” Tut said.
Aqua Africa’s mission is to provide clean water for communities who strive toward positive change.  They look for places that are progressive and have schools and health care. Currently, they are working on a water well that combines solar power and batteries. Their next target for clean water is Hiyala Town, where they will provide water for 12,000 people per day.
“In the next 5 years, we hope to provide water systems for 100 developing countries in Africa,” Tut said.
At the end of the presentation, Elkhorn High School donated $1,000 in support of Aqua Africa and what it stands for.
“I’d love to see students use Buey as an example and potentially become involved with his organization- that would do a lot of good,” Habrock said.
Aqua Africa is growing in popularity and hopes to inform and educate young adults on the water crisis in Africa.
“My life is a clear example that no one does things on their own, so don’t dismiss people who are offering to help you,” Tut said, “You guys are the future and there is a lot of need out there that you can help with.

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