Rescue South Sudan Village People

Board Members

Abraham Majak, President

I am Abraham Madit Majak.  I am the founder and president of RSSVP, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and the funding necessary to rebuild the infrastructure in South Sudan.

I am also a Co-founder of Lakes State Media. Lakes State Media is a social media platform that we use to bring information, news, and social issues to people of South Sudan to be well inform. When they are well-informed, they can discuss their issues and find amicable solutions.

I survived the years of civil war in Sudan and was brought to the United States in 2001.  Since then, I have finished my secondary education; started college; found employment; started RSSVP with my brother, Isaac; am the President of Trinity Sudanese Lutheran Ministry in Lansing, Michigan; and am the Vice-President of Southern Sudan Rescue and Relief Association (SSRRA), a charitable organization that provides assistance to the Sudanese who have been relocated to the U.S.

While life is full and busy, I deeply desire to share good fortune and a better start in life with my family and countrymen back in South Sudan.

My brother and I are two of the lucky ones.  We survived.  And after many years at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, we were chosen to come to the U.S. – I came to Michigan and Isaac was sent to Massachusetts.  We have been fed, healed, nurtured, educated, and befriended.  Now it is time to give back to those left behind.

Glenn Stutzky, Vice President

Glenn R. Stutzky, LMSW, MSW is a faculty member of the School of Social Work at Michigan State University.  Glenn designed one of the nation’s first college courses on school violence and is a recognized expert on the role that bullying plays in the development of violence and how schools should address student to student sexual harassment.  As a Social Worker, he is committed, through RSSVP, to helping the people of South Sudan gain self-sufficiency as a new nation.

Matt Perensen, Treasurer

Matt Perensen, CPA is the treasurer of RSSVP. A Maryland native, he attended Michigan State University
where he met his wife, Laura. Having settled in the greater Lansing area after graduating with degrees in
Accounting and Economics, Matt earned his CPA license while working for Andrews Hooper Pavlik,
PLC, a Michigan public accounting firm, as a Senior Accountant. He now works as a Senior Accountant
for Jackson National Life. He is extremely proud to be contributing to the mission of RSSVP and looks
forward to further helping the people of South Sudan.

Susan Stutzky, Secretary

Sue met Abe at an event sponsored by the One Book One Community program and was struck by how deeply he wanted to help his people in Sudan.  An offer to proofread a brochure for him has since turned into a commitment to assist in his and his brother’s efforts to bring water, education, and medical care to their village and villages nearby.  Sue works as a legislative analyst for the House Fiscal Agency, a nonpartisan office within the Michigan House of Representatives.  An as yet unpublished poet, essayist, and short-story writer, Sue also serves on a community advisory board for the Center for Poetry at Michigan State University.  She and her husband, Glenn, live in East Lansing, Michigan.

Isaac Majak

My name is Isaac M. Majak.  I was born in 1981 in Yirol district in Southern Sudan.  In 1983, the Civil War broke out between South Sudan and North Sudan.  Our village was attacked and my father was killed.  I thought our mother also was dead.  I escaped with my brother on foot to Ethiopia.  In 1991, the Ethiopian civil war broke out and we were forced to flee back to Sudan and then across the border to Kenya.  From there, the UN displaced us to a refugee camp in Northern Kenya called Kakuma.  After many years, our mother learned we were alive and she eventually found us at Kakuma.  After just a few years of being together again, Abe and I were chosen to come to America.  Once again, our mother had to say to goodbye so we could have a chance at a new life.

I came to Boston, Massachusetts in 2001. I graduated high school in June, 2005 and started electrical engineers training.  In 2007, I stopped college and went back to Africa to visit our mother who was now living in Uganda with other Sudanese.  Our reunion was full of joy and tears.  I and my mother took a trip together to Sudan to our family’s original village.  My mother and our family’s other members chose my wife, Rachel Ater, for marriage.  I was so excited to marry this beautiful woman.  I agreed to marry Rachel because I respect the family decisions.  We married in 2008 and I brought my wife and my mother back to Uganda to live.  I returned to Boston to arrange for Rachel to join me.

In 2010, my wife and I had a son called Thon Isaac Majak.  We made a plan; I work overnight at CVS Pharmacy as a supervisor and in the morning my wife goes to high school to get her diploma.  I do really enjoy taking care of my baby boy every day.  I love my wife and my son so much.  I am very grateful that I’m a father and a family man.  May God bless my family.

Stateside Community Advisors

Irv Nichols

John Irvin Nichols, Retired Executive Director,  Mid-Michigan Chapter. American Red Cross,  formerly a Board Member, South Sudan Rescue and Relief Association , with responsibility for fund raising.

A native of North Carolina with an AB degree from Duke University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Irv has had a distinguished career serving various health-related associations and organizations, including the Michigan and Kentucky chapters of the Tuberculosis Association, the American College of Emergency Medicine, American Red Cross, and Michigan Substance Abuse Services.  Irv is a tireless volunteer in his community with service to the Lansing, Michigan Sesquicentennial Foundation as well as serving as past president of the Michigan Public Health Association, Michigan School Health Association, and Lansing Chapter of the Rotary Club.  Irv has long worked with the Lansing-area Sudanese refugee community.  In addition to his volunteer work with RSSVP, Irv serves as a board member and chair of fundraising for the Southern Sudan Rescue and Relief Association (SSRRA), which provides assistance to the Sudanese who have been relocated to the U.S.

Ellen Morgan 

Ellen has been involved with the Sudanese community in the Boston area since 2001 when three of the Lost Boys started high school with her son.  She has traveled to South Sudan twice with Isaac Majak to meet his family and to attend his wedding.  Ms. Morgan is a photographer and her pictures of South Sudan can be seen at  In addition to her volunteer work with RSSVP, she currently serves on the board of the Sudanese Education Fund.

Danielle Vasquez

My name is Danielle Vasquez and I first learned about the boys and girls in Sudan in 2000 when Abraham Madit Majak and Long Kon Long left Kakuma Refuge Camp and moved in with my family in Holt, MI.  Since then I have been learning as much as I can about the history and present condition of the beautiful country of South Sudan.

I have not yet traveled to Sudan but hope to in the near future.  In 2005 I traveled to Uganda and worked as a photojournalist within the refuge camps affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

I am a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English Writing.  I am moving to Philadelphia with my husband and am currently working to obtain my Masters in Education.  I am very excited about my current and future involvement with RSSVP.

Chuck Roost

Charles F. Roost, who serves as Vice-President of RSSVP, has been a Chiropractor for over 30 years.  He has served on the boards of several state and national organizations, including the Christian Chiropractors Association, Global Outreach Development, and his local church.  Dr. Roost founded the Michigan Christian Chiropractors Association, and heads up a free clinic at the Lansing City Rescue Mission – a nonprofit organization serving the Lansing-area homeless.  He has written four books and lives with his wife in mid-Michigan.  They are the foster parents for two Sudanese young men, including Abraham Majak.

Magok G Riak Dud

Magok Riak Dud is a native of Yirol, South Sudan.  Due to the civil war in South Sudan, and after a long odyssey that took him to North Sudan, Egypt, and Italy, he arrived in the U.S. in October, 2006.  Magok trained as a Structural Engineer and is now training to become an Architect.  He is also a certified teacher and intercultural mediator.  Before leaving Sudan, he taught Math and Chemistry in the internal displaced schools in Khartoum as a volunteer.  Magok was a founding member of St. Augustine Secondary School and worked and taught as an intercultural mediator in Italy.

As a community organizer, he helped organize and lead the South Sudanese community in both Italy and in Lansing, Michigan.  Magok served as a member of the Engineering Without Borders Association in Italy and is currently a member of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), board member of RSSVP, and President of the Southern Sudan Rescue and Relief Association (SSRRA), which was founded in Lansing in 2003 to provide assistance to the Sudanese who have been relocated to the U.S.

Magok personally experienced how difficult it is to go to school in South Sudan.  His first two years of schooling in Yirol he sat under a mango tree learning to write in the sand.  That is why he believes that change in village life has to start with someone, somewhere.  To Magok, the best way to be a part of that change is being a part of RSSVP.

William (Bill) Stelzer

Bill first became involved with the South Sudanese refugee community over 20 years ago when he and his wife, Sue, were asked by Catholic Social Services to assist a group of six “Lost Boys” who had just arrived in Lansing. Bill and Sue assisted them in obtaining winter clothes and familiarized them with American foods and customs and meal preparation, taught them how to drive (starting with a garden tractor) so they could get driver licenses. Through it all (especially when teaching them how to merge at 70 mph onto freeways), we became long lasting friends with the boys and met many of their friends through dinners at our house. Sue and I met several of the current RSSVP board members when we served for many years on the board of Southern Sudan Rescue and Relief Association (SSRRA) and I joined the board of RSSVP when SSRRA closed operations a few years ago. In addition to the work in Majok-Chedhiop, we continue to provide South Sudanese refugees in Kenya with food and education and communicate with them regularly. Though in my 80s and with limited mobility, I am privileged to serve on the RSSVP board and bring education and other resources to an undeserved part of the world.

Community Advisors, Yirol Area, South Sudan

In South Sudan, several local leaders of Yirol Area, Lakes State, have agreed to be the local contacts and also to provide local oversight for the duration of the Projects.  These include the following:

James Deng Chol

James Deng Chol, elder and community organizer in Yirol Area and Majok-Chedhiop, enjoys basketball, hockey, and boxing and listening to his radio.  Currently working as a staff member for SPLM, Mr. Chol has a long career of helping others in need.  Past endeavors include working with women and children with a Social Welfare Program in Wau State, working with the Red Cross, World Food Program, and Peace and Justice.  He says he is “happy to bring my leadership skills to RSSVP helping people of Majok-Chedhiop village.”

Sultan Alok Beny

Sultan Alok Beny, chief of Majok-Chedhiop village. 

Pawany Anyijong

Pawany Anyijong, elder of Majok-Chedhiop village.

Aliakliak Chol Angok

Aliakliak Chol Angok, elder of Majok-Chedhiop village


Mawet Lok

Mawet Lok, Elder of Majok-Chedhiop. 

Agep Akuch

Agep Akuch, elder of Majok-Chidhiop village, and one of the traditional spiritual.

Makoor Achiek

Makoor Achiek, performs a variety of duties related to land survey in Majok-Chedhiop.

Isaac Kuol Atuot

Isaac Kuol,teacher at Majok-Chedhiop Primary School.