Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lost Boys of Sudan

The Lost Boys of Sudan are the more than 27,000 boys who were forced to flee their homes and villages when government forces invaded southern Sudan.

Orphaned or separated from their families,
these boys were called"LostBoys"by the aid organizations that
worked to resettle many of these refugees. The name refers to the lost boys in the story of Peter Pan.

I just finished a class in Olli where we were told their stories by two young men, Chris and Martin. The class was organized by their "Mama" Noel, a retired U.of A. professor. There are a large number of Lost Boys living, working and going to school in Tucson.

Their journey lasted many years as they walked from their villages across Southern Sudan, first to Ethiopia and then to refugee camps in Northern Kenya. They endured thirst, starvation and attacks by lions and crocodiles and drowning when they had to swim the rivers. 2 million died. In the camps they were safe but lived years waiting to be resettled in Australia, Canada or the United States. The camps were meager but they did go to school, learning English and mathematics among other subjects.

In 2001 about 38,00o boys were settled in about 38 cities. After 9/11 relocation was halted until 2005.

Two documentary DVD's available are"Rebuilding Hope" and "Lost Boys of Sudan".
Numerous books have been written about the lives and experiences of these boys, now young men.
I recommend 'WHAT is the WHAT" by Dave Eggers. This is the story of Valentino Achak Deng.
Eggers spent many weeks learning Valentino's story- It is Deng's autobiography written as a novel.

photos from Google Images

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