the Lost Boys?
In the mid 1980's, troops of the oppressive fundamentalist government
in Northern Sudan began attacking the Black Christian and animist
villages in the south. As their houses burned, their parents killed,
and their sisters taken into slavery, over 27,000 little boys fled
into the night. Many no more than five or six years old, barefoot
and naked, without food or water, began their epic journey that would
take them a thousand miles across Sudan into Ethiopia. They crossed
deserts and mountains, dodged enemy fire and wild animals and endured
thirst, starvation and disease. Less than half survived.
Five years later they reached Kakuma Refugee Camp in dry desolate
northern Kenya where they began to learn English sitting under trees
and writing in the sand. For the next nine years, living on a half
cup of cornmeal a day, they built nineteen schools and dedicated themselves
to education. They became known to the world as the Lost Boys of Sudan.
Their bravery and perseverance through unimaginable injustices and
hardships is testimony to the strength of the human spirit. Without
parents to guide them, they emerged as polite, kind, and capable young
men who, despite the odds, managed to achieve the equivalent of a
secondary education in what was for most a third or fourth language,
English. With over two million of their countrymen killed in the holocaust
that is still going on today, in 2001, with still no peace in sight,
the United States recognized their hopeless situation and welcomed
3800 Lost Boys to this country as refugees.