“Lost Boys of Sudan” Talk About Rebuilding Their Country

“Lost Boys of Sudan”Fleeing civil war, the “Lost Boys of Sudan” traveled hundreds of miles on foot, surviving militia ambushes, lion attacks, flood waters and starvation to arrive at a refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya in the late 1980s and 1990s. After long years of waiting and hardship, thousands were able to resettle in the United States.

On Tuesday, March 24, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. three of refugees will speak about their experiences and the work of their nonprofit organization, “Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan” (LBRSS). LBRSS seeks to build a high school in the village of Malualkom. Several of them traveled with Valentino Achak Deng, the Lost Boy whose life story inspired What is the What, the Duke freshman book selection in 2008.

William MouThe event takes place in Fleishman Commons at the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy on Duke University’s west campus. It is free and open to the public. It will open with a short segment from a CBS “60 Minutes” broadcast about the Sudanese refugees.

Two of the panelists, William Mou and Joseph Akoon, are distant cousins, who will be reunited on the Saturday before the event for the first time since leaving the refugee camp. Other Sudanese who live in North Carolina plan to attend to event. Afterward, they will discuss the possibility of creating a local chapter of LBRSS.

Mou, chairman of LBRSS, is now a U.S. citizen living in Carol Stream, Ill., with his wife and two children. He works at Excel in Elgin and has studied at Elgin Community College. He continues to coach soccer and sings in his church choir, both of which he began doing in the Kaukuma refugee camp in Kenya. Akoon lives in High Point, N.C., with his wife and child, working and attending community college.

Samuel AneiThe third panelist, Samuel Anei, was captain of the Napata Secondary School soccer team and a volunteer for the Netherlands Olympic Committee while in Kaukuma camp,. Since coming to the Chicago area, Anei has served as president of the Chicago Area Lost Boys Association and director of LBRSS. 

The event is sponsored by local volunteers for Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan, NBC 17, the Global Health Forum, Duke New Student and Family Programs, Amnesty International, MyNC.com and the Sanford Institute.

For information, please contact Karen Kemp (Sanford Institute) kkemp@duke.edu (919) 613-7394.