Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Lost Boys

I've been a mentor for over 8 years. I was a "Big" in Big Brothers Big Sisters for six years and for the past two years, I have been a mentor in Washington Street Foundation (WSF). Each month, we have an organized event for the group. Many months, we have guest speakers.

As part of this month's WSF event, we had a speaker from the AZ Lost Boys Center. Patty and I recently saw the movie "God Grew Tired of Us" (my recent blog post), which was about the Lost Boys of Sudan, and I was really excited to hear his story.

Some highlights:
  • fled from his home (to escape soldiers) at the age of 6
  • separated from his immediate family - he traveled w/ his cousin
  • survived 3 months with no "real food"
  • spent time in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya
  • forced to become a "boy soldier"
  • during this time, he was shot and wounded in the leg
  • while at a hospital, he was "saved" by a nurse who sent him back to the refugee camp
  • arrived in Phoenix in 2000 (w/ little English skills)
  • finished high school in under four years
  • attended Paradise Valley Community College, where he obtained Associates degree in Medical Technology
  • father was killed; found out in 2006 that his mother and 4 brothers (of 6) were also killed
He had a great story about how he survived during his escape from Sudan. His cousin told him that his mom was ahead of them (so he was inspired to continue) and that he couldn't cry (which might give away their location), or he would tell the other boys (who would make fun of him). Sorry...terrible use of pronouns...but you get the idea. =)

He is now a Medical Technician for a non-profit and volunteers for the AZ Lost Boys Center, where he frequently speaks to groups about his story. He will be returning to Sudan in November (his first time back).

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