from parents in the chaos of war, thousands of boys walked hundreds of
miles across southern Sudan in the late 1980s. They had little food or
water. Disease and animals killed many. Aid workers flying over southern
Sudan could identify the route from the air by all the bodies of boys who
did not make it.
The boys were being led toward the promise of safety in
refugee camps in Ethiopia. They stayed about four years. Most learned
English and attended Christian church services. Some were trained as child
soldiers. The boys were among 250,000 refugees who were forced to leave
Ethiopia in 1991. More boys died during several additional months of
wandering that ended in a refugee camp in Kenya. Aid workers and
journalists called them the Lost Boys
after the Peter Pan characters who are cast as children into a
world of adults.
The United States opened its door to about 3,800 Lost Boys in 2000
and 2001, resettling them as refugees on the grounds that they would be
persecuted in their native Sudan, where war has killed 2 million people
since 1983. The Lost Boys arrived in the United States with little
knowledge of life in the modern
West. Most had never used telephones or seen tall buildings. They had
never flicked on electric lights, ridden a bus or cooked on a stove, but
the U.S. government gave them
four months to get their
bearings and support themselves.
The refugees known as the Lost Boys are actually young men now.
They are making their way through everyday life in 28 states with the
generous help of a committed group of American volunteers. Most have
settled into a routine of working and pursing what they want more than
anything else – an education.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
ARIZONA - 221
COLORADO - 50
CONNECTICUT - 27
OF COLUMBIA -
GEORGIA - 156
IOWA - 32
ILLINOIS - 132
MASSACHUSETTS - 126
MICHIGAN - 116
MISSISSIPPI - 5
CAROLINA - 86
NORTH DAKOTA - 29
NEBRASKA - 104
NEVADA - 34
NEW YORK - 137
OHIO - 37
PENNSYLVANIA - 132
Bird In Hand
SOUTH DAKOTA - 30
TENNESSEE - 137
TEXAS - 265
Salt Lake City
VIRGINIA - 97
VERMONT - 39
WASHINGTON - 92
Can I Help?
Sudan Advocacy Action Forum,
a Web-based effort to spread news and urge action. Members receive email
news alerts and urgings to sign petitions, contact elected officials etc.
To sign up:
Bill Andress or
officials or donate time or money toward the effort aimed at
ending what the U.S. government calls
genocide in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. Arab militias in
Darfur have killed at least 30,000 black Africans and forced another 1.2
million from their homes.
with refugees in your community
nonprofit agencies that resettle refugees rely on volunteers to act as
friends, mentors and guides. Volunteers often meet
newly arriving refugees at the airport, show them their new home, take
them to the grocery store and answer questions about everyday life in the
United States. To volunteer, find out if any of the major
refugee-resettlement agencies have an affiliate office in your community.
If they do, call the affiliate office and volunteer.
International Rescue Committee —
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services —
Episcopal Migration Ministries —
Church World Service —
Immigration and Refugee Services of America —
United States Catholic Conference : Migration and Refugee Services
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society —
State of Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services —
World Relief — www.worldrelief.org
Most state have
refugee coordinators who can steer volunteers to agencies
that resettle or serve refugees.
one of four young men whose stories unfold in The Lost Boys of Sudan, prepares
for a job interview with Ben Cushman, a job developer with the
International Rescue Committee in Atlanta.
The four young men whose stories unfold in The Lost Boys of Sudan
received a crash course in life in modern American from Mathew Kon
(center, with arm raised), a southern Sudanese caseworker for the
International Rescue Committee in Atlanta. This photo was taken in the
summer of 2001, days after the arrival of the four young men (from left:
Daniel Khoch, Marko Ayii, Caseworker Mathew Kon, Jacob Magot and Peter