The Lost Boys of Sudan

 

 

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     Separated 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.


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Where Were They Resettled?

The U.S. government resettled young men known as the Lost Boys of Sudan in cities around the country. The list of resettlement locations below, provided by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, shows how many Lost Boys the government resettled in particular states in 2000 and 2001. The figures below and to the left cover only those Lost Boys who were deemed to be over 18 and were therefore resettled as adults; it excludes roughly 500 Lost Boys who were resettled as minors. 

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Arizona | California | Colorado |Connecticut | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Iowa | Illinois | Kentucky | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | Mississippi | North Carolina | North Dakota | Nebraska | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Pennsylvania | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Vermont | Washington

 


ARIZONA - 221
            Paradise Valley
            Phoenix
            Scottsdale
            Tucson

CALIFORNIA - 144
           San Diego
           San Jose

COLORADO - 50
            Boulder
            Denver
            Littleton

CONNECTICUT - 27
            Hartford
            New Have

 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - 1

 
FLORIDA - 105
            Jacksonville
            New Port Richey

GEORGIA - 156
            Atlanta
            Clarkston
            Comer
            Decatur 

IOWA - 32
            Des Moines

ILLINOIS - 132
            Chicago
            Wheaton

 KENTUCKY - 108
            Jeffersonville
            Louisville

MASSACHUSETTS - 126
            Boston
            Newton Center
            Somerville
            Worcester

MICHIGAN - 116
            Grand Rapids
            Jenison
            Lansing
            Marne
            Southfield
            Wyomin

 
MINNESOTA - 6
            Rochester

 
MISSOURI - 43
            Kansas City

MISSISSIPPI - 5
            Jackson 

NORTH CAROLINA - 86
 
          Charlotte
            Greensboro
            High Point

NORTH DAKOTA - 29
            Bismarck
            Fargo

NEBRASKA - 104
            Bellvue
            Lincoln
            Omaha

NEVADA - 34
            Las Vegas

NEW YORK - 137
            Jamesville        
            Rochester
            Skaneateles
            Utica

OHIO - 37
           Cleveland

PENNSYLVANIA - 132
            Bird In Hand
            Erie
            Harrisburg
            Hershey
            Lancaster
            Mechanicsburg
            Philadelphia
            Pittsburgh 

SOUTH DAKOTA - 30
            Sioux Falls

TENNESSEE - 137
            Gallatin
            Memphis
            Nashville

TEXAS - 265
           Arlington
            Dallas
            Fort Worth
            Houston

 UTAH - 109
            Salt Lake City

VIRGINIA - 97
            Arlington
            Chesapeake
            Fisherville
            Newport News
            Norfolk
            Richmond
            Williamsburg     

VERMONT - 39
            Colchester

WASHINGTON - 92
            Seattle

How Can I Help? 

Work for PEACE in Sudan

Join the 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: email Bill Andress or Bobbie-Frances McDonald.

     > Learn more

Contact elected 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.

     >
Learn more at www.savedarfur.org .

 

VOLUNTEER with refugees in your community

The 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 Committeewww.theirc.org
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Serviceswww.lirs.org
Episcopal Migration Ministrieswww.episcopalchurch.org/emm
Church World Service cwsglobal.org
Immigration and Refugee Services of America www.refugeesusa.org
United States Catholic Conference : Migration and Refugee Services www.usccb.org/mrs
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society www.hias.org
State of Iowa Bureau of Refugee Serviceswww.dhs.state.ia.us/refugee
World Relief www.worldrelief.org

> Most state have state refugee coordinators who can steer volunteers to agencies that resettle or serve refugees.

 

 

Jacob Magot, 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 Anyang).

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