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Bol Aweng

Lost Boys of Sudan

Bol Aweng, one of the 35,000 so-called Lost Boys who fled southern Sudan during the second Sudanese Civil War. Aweng will detail his life then and now. As a six year old boy, Bol Aweng fled his village in 1987 when it was attacked, bombed and burned by government troops. While walking 1,500 miles to…

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Bol Aweng, one of the 35,000 so-called Lost Boys who fled southern Sudan during the second Sudanese Civil War. Aweng will detail his life then and now.

As a six year old boy, Bol Aweng fled his village in 1987 when it was attacked, bombed and burned by government troops. While walking 1,500 miles to Ethiopia and then to Kenya, he survived attacks by government troops, starvation, illness and attacks by wild animals.

Of the 35,000 Lost Boys that fled Southern Sudan, he was among the 16,000 who safely arrived in Kenya. Aweng spent fourteen years in refugee camps until he was approved for resettlement in the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He arrived in Nashville, Tenn., in 2001, where he worked at low-wage jobs while earning an associate’s degree in computer technology. He then moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. Aweng became a U.S. citizen in 2007 and graduated from OSU with a degree in fine arts.

Aweng returned to his Southern Sudanese village of Piol in December 2007. It was a bittersweet reunion with family he had not seen in 20 years. Seeing his mother, meeting new siblings and being with aging grandparents was exceptionally gratifying. 

However he also learned details of family members who had not survived the destruction of his village. The living conditions in the village deeply concerned him. There were no buildings left after the bombing, only family tukals (huts) had been re-built. Families had very little food and there were no schools.  Very few in the village could read or write, and only one person in the village had a job.  The only health care was provided by a young man who had a second grade education in English.  He had a chair and a card table and a small box of malaria medications, aspirin and cough syrup provided by UNICEF.

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    Aweng will describe how he is using his skills and experience to make a difference in his Sudanese community. He and others are determined to operate a health clinic to meet the basic healthcare needs in their village

    Showing the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” prior to the event.

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    Journey of Hope Continued: Bol B. Aweng

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