associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union, 308.865.8523
The Lost Boys of Sudan will be the focus of a presentation telling of the tragedy and daily struggles in the life of the Sudanese through the eyes of John Dau, a man who has lived the Sudanese life.
The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room.
Dau’s story, titled “Lost Boys of Sudan,” is about his tragic childhood and successful adulthood. His story will tell about his experiences in Africa, the current conditions, what he is doing, and what others can do to help. In addition to the speech, an award-winning film titled, “God Grew Tired of Us,” will be shown the night before.
Tim Danube, associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union, said, “This is an event that combines opportunities to not only celebrate Black History Month, but also to learn about the atrocities in Africa and what led to the situation contributing to the story of the ‘Lost Boys.’”
According to Danube, Dau was born in Sudan in 1987 and came to the United States in 2001. He fled from the southern Sudan region to Ethiopia and later tried to return to Sudan but, soon found himself escaping to a refugee camp in Kenya to escape starvation, disease and violence.
Dau, one of the oldest of the Lost Boys, led thousands of younger children in pursuit of surviving the violence and starvation of his country. After being brought to Syracuse, N.Y., he pursued the American Dream. Dau worked 60-hour work weeks, while he completed his associate’s degree at Onondaga Community College. He is now pursuing a degree at Syracuse University in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
His life in the United States has been devoted to family life and becoming a human rights activist for the Lost Boys of Sudan in Syracuse and for the people of Sudan. His organization has helped young Sudanese through the transition to America by educating them and using counseling programs. The programs encourage self-growth, while helping raise awareness about the current situation in the Sudan. His foundation also helps the Lost Boys maintain an awareness of their origins.
In addition, Dau has been essential in raising more than $180,000 for the Duk Lost Boys clinic at Duk Payuel in Southern Sudan. The clinic will assist the sick, so they will not have to walk more than 75 miles for health services. The clinic will help with the treatment of diseases such as malaria, chicken pox, diarrhea, malnourishment and others.
In his brief time in the United States, Dau has already received several awards including the Martin Luther King Jr. Award from Syracuse University, 40 under 40 Award for Leadership, Above and Beyond the Call Award from Contact Community Services, Inc., Distinguished Alumni Award from Onondaga Community College, the Barney II Foundation Leadership Award, which honors young leaders who are devoted to helping other people who are in need. The Good Society Award recognizes individuals who follow the Athenian Oath in a course offered by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.