The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys

In 2001, the first “Lost Boys of Sudan” began to be resettled in San Jose, CA, as part of a United Nations program. Initially welcomed by Catholic Charities, half were Episcopalians and half Roman Catholic. It was decided to maintain one Sudanese community since they had fled together from Sudan in 1987. In 2012, the San Jose area South Sudanese community numbers about 75, including three families with young children.

San Jose Lost Boys, Simon Deng and Peter Nyok are on TV. Watch the 12 minute May 31, 2009 KTEH Documentary:

Their Journey

The story of their exodus from Sudan, begun 25 years ago, was one of intense suffering. As children under 10, they fled villages destroyed by civil war. Without family, the boys survived by walking several months on foot to cross the Ethiopian border. Many died of starvation, disease, or even animal attacks along the way. When thousands of boys arrived in Ethiopia, aid workers dubbed them the “Lost Boys,” after the group in Peter Pan. They endured exile first in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. When war came to that country, they escaped in a second dangerous walking journey back through Sudan to Kenya in 1991. They lived and studied and grew up together in the harsh environment of Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Through a United Nations program, thousands of South Sudanese legally immigrated to the United States and other countries, beginning in 2001. Whenever people met the Lost Boys, they immediately were drawn into their lives with a desire to give them support and encouragement. In 2002, a mentoring program was established at Trinity Cathedral in downtown San Jose with a broad ecumenical involvement. This was the formal beginning of a community sharing hope with the Sudanese.

Beginning in 2003, Hope With Sudan has been a natural evolution of this involvement. Increasing support has gone to children, youth and adult leaders in South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda for educational and medical expenses. The South Sudanese here in America feel strongly about offering the opportunity of education to those still living in Africa, where South Sudanese may afford school only with the generous help of sponsors.

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