'Lost Boy' Gives Lecture for International Education Week

Nov. 18, 2009

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"Lost Boy" Jacob Atem will present "A Lost Boy from Sudan" as part of International Education Week, sponsored by the Center for International Education at Baylor University.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, Atem will speak about his experience as a Lost Boy from Sudan, his healthcare organization and how God remained faithful to him through his time in Sudan.

Atem was part of the estimated 20,000 young boys who were driven from their families and villages due to a civil war in southern Sudan in 1987. The boys' exodus through lion and crocodile country took years before they finally reached the Kenyan refugee camp in Kakuma. Half of them died before reaching the camp and the survivors of the journey became known as the "Lost Boys of Sudan."

"It's easy to forget that there are people who have had greater struggles and yet have bigger smiles and are doing more wonderful things in the world. We may see them on TV or read about them in books, but to actually meet them and shake their hand is a different experience," said Wendy Moore, coordinator of semester abroad programs at Baylor.

"I really hope that, just as Jacob is using his education to reach out and educate those in southern Sudan, the students will be inspired to use their Baylor experiences and education to reach out to those around them, whether in Waco or Sudan," Moore said.

Southern Sudan Health Care Organization was started in March 2008 by Atem and Lual Awan. The non-profit organization was set up to support the people of Southern Sudan by providing health care facilities, education in health care and sanitation and to assist in delivery of health care supplies.

SSHCO's immediate project is to build a clinic in the Maar village in the state of Jonglei in Sudan. Maar is the village where Jacob Atem is originally from when he fled during the North and South civil war more than 20 years ago. Like many villages in southern Sudan, Maar experienced a genocide that claimed many lives and separated families for two decades.

by Colton Wright, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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