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By Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D.

A Lost Boy on a mission to help others

uring the Sudanese Civil War, which began in 1983 and lasted for 22 years, more than two million people were killed and 20,000 boys were orphaned or displaced. Known as the Lost Boys, they ed from their villages as government savagery was inicted upon civilians. Salva Dut was among the younger boys who escaped and walked for years, hoping to nd refugee camps to take them in. During those long and dangerous travels, they faced death on a daily basisvicious animals, brutal soldiers, and possible death from disease, thirst, and starvation. As dicult as the journey was, it aorded hope. Remaining in their villages promised an almost-certain death. All of this was more lifearming than remaining in their villages to be caught in one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century. Psychologists subsequently examined the boys who survived one of the bloodiest wars of the last century. They regard these boys as the most badly damaged of all wartraumatized children. And yet, so many of these young men made the best of their circumstancesrefusing to give up, to regard themselves as victims. Nearly 4000 Lost Boys are in the United States. Salva Dut is one of them. Upon his arrival in Peneld, New York, he struggled to learn English, earn his GED, and then an associates degree in international business at a local community college. Two days after the bombing of the twin towers, Salva Dut became an American citizen. Although he was only 11 at the time, the boys with whom Salva traveled nearly 2,000 miles elected him a leader. In that position, he was responsible for the lives of 1500 other boys. That drive and leadership potential has served him well. Dut has gone on to form a charitable organization, Water for South Sudan, Inc., which is drilling wells so the Sudanese people can drink clean water. www.waterforsouthsudan.org



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