"Orphaned by a tumultuous civil war and traveling barefoot across the sub-Saharan desert, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor were among the 25,000 "Lost Boys" (ages 3 to 13) who fled villages, formed surrogate families and sought refuge from famine, disease, wild animals and attacks from rebel soldiers. Named by a journalist after Peter Pan's posse of orphans who protected and provided for each other, the "Lost Boys" traveled together for five years and against all odds crossed into the UN's refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. A journey's end for some, it was only the beginning for John, Daniel and Panther, who along with 3800 other young survivors, were selected to re-settle in the United States."
-"God Grew Tired Of Us"-
I saw an incredible documentary film this past weekend. "God Grew Tired of Us" follows the lives of three "lost boys" -- Sudanese men -- from their long journey out of Sudan to years spent in a refugee camp in Kenya to new lives in two Northeastern cities. Along the way they learn new languages, cope with cultural difference and strive to reconcile lives forged in the face of extreme tragedy. Throughout their struggle to create new lives, the "lost boys" do not lose sight of their families (whom they persist in trying to locate) and the other "lost boys" still living at the refugee camp in Kenya. The three men profiled become leaders in the United States as they work in conjunction with local communities to bring awareness and change to their beloved but deeply troubled country. They work to develop a national network for the lost boys, raise funds to make change in Sudan and apply their academic study toward developing solutions to the region's most pressing problems (Daniel goes back to Africa to build a school, John develops a non-profit to raise funds for medical needs in the region).
The film puts a human face on a largely forgotten tragedy, but strays from becoming overly sentimental, choosing rather to remain true to the three men profiled, finding humor in a visit to an American grocery store, joy in a mother's reunion with her son after 17 years, loneliness in a isolating American city, community under horrendous conditions, and ambition in the desires of three young men to live lives of purpose. Check out John Dau's Direct Change Sudan Project. You can read about what other humanitarian groups are doing here.