Listening to Bol B. Aweng-- A Lost Boy of Sudan

Last night, my middle daughter and I attended a presentation by Bol B. Aweng.  Bol is one of the surviving Lost Boys of Sudan--who found his way to our Ohio State University and one of our Columbus suburbs and shared his story with students and the community during a presentation at our daughter's high school.  I wanted to share some photos from the evening--and share some information about this resilient, young man!
Bol B. Aweng

While I was aware of the ongoing problems over the past decades in the war torn, Sudan / South Sudan--the realities faced by the villages and the families and the parents and the children were not things that I fully understood.  Until I heard Bol speak last night.

This man was six years old when he was forced to flee his village and leave his family due to violent attacks.  He was forced to run and hide--or risk being killed.  He ran with other children--and became one of a group of Sudanese refugees labeled the "Lost Boys of Sudan".  He ran across countries, swam rivers, braved crocodile, lion, leopard and elephant attacks--saw young friends and relatives die from dehydration, malnutrition, food poisoning, wild animal attacks, drowning, exposure, exhaustion, and a host of other causes.  This man was one of 16,000 survivors who made it to final refugee camps--from at least 35,000 fleeing the violence in the Sudan.

Again.  He was six years old when he left his family, his home and his village.

 Many years and many life events brought him to Columbus, Ohio, and to the Ohio State University.

He has since returned to the South Sudan--and located his surviving family members and has worked diligently to start a much needed health clinic for those from his childhood village with both fellow survivors and his new community in the United States.

The clinic is aptly named, The Buckeye Clinic.

Most of us (especially in the United States) have never faced anything at all like the struggles that Bol B. Aweng experienced--and survived.  His story is one of hope, resilience and inspiration--and one that I hoped my daughter and her friends took to heart during his presentation.

The Journey of Hope

Bol was signing copies of his children's book before the event--and after.  This book tells the motivational story of his early journeys for young readers.  

If you are interested in the book--you can find it on Amazon.

You may click to learn more about Bol B. Aweng and the Buckeye Clinic.

I was very impressed with Bol's resilience, his positive attitude and his drive to give back to the village and nation of his childhood.  The students seemed to take home a "never give up" lesson--along with a powerful realization that even one person can ignite a spark to make a difference to someone in need in our world!

If you are interested in donating to the Buckeye Clinic--visit the website for more information.

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