"Lost Boys of Sudan" Visit BYU
In conjunction with the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance Peery Film Festival, the Health Science Department was honored to host three Sudanese refugees; Solomon Awan, Paul Nyok, and David Thon. A question and answer session was held with the Sudanese refugees and BYU students after the film showing of “Lost Boys of Sudan” on Wednesday, October 19th.
The three men escaped from war-ravaged Sudan to the United States as teenagers. Because they arrived at a UN refugee camp without their parents, the news media came to refer to them as “the Lost Boys.” However, Solomon Awan, who appears in the film, says that they are “no longer lost.” “We are found,” he says, smiling. “We have families and jobs and we are blessed.”
Solomon has now founded his own organization called “United Visions for Change,” which focuses on building schools in developing parts of the world as well as sponsoring a complete course of education for a few students every year.
“It’s because I want to guarantee them that they will have a full education,” said Solomon. “Many of my friends and family, the people in Sudan—they never got an education. The teachers in Sudan are only educated up to the level of a fourth grader here in the U.S. I want to guarantee these students that they can make it all the way until graduation and then get a job—because it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere without making it until graduation.”
At the film showing in the Varsity Theater, the three men answered students’ questions and offered guidance on how they could get involved and participate in aiding refugees.
“I’d like to say one thing,” said Mr. Awan. “There are stories like ‘Lost Boys’ around the world. So normally stories like this help the world become a better place, because stories like this go straight to your heart. So when you see something bad happening, you try to stop it, because that feeling is in your heart.”
Mr. Awan continued, “What you guys are doing is very important. It’s very good that we learn from each other and that we make the world a better place by sharing ideas and eradicating bad things that are happening around the world.”
About: For more information on how you can help aid refugees, visit the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance or their website, http://marriottschool.byu.edu/ballard/ .
For more information on Mr. Awan and his organization, please visit www.unitedvisionsforchange.org .
Written by Lindsey Trendler