Two “Lost Boys” From Sudan To Attend CU-Boulder This Fall

first_img Published: Aug. 18, 2002 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Their journey as refugees fleeing the brutal civil war in Sudan that claimed the lives of their families and their villages has taken them through some of the most war-torn areas of the world. Now it is bringing them to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Peter Deng, 22, and Simon Garang, 23, were forced to leave their homes in southern Sudan in 1987 when a civil war erupted between the northern and southern sections of the country. They are members of a large group of orphaned Sudanese boys who have spent much of their lives in Ethiopian and later Kenyan refugee camps and have been nicknamed the Lost Boys. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 17,000 Lost Boys originally fled Sudan, yet only 12,000 survived long enough to reach the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. Thousands of the Lost Boys have been relocated to cities all across the United States since 2000 and Deng and Garang are part of a group that now calls the Denver metro area their new home. They will be attending CU-Boulder as freshmen starting this fall. “When we first came to the United States we said to ourselves, where do we start?” said Deng. “But after we received help from CU we can see a brighter future for ourselves.” “When you get inside the buildings at CU, you realize that this is where you should be if you want to learn,” Garang said. “The people here can help you reach your objectives.” Garang worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for one year while he lived in the Kenyan refugee camp. He originally thought of majoring in international affairs or international law, but now, along with Deng, is planning to major in political science. “I find myself worried about wasting time,” Garang said. “I spent nine years in a refugee camp but I don’t feel it is too late to compensate for that lost time.” Both see their education at CU-Boulder as a tremendous opportunity to work toward a better future. “With all the resources at CU, one is given the opportunity to change one’s life,” said Deng. Deng can envision working as a diplomat or a journalist, but as with Garang, he wants to use his education to help those back in refugee camps who are not as fortunate as he has been. “That experience will never leave my mind and I want to go back and help,” said Garang. Deng and Garang will be living together in an off-campus apartment and both are looking forward to college life and meeting other students. “It feels special being part of this community,” said Deng. “Because of yesterday we are Lost Boys,” Garang said. “But today is a new day and we can still bring a good tomorrow.”last_img