Kansas City, MO – The Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983, when brutal attacks on villages began. Many southern Sudanese were forced to flee persecution by Muslims in northern Sudan. By the time the war was over, two million people had been killed and an estimated 27,000 boys were or orphaned. The "Lost Boys" embarked on a long journey away from the war torn villages to seek refuge in international aid camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. They faced disease, hunger, thirst wild animals, and many did not survive the journey.
Finally in 2001, about 3800 Lost Boys were allowed to seek asylum in the United States. Kansas City is one of the 38 resettlement cities. Two Kansas City "Lost Boys," Ayuel Leek Deng and Beny Ngor Chol, teamed with Barbara Youree to write the book Courageous Journey: Walking the Lost Boys Path from Sudan to America, recently published by New Horizon Press.
Ayuel Leek Deng is studying political science at Avila College. Beny Ngor Chol is at UMKC, and is interested in criminology. Both of them remain active in the Lost Boys network, and in helping the situation in Southern Sudan.