FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Traupman, Executive Director of College Relations, 610-740-3790
A LOST BOY OF SUDAN BRINGS ‘POWER OF HOPE’ TO CEDAR CREST
Public Presentation by Survivor of Sudan’s Civil War Puts
Human Face on International Crisis
Allentown, PA (September 8, 2008) - Cedar Crest College will host “The Power of Hope,” featuring Gabriel Bol Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Monday Sept. 15, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumnae Auditorium. The event, which is sponsored by the Cedar Crest College Cultural Programs Committee and the Cedar Crest Office of Diversity Programs, is free and open to the public. For reservations and information, call the College’s Special Events Hotline at 610-740-3791.
Gabriel Bol Deng has overcome unbelievable obstacles. He was 10 years old when North Sudan Arab militiamen led a violent attack on his village in South Sudan. He fled, not knowing the whereabouts of his parents or siblings. After his escape, Deng embarked on a harrowing, four-month journey across the Nile River and the Sahara Desert, surviving disease and paralyzing hunger to reach Ethiopia. While at the Dimma Refugee Camp in Ethiopia, Deng first learned English by writing on cardboard with pieces of charcoal. Four years later, he fled from violence again, leaving Ethiopia and traveling cross-country to Kenya, where, with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Deng received an education at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. In 2000, he was offered the chance to join a refugee resettlement program in the United States. Deng is one of the Sudanese orphans known as The Lost Boys of Sudan.
Six years later, accompanied by filmmaker Jen Marlowe and Journalist David Morse, Deng returned to Sudan in 2007. His journey, alongside fellow refugees Garang Mayuol and Koor Garang, is chronicled in 2007’s “Rebuilding Hope: A Documentary film about South Sudan.” The Power of Hope presentation will include video clips and firsthand accounts of Deng’s experiences in Sudan. Following the presentation, members of the audience will have the opportunity ask questions of Deng.
“We often hear news reports about what is happening in Dafur, but we don’t often have the opportunity to hear first hand accounts from a survivor like Gabriel Bol Deng,” says Kelly Ann Murray, Director of Diversity and International Programs at Cedar Crest College. “Deng’s journey is amazing and his story puts a human face on an ongoing international tragedy.”
Deng is the founder of HOPE (Helping Offer Primary Education) for Sudan. HOPE for Sudan is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities and health services for the war-affected children of Sudan, promoting peace through education. Currently HOPE is raising money to create, build, and maintain a Primary School in Ariang, Gabriel's native village. In an effort to create a greater awareness of the untold suffering of the millions of people in his native Sudan, Deng has built a reputation as an informative and passionate public speaker. He has spoken at over 200 venues to people of all ages about his life experiences and the ongoing crises in Sudan.
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