How YOU Can Help the Lost Boys

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1) get educated!

Below are some links that explain in more detail the lost boys struggles and willpower. The best way is to watch videos and read articles so you are informed

http://www.lostboyschicago.com/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3602724.stm

2) reach out! Below are several credible foundations who work with The Lost Boys who are still in Sudan to provide them with their basic needs.

http://www.lostboysfilm.com/take.html

http://www.lostboysus.org/

http://www.allianceforthelostboys.com/how-to-help-alliance-for-the-lost-boys-of-sudan.html

(This website asks for creative talents and time, not money!)

3) take a lesson! The lost boys preach things such as love, family, community and staying connected. Don’t let their message be unheard! Realize how powerful the technology is around you!

 

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Podcast Explanation

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Below is my podcast where I discussed the Lost Boys as a whole as well as their views on technology. The first clip is of the Lost Boys singing and chanting before they left the refugee camps and the next two are testimonials from two of the men which I found online. I took several of the statements my friend from Cuba told me about her experience with immigration and showed how the technology difference is not just from Africa, a country we often think is under developed, but even from other countries as well. People in America get so wrapped up in their computers and cellphones that they never truly have time alone. We are always connected and plugged in. I urged everyone to take some time a day, if only ten minutes to disconnect and connect with themselves. We must get back to finding ourselves and those around us and not simply facebook chatting with them but seeing them in person. I think this is extremely important. As technology begins to advance at a more rapid rate, no one can predict what will come next. New Apple products come out every few months and have really consumed Americans. We all need to take a step back and learn a lesson about community from the Lost Boys.

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This is the powerful documentary that I watched and that got me informed and interested on this subject.My friend who immigrated from Cuba when she was seven years old showed it to me and told me that she could really relate to their struggles. She also talked to me about how the technology was so much more advanced in America and how she felt similar to the Lost Boys. The documentary has won several awards and is available on Netflix if you want to view it as well. It chronicles the men for several years starting in the refugee camp and then in America. It shows you their ups, their down, and their most intimate moments. At first it was very hard for many of the men to adjust and deal with what they had seen in their native country but after some time they all became very successful individuals. This movie is a story about hope, overcoming the odds, and teaches Americans to be thankful for what we have. I can honestly say that this movie has changed my perspective on technology, the use of technology as well as how lucky we are to be safe in America.

The Journey

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This powerful clip chronicles the lost boys on their journey from the refugee camp in Africa to America. They had never seen a plane or even ketchup before! Many of them stated that America was very different from what they expected. One reason was because of the technology and the wedge it drove between people. These men had never even seen an alarm clock before which I at least do not even consider modern technology. Things such as cars, televisions, phones and computers were all new to these men. They grew up in a much simpler life where neighbors look out for one another and everyone in the community knows each other.

When the men arrived they were all given minimum wage jobs, each involved technology. For example one man worked at the cash register at Mcdonalds which is all computerized. The men had to go to work two hours early in the morning because they could not drive. After working two jobs they had to take a bus home. The lack of technology they could use hindered their lives for a while, until they became accustom to it. Yet, they complained that they did not get to spend as much time with one another due to their new job schedules and interferences such as the television and computer which were distractions from bonding with their fellow lost boys. With perseverance and a smile, the lost boys beat the odds and many of them have graduated college and gone on to do remarkable things with their lives. It is truly inspiring.

Background of The Lost Boys

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The Lost Boys of Sudan are a brave group of young men who saw their parents killed and villages destroyed during the civil war in Sudan. They had to leave their country which they loved and where their parents had perished in order to find safety. Many of these boys were as young as six years old and walked a distance that is equivalent to walking from Chicago to Denver – over a thousand miles. The boys who were tall, often times ten years old were made to resume responsibility and bury their fellow lost boys at such a young, fragile age. Half of these Lost Boys died during their trek due to starvation, dehydration, illness and attacks from enemy soldiers. The boys who survived were placed into refugee camps provided by the United Nations with makeshift tents and were rationed food. I recently watched a documentary called “God Grew Tired of Us” which followed these men around for years as a group of them were granted citizenship into the United States. Several of them went to New York City, a few to Boston and others to Pittsburg. Throughout their ordeal, these boys remained optimistic and kept their spirits high. Several scenes showcased them singing and embracing their Sudanese culture which I found extremely powerful because they are so close to one another and so optimistic even when they have seen so much destruction around them. When these men arrived in the United States, they were shocked because they had never seen things that we take for granted such as television and lights. Many of them commented on the differences in culture due to the lack of technology and Sudan and the overwhelming technology in the United States. Many have gone on to earn their masters from college and are giving back every day to their fellow brothers by educating those around them and creating schools for the Sudanese.