Former “Lost Boy” Gives Back to South Sudan

If you have been following the news from South Sudan, you know this new nation confronts many challenges, including threats of renewed warfare, extreme poverty and a shortage of government services. But there are reasons for optimism, thanks, in part, to organizations like the John Dau Foundation, an Aid for Africa member.

It took five years for John Dau to make his journey with thousands of children out of war-ravaged southern Sudan to refuge in Kenya in 1992. He and 140 other “lost boys” were eventually resettled in the United States, where John now lives. John never forgot where he came from and worked to establish a foundation that would provide health care in Duk county, Sudan, his former home.

The Duk Lost Boys Clinic, now in the new nation of South Sudan, has been a medical lifeline for more than 65,000 patients in a region without other reliable medical facilities. John and his supporters just celebrated another milestone — the clinic’s fifth anniversary.

South Sudan has the world’s highest maternal fatality rate, due in part to mothers delivering their children on dirt floors without skilled attendants or supplies. To combat this, the Foundation runs education campaigns that encourage women of child bearing age to visit the clinic’s maternity ward. They also provide traditional birth attendants with medical supplies for safer deliveries.

Clinic staff have vaccinated more than 15,000 children and screened each child visiting its facility for vitamin A deficiency, which, if not treated, can result in blindness. Its new nutrition center helps combat rising malnutrition, and a community garden introduces villagers to new crops that withstand the region’s harsh climate.

As the leaders of South Sudan — one of the poorest countries in the world — begin to build this new nation, they face a daunting task. In rural Duk County, where until five years ago most people had never received medical care of any kind, the John Dau Foundation is leading the way.

Learn more about Aid for Africa members providing medical assistance in Sub Saharan Africa.

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Dianne Lane
Dianne Lane5 years ago


Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

Great thing that more people from other countrys here could copy in their own. I beleive if you come here, make it good you should find a way to give help to where you came from. Some are not so lucky.

Dorothy P.
Dorothy P5 years ago

God bless you John Dau

Chrissie Mitchell

Thank God for John Dau. I wonder how old he was then?

Lynn Squance
Lynn S5 years ago

A friend of mine from South Sudan works here in Canada to support his family, but also is raising money for a school in his village where poverty and education, or should I say lack there of, go hand in hand. My friend Charles, still has the remnants of bullets and shrapnel in his body from these times of war.

Thank you John Dau for getting this work off the ground to save lives.

I try to help in ways I can. One way is by buying seed pacquets with my butterfly points. They are a dear price, 9,899 points, but they help to save dear lives.

@ Maria D --- well said.

@ Jamie C --- Please note that much of South Sudan is NOT Muslim, but is Christian and Animist. The people of South Sudan, Christians, Animists, and yes some Muslims get along quite well, better than many parts of the world. The predominately Muslim Sudan, from which South Sudan seceeded, has a history of going after Christians, Animists, and also certain ethnic groups who just happen to be Muslim.

Maria D'Oporto
Past Member 5 years ago

Jaime C. I don't know if you will read this someday but I have to say this, the world is wide enough to keep us together, borderlines only caused troubles and we beleive we "own" a country, but the true fact is we share a planet, we need to start learning how to really share it; so sorry to hear some of your kids have to go to the war, but you are living in a free country were the people is supposed to choose freely their destiny, so if they go to the war is because they choosed it, your country is blessed with freedom, your people is building their destinys using their free will, so don't blame others over the desition of some of your people, I hail the military men and women because thanks to them we have freedom is an honorable duty, I don't agree with war but understand why some heroes choose to go to fight to defend the values of a country. Forgive my broken english and have a blessed day.

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago

aww, that's great

Jean B.
Jean B5 years ago

Have you seen the wonderful documentary "God Grew Tired of Us?". It portrays the adjustment process of John Dau and three other lost boys who came to the US. Very worth a viewing if you get the opportunity.

Sandra L.
Sandra L5 years ago

Wonderful story. A few years ago I read a book about the lost boys written by the very talented Dave Eggers called 'What is the What'. It is an account of the journey of one of the boys and is heartbreaking and at times unimaginably human and humerous. HIghly recommneded. He also went on to start a foundation, the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, and has built a school back in what was his old village. How these children survived what they did and have done such positive work is inspiring.

Sarah W.
Sarah W5 years ago

Jamie C just to clarify 'they' [South Sudanese] are NOT Muslim. Although the construction of your sentence lease me somewhat unsure of who the 'they' you refer to are -the refugees or the hundreds of thousands of civilians. If you take time to get to know refugees many don't want to live in our countries. They want to return home & build a future in their own countries, either way they are welcome so far as I am concerned & I wish them a happy, healthy & safe future.