“Lost Boy” from South Sudan Coming to Fisher
Most adults were killed, young women and girls kidnapped and raped, and nearly 23,000 children walked across the hot African desert, alone, for years. One of those children was Sebastian Maroundit, he was only 10 years old and today he is known as one of the “lost boys of Sudan.” He will share his story on campus on Tuesday, April 1, at 12:30 p.m. in Basil 135.
In 1963, a civil war broke out in South Sudan and villages were attacked. Most children were able to escape, but had to leave their parents behind to be murdered. The children walked on a dangerous journey to find safety at relief camps in Ethiopia and later Kenya.
Maroundit spent a year walking across the African deserts with his cousin, Mathon Noi, until they finally reached a refugee camp in Kenya. They were educated through the 8th grade level. In 2001, a group of 3,800 “lost boys and girls” were selected for resettlement in the United States, Maroundit and Noi were among them. Noi went on to graduate from Niagara University with a degree in accounting, while Maroundit is pursuing a business degree.
After 18 years apart, the “lost boys” were able to reunite with their surviving parents and returned to their village in Sudan in 2007. The two couldn’t believe the poor condition their village was in. There were no roads or clean water, and the children were being taught under a large tree because the school had been destroyed.
Since the visit in 2007, Maroundit and Noi have committed themselves to rebuilding hope in their village by building schools to give basic education. They have started the Building Minds in South Sudan (BMISS) organization. The focus of the group revolves around the idea of “buy a brick, build a school.”
Maroundit will share his inspiring story and talk about the importance of education during his campus visit. His talk is co-sponsored by the Philosophy and Classical Studies Department and Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs.