ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-DT) -- For more than two decades, a civil war has devastated Sudan. Thousands of young boys were driven into the wilderness and refugee camps, away from their families. On Wednesday night, Rochester Public Library along with the Diversity Council held a screening and panel discussion of a documentary about those boys, known as "The Lost Boys of Sudan." On the panel were three of the lost boys, Sudanese refugees who made it through the war.
Sometimes a documentary is just a film. Sometimes the story hits closer to home. As Jur Kucha, an elder in the Sudanese community of Rochester said, this story is a heartbreaking one. "They were lost in the midst of a civil war, so that's where the name Lost Boys came from. They didn't know where they were going."
After making the journey from Africa to America, a few of them ended up right here in Rochester. In attendance at the film screening were three "boys," now men, who are no longer lost.
Shown at the Rochester Public Library on Wednesday night, the film told those attending of the suffering, starvation, and disease these children faced. "The documentary will be a vivid image of what happened down there. This is the story of those boys, why do they end up here in the United States," said Kucha.
Humanitarian efforts nearly a decade ago finally brought some of the thousands of Lost Boys here to the United States. Here for education, and to escape war.
Daniel Bol, a former Lost Boy said, "We are here for the safety. What is going on in Sudan is there's a lot of crisis in Sudan."
Another Lost Boy, Abraham Jongror said, "What we see in America here is Freedom." Freedom to learn, and with that education, hopefully return home. "Someday in the future we're going back to our country and we will try to accomplish something," said Jongror, as though surviving a war, and educating others about crimes against humanity is not enough of an accomplishment already.
Wednesday night's event was part of the library's "Rochester Reads" program, and other events on African topics are scheduled throughout the month of February.
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