The Lost Boys of Sudan

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The story of the Lost Boys of Sudan is one that provides the world with many examples of social interaction, some being violent and others being inspirational. Their journey from Sudan to Ethiopia and Kenya, then on to the United States for a better life for themselves and their families gives an insight into how certain cultures deal with and overcome adversity. Culture is the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society, in the case of the Lost Boys, the culture of the people of Sudan and the American society are analyzed. How the boys were able to continue on without their families to show them the way is almost a miracle. Over outstanding odds, the boys were able to prevail and withstand the hard times that occurred over their many years searching for peace.

In 1983, civil war broke out in Sudan between the Arab north and Christian, Animist south that engulfed the entire country causing thousands to flee. Of the thousands that fled were over 86,000 boys between the ages of 5-10 years old. Majority of these boys no longer had any family of any sort. The boys walked thousands of miles from Sudan to Ethiopia and on to Kenya to escape their government’s slaughter of the people. The goal of the civil war was to punish the half of the country that was not of Muslim faith. In 1987, the Sudanese government announced that all men of the south should be killed or sterilized in order to end the spread of their so called treacherous ideals of Christianity and freedom.

By the time the “Lost Boys” had fled over a thousand miles to Ethiopia, their numbers had been reduced to nearly 27,000 boys due to the extreme conditions of their traveling. With little food and even less water, their trek to escape the Sudanese crisis alive seemed hopeless. The camp in Ethiopia provided food, shelter, and security for the boys in Ethiopia for nearly 3 years. In this time, the boys began to form new bonds that would help them...
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