John Dau, one of the “lost boys of Sudan” and founder of the John Dau Sudan Foundation, will speak at Augsburg College on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the ASAC Diversity Committee.
John Dau is a survivor of a 14-year journey from his home village in Duk County, Sudan in 1987 to his arrival in Syracuse, New York in 2001. As a young boy he fled Sudanese government troops and eventually arrived at the Kukuma refugee camp in Kenya in 1992. During this journey of more than 1,000 miles, he led thousands of younger children through violence and starvation. Selected to come to Syracuse, New York along with 140 other “Lost Boys of Sudan” in 2001, John pursued the American dream. He brought his sister and mother to Syracuse and is now married with a daughter and son.
While working 60 hours a week as a security guard, he completed his Associate’s Degree at Onondaga Community College and started his BA in Policy Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship.
He now speaks professionally throughout the United States and is president of the John Dau Sudan Foundation based in Syracuse, New York. In 2006, he was featured in the award-winning documentary, “God Grew Tired of Us,” and, with Michael Sweeney, wrote his first book entitled “God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir,” published by National Geographic in 2007.
As a human rights activist for the people of Southern Sudan, he has lived a remarkable life of cultural adaptation. John has received many prestigious awards, including National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers award. John was also named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for 2008.
As a leader, John is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has started three nonprofit organizations. He is an advisor for two of these organizations, the Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of New York and the American Care for Sudan Foundation, both of which operate with independent boards. His primary effort now is to build the John Dau Sudan Foundation into a financially stable organization that supports the building and maintenance of clinics in Southern Sudan.