John Bul Dau
John Bul Dau is one of the Lost Boys that escaped Sudan in the middle of the civil war at the age of 13. The Lost Boys amounted to 25,000, and while on the route to getting themselves to safety, they faced many tragic situations where their numbers were reduced by the thousands, due to the ordeal that they have to face while they were traveling to the Kakuma refugee camp. During their stay in the refugee camp, a number of the Lost Boys were offered to migrate to the United States by a charity group where they can work and study there and will pay for it later. Among them is John Bul Dau, together with Panther Bior and Daniel Abul Pach, wherein these three were the center of this film and each interviewed regarding how they view their life in the United States.
While Panther went back to Africa in order to educate the people there from what he has learned about during his university years, John Bul Dau remained and planned in to bring in his family from Sudan.
John went quite an adventure one cannot imagine. Maybe many will think that the life they’ve had must be quite fun, but it was filled with ordeals and hardships that they have to endure. At the age of 13 in 1987, Dau escaped his home from southern Sudan, where civil war broke out. The troops were out there to exterminate all the black males that were Christian. Religion was one of two reasons why civil war broke out – the other is oil. As the village he lived in was burned down, all children were enslaved, women raped and the young men were shot, Dau went on his journey spanning over 1,000 miles and in a total of 14 years.
Since he is one of the older boys in the group, he led and even cared for the younger ones. Over half of the Lost Boys died during their escape from the southern region of Sudan. The one that survived the escape found safety in the refugee camp in Ethiopia. However, when the government got overthrown, they had to escape again right across to the Gilo River, where they got back in Sudan. He remembered how the rebels were shooting them, so they had to hide in the water that was infested with crocodiles. Thousands of the boys were either captured, shot, drowned or eaten by the crocodiles.
The Sudanese government ordered bombing raids 2 times a day upon learning that they had returned. When they could no longer handle and even bear the bombardment, they had to go south. It was then they spent the next 10 years in Kakuma refugee camp. It was there that he received formal education and even started writing numbers and letters using sticks and dirt.
He was then one of the Sudanese refugees that made it to the list to be brought to the US. Upon arrival in the US, John and the rest of the Lost Boys had to adapt to American society. There were surprised how there was an abundance of food not only for people but also for cats and dogs. He then compared it back in his home where there was barely food for their people.
John’s mission is to guide the Lost Boys and the rest of his family and friends back in Sudan to get medical treatment and academic experience. He even made his own foundation to cover up the expenses for his dreams.