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Appendix 01: From Sudan to the United States — the saga of one “Lost Boy”
Monday, January 01, 1900


Daniel Mabut Garang was born in Sudan, of Dinka tribe, in the town of Bor and was the eldest child in his family. His father was a farmer and storeowner. Daniel writes, "Like many people in the Dinka tribe, when I was younger we depended on dairy cattle for our living. We Dinkas also cultivated crops. I lived a happy life in the countryside with my father, mother, grandfather and uncles, but when war broke out, our lives changed completely.

"In the early 1980s, the Arabs began bombing our countryside from their planes and killing people. They attacked us all the time. They also raided our cattle and burnt down our store when we ran away for safety. Life became very difficult for us."

When he was six years old, the Arabs attacked, killing his father, mother and two uncles. After this tragedy, he fled into the forest, where he joined other children, who came to be known as the "Lost Boys." They didn't know where to go to escape the marauders. Hunger and thirst dominated their existence as they subsisted on wild berries. Many of the Lost Boys were eaten by lions and other wild animals. Yet many survived thanks to the grace of God.

After a month in the forest, Daniel reached a place called Panyidu on the Ethiopia border, where UNHCR provided food, shelter, medical treatment and education. Without the help of UNHCR many would have died of hunger.

He remained in Ethiopia for four years, but when war erupted there, he and other Lost Boys fled to Sudan. At the river Gilo, gunmen fired on them using automatic weapons before they reached the Sudanese border. To escape they dove into the river where most of them died since they were unable to swim.

Daniel crossed the river by holding a long rope that was tied from tree to tree. Those children who died that time are too many to be counted. For days, they walked, eating grass like animals, back to Sudan.

Eventually, after being chased by Ethiopian, he reached Kenya. During this journey, the Red Cross dropped food and water into the forest. Without this help, everyone would have died of hunger.

After he reached Kakuma, Kenya, UNHCR provided shelter, food, clothes and education. Daniel lived there for eight years under the care of UNHCR until he was taken to the US and settled in Houston, Texas.

(This account appears on a website maintained by the American Red Cross.)