Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day #2: John Dau

Country of origin: Sudan

Dau, also known as Dhieu-Deng Leek, was born into the Dinka tribe in war-torn Sudan. In 1987, his village of Duk Payuel in Duk County, Jonglei was attacked by government troops involved in the Second Sudanese Civil War between the Muslim-controlled government in northern Sudan and the non-Muslims in Southern Sudan. The violence scattered his family, and Dau was forced to travel on foot for three months until reaching the relative safety of Ethiopia.


Dau has succeeded in the United States and can proudly say that he is living the American dream. Not only was he able to bring his mother and sister from Sudan, but while working 60 hours a week working three jobs, he received an Associates degree from Onondaga Community College. He is currently pursuing a degree in Policy Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Additionally, Dau is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded three non-profit 501(c)3 organizations. In 2003, he helped establish The Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of Central New York which raised over $35,000 for books and medical expenses for Lost Boys living in the United States. In 2005, Dau was instrumental in founding the American Care for Sudan Foundation which solicited funds to build and operate the Duk Lost Boys Clinic in Southern Sudan. He has raised more than $400,000 for the clinic. Currently, Dau is the President of the John Dau Foundation which was founded in July 2007 to develop health facilities that currently do not exist for most of the populations of Duk, Twic East and Bor South Counties in the State of Jonglei in South Sudan.

Read more John Dau at wikipedia.

John Dau's incredible story was documented in his memoir God Grew Tired of Us (as well as a film by the same name).

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