Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lost boys of Sudan is a movie that will reference Africa, the US, ethnocentrism and humanitarianism

Lost Boys of Sudan is the name given by aid organizations to refer to the more than 27,000 boys, says wikipedia, who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2003, about 2 million killed).[1] This name was also used by the International Rescue Committee program which resettled some of these refugees from Sudan to the United States

In 2001, about 3800 Lost Boys arrived in the United States, where they are now scattered in about 38 cities, averaging about 100 per city.[1] Halted after 9/11 for security reasons, the program restarted in 2004, but peace talks were underway in Sudan, and so other refugee crises in other countries took priority.[1] As of 2006, the largest population of Sudanese refugees in the United States is in Omaha, Nebraska which hosts about 7,000 people[2].

Most of the boys were orphaned or separated from their families when government troops systematically attacked villages in southern Sudan killing many of the inhabitants, most of whom were civilians.[1] The younger boys survived in large numbers because they were away tending herds or were able to escape into the nearby jungles.[1] Orphaned and with no support, they would make epic journeys lasting years across the borders to international relief camps in Ethiopia and Kenya evading thirst, starvation, wild animals, insects, disease, and one of the most bloody wars of the 20th century.[1] Examiners say they are the most badly war-traumatized children ever examined.[1]

When villages were attacked, girls were raped, killed, taken as slaves to the north, or became servants or adopted children for other Sudanese families. As a result, relatively few girls made it to the refugee camps.[1]

Please see the background to the Lost Boys of Sudan documentary. Students will be tested on the notes to be taken from the award-winning 87-minute movie.

Lost Boys of Sudan will be rebroadcast nationally on PBSWorld Sunday, April 6th, at 10pm and Monday, April 7th, at 9am, 3pm and 2am. The film was originally broadcast on PBS/POV series in September of 2004.

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