Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Dinka tribal people and "The Lost Boys of Sudan"
The Lost Boys of Sudan are more than 27,000 boys of the Dinka ethnic group who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005, about 2 million killed), says Wikipedia.
The name was given by aid organizations, including 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.
The Episcopal Church, Catholic Charities and a variety of other charitable organizations helped bring Sudanese refugees to the United States.
A variety of programs have been initiated to help and understand these displaced people, everything from reconnecting families to learning their traditional dancing  to dental work to replace teeth which had been removed by traditional custom, but whose loss is negative in the USA .
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. The younger boys survived in large numbers because they were away tending herds or were able to escape into the nearby jungles.
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.
Experts say they are the most badly war-traumatized children ever examined.
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.