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2010 TEDxColumbus: What's Next

Bol Aweng

As six year boys, Jok Dau and Bol Aweng, two Lost Boys of Sudan, fled their village in 1987 when it was attacked , bombed and burned by government troops. While walking 1,500 miles to Ethiopia and then to Kenya, they survived attacks by government troops, starvation, illness, and attacks by wild animals. Of the 35,000 Lost Boys that fled Southern Sudan, they were among the 16,000 who safely arrived in Kenya. They spent fourteen years in refugee camps until they were approved for resettlement in the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They arrived in Nashville, Tennessee in 2001, worked two jobs while earning Associate Degrees in Computer technology. They moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. They became US Citizens in 2007 and graduated for OSU with degrees in Political Science and Fine Arts in 2009.

What’s next when your country, Sudan, labels you lost? And furthermore, when you do find your way back, what do you do? Live on the fear, anger and hatred that was the blanket over your upbringing, or find deep love and loyalty to a land that carries your heritage and is home to your family. Bol Aweng will help you to walk in his shoes on this remarkable journey that continues still today.