Gabriel Bol Deng
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Gabriel Bol Deng

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Band Comedy World


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Gabriel Bol Deng
The Power of Hope: A Lost Boy Helps Rebuild Sudan

Gabriel Bol Deng has overcome unbelievable obstacles. He was 10 years old when North Sudan Arab militiamen led a violent attack on his village in South Sudan. He fled, not knowing the whereabouts of his parents or siblings. After his escape, Gabriel embarked on a harrowing, four month journey across the Nile River and the untold miles of Desert, surviving disease and paralyzing hunger to reach Ethiopia. While at the Dimma Refugee Camp in Ethiopia, Gabriel first learned English by writing on cardboard with pieces of charcoal. Four years later, he fled from violence again, leaving Ethiopia and traveling cross-country to Kenya, where, with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Gabriel received an education at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. In 2000, he was offered the chance to join a refugee resettlement program in the United States. Gabriel is one of the Sudanese orphans known as The Lost Boys of Sudan.


In May 2007 Gabriel traveled back to South Sudan after 20 years to look for his family, a journey documented in the upcoming film 'Rebuilding Hope'. On his return, he founded HOPE (Helping Offer Primary Education) for Sudan. HOPE for Sudan is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities and health services for the people of Sudan who have been adversely affected by the ongoing crises in the country. Currently HOPE is raising money to create, build, and maintain a Primary School in Ariang, Gabriel's native village.

In order to create awareness of the suffering of the millions of people in his native Sudan, Deng has built a reputation as an informative and passionate public speaker. He has spoken at over 200 venues to people of all ages about his life experiences and the ongoing crises in Sudan. Some of these engagements include Cornell University, American University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Seton Hall University, Model United Nations Clubs, Amnesty International Chapters, Rotary Clubs, congregations, high schools, elementary schools, and many others. His inspiring lectures touch on the American immigrant experience, the ongoing political turmoil in Sudan, the situation in Darfur and its connections to South Sudan, and the impact of war on children. He bears witness to the important of education and the triumph of the human spirit. Most of all he emphasizes the power of hope and of holding on to your dreams.

Gabriel Bol Deng is pursuing a Master of Science in Mathematics Education at Le Moyne College. He has received the 2006 Distinguished Student Teacher of the Year Award, the 2007 Bishop Thomas J. Costello, D.D., Medal for excellence in Public Service and Peace and Global Studies, and the 2007 Le Moyne College Social Justice Award.