John Bul Dau
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Dustin,

This was the best event of the year! John Dau is an amazing person who I admire and respect so much after hearing him speak. Please let him know I received over 10 e-mails within an hour of the speech ending of people thanking us for having him. Also, we now have starting Monday, a Darfur Justice group at SLU with the goal of creating more groups to lobby Congress to get and stay tough on the Sudanese government.

Thanks for all your help with this event.

Sincerely,

Dan McGinnis
Chair
The Great Issues Committee
Saint Louis University
- St. Louis University - Great Issues Committee


John left about an hour ago and campus is still abuzz with talk of his presentation.
Our students can be a tough audience. They have high expectations. I've never seen them jump out of their seats for a standing ovation nor have I seen them give a longer bit of applause after a convocation.

It was riveting. John has a rare gift: his quiet yet strong demeanor commanded the attention of every person in that room. It was palpable. You feel yourself in the presence of a great man. AND he is funny, approachable and so intelligent. One of the best convocations we've EVER had.
Last night's event brought lots of people to campus who have never been here before, which was our goal. They are begging for more such events.
We sold out the 30 books we had to sell in 5 minutes.
For future talks, I'd like to always try to arrange an evening event before the convocation if we can do it without raising the cost too, too much. We'll talk more about that later. But for now, thanks for another outstanding recommendation.
You know your stuff! - Mary Forrester


Thanks for asking. Everything went very good with John last night. We had a crowd of approximately 130 people show up, and afterwards the audience had highly favorable comments regarding John’s lecture.

I’m sure that by now you’re familiar with John’s speech, but the gist of it was that even though circumstances can seem dreadfully stacked up against you, if a person determines to not give up, and works hard, things will get better. John also encouraged the audience to give back to the community as a way of showing gratitude for the blessings a person has in their life.

John was very impressed with our campus. Very pleasant and engaging.

We had an independent book dealer come to the event to sell his memoirs, and she probably sold two or three dozen books.
- Paul Huffman


John Dau doesn't mind being called a "Lost Boy," even though he is no longer either. Dau is 33, recently married (to a "Lost Girl") and a new father living in Syracuse, N.Y. He is, literally and figuratively, thousands of miles from the chaos of his youth in Sudan.

"My organization is American Care for Sudan Foundation. We have raised $170,000 already for the Duk County Lost Boys Clinic. We are sending seven volunteer Americans to Sudan next month to start building," said Dau, who is also the director of the nonprofit Direct Change's Sudan Project.

"His is an impressive story, an immigrant's tale: coming to the U.S., working three jobs, saving as much money as you can, helping others," said Christopher Quinn, director of the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," which opens next Friday and follows Dau and other Lost Boys from Sudan as they make their way from refugee camps to America. "He's an amazing human being. It's been incredible spending the last five years with him," Quinn said.

That's quite an evolution from the 13-year-old boy who fled his village in the middle of the night as Arab militias attacked.

"I was lucky, I got out," said Dau. "I saw somebody running and thought it was my father. We ran that night through the water, the mud. When we saw militia, we ducked in the grass until they passed and then ran until daybreak. Then I realized it was somebody else, not my father; my neighbor."

Thus began Dau's journey as part of a generation to come of age without families and under siege. They fled on foot to Ethiopia and later to Kenya, without food, extra clothing or shelter. More than 20,000 children walked about 1,000 miles, half of their number dying along the way before the survivors found safety in a U.N. refugee camp.

"God Grew Tired of Us," which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at last year's Sundance Film Festival, follows three of the 3,800 Lost Boys lucky enough to gain passage to America, including Dau. The film details their adjustment to a new culture while they keep one eye on Sudan, looking for relatives.

Quinn said one audience member had "expected to get a talking to about Sudan, but they came away with an appreciation for what's really important in life — and they were struck by what they learned about America too."

The documentary doesn't dwell on the Lost Boys' epic walk or the savagery of the militia attacks, but those events unquestionably shaped Dau.

"There was nothing to eat," he said of the exodus to Ethiopia. "We'd chew some grass so we could stay alive. Sometimes there was no water, so some of us would eat mud; others would drink human urine. I'd rather forget that life."

The refugees formed improvised families, with older boys such as Dau taking leadership roles. But even in the Ethiopian camp, starvation and epidemics forced grim duties on them as their younger charges died in large numbers.

"We had to take them to the cemetery, but there were no tools to dig deep," he said. "By the time we came back the next day, we found they were eaten by hyenas and other animals. But there was nothing else we could do." A 1991 coup forced the Lost Boys to flee once again, but as they headed for the border, Dau said they were fired upon by the new government's troops. The survivors eventually reached the U.N. refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, where they lived for several years. It was there that Quinn and his crew found the film's subjects: boys granted the chance by the International Rescue Committee to start anew in America.

"John actually appealed to us, to help get his friends who he'd be leaving behind, to go to the U.S.," said Quinn of meeting Dau in 2001, "so we knew he was a pretty special person."

After running out of funds for the film, Quinn showed a rough cut to some friends, actors Catherine Keener and Dermot Mulroney, who along with TV writer Eric Gilliland were able to bring Brad Pitt into the fold. With the four producing and Nicole Kidman narrating, the documentary was completed.

"A woman who saw the film at Sundance said she went back to her hometown in Utah and found that [refugee] Somalis were living there," said Quinn. "She got 50 volunteers organized and has been helping them with tutoring and day care. We had a viewing in a high school and the kids had a bake sale and raised money; they raised $1,000 for the Lost Boys clinic."

Dau believes the economic power of ordinary citizens and the political and military leadership of the United States can force the Sudanese government to honor the current peace accord. It's a message he travels to his new country to spread as the leader he has become.

"If the world lets us down, I don't know if I could bother myself to say there is an international community," he said. "I don't know if I would want to live on Earth.

"Help us. Please. You are our only hope. Even if the U.S. don't want to fight, this is the war you should fight. We are helpless." - Los Angeles Times, by Michael Ordona


He was wonderful – and, just as you promised! You have never failed to give me precisely what I need to book a speaker. Saturday I made a quick trip to the grocery and 3 people stopped me to tell me “Thank you” for the event. A high school chemistry teacher, a pharmacist and a lady from the community. The students were inspired and so appreciated the message.

Keppler Speakers is the best. Your customer service is superb.

Our audience numbered about 500 and included many students. We showed the films eight times on our campus and at the job corps. I would encourage other campuses to do the same. It made the story much more meaningful and increased our numbers. John does a wonderful job and “Perseverance” was precisely the right message.

Thank you so much for all you have done for me and Chadron State College through the years. - Student Activities Advisor


We had a full house. The student response to John Dau's lecture was very positive! There was a line of students waiting to meet him after the lecture. We have had students in the library hoping to check out a copy of his book, and we just got a thank you from one of our professors for bringing him to campus.

One student told me she liked how John Dau "said it like it is...he has a good message that more students need to hear." Another student indicated "he was excellent. I can't wait to read his book."

Thank you so much for suggesting Mr. Dau! - Distinguished Lecture Series


"Lost boy" seems a strange moniker for John Dau. At 34 and an elegant six foot eight (two meters), he's hardly a boy. But he's proud of the name—"lost boy of Sudan," to be exact. Dau is one of the thousands of African males in southern Sudan attacked in the 1980s and '90s by the Arab Sudanese government in the north. For 16 years, Dau was either on the run—from Arab militia and the Sudanese Army, from wild animals, from starvation and thirst—or living in refugee camps. In 2001, he was among the lucky few chosen to immigrate to the United States, a place he had never heard of until he learned to read at the age of 17.

When I think of Sudan, I like to remember life in my village. The land there was good, with plenty of water and grasslands for the cattle and goats that my people, the Dinka, survive on. But in 1983, when I was ten, the troubles began. Sudan's Arab president, Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, declared that Sudan would become a Muslim state and that sharia law would be the law of the land. But we did not want this. So John Garang, a Dinka, formed the SPLA, the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, to resist the government. We Africans were the true Sudanese, he said, not the Arab colonialists who had come into our land from the north. SPLA recruits trained in Ethiopia, but sometimes they came to our village.

We children could hear the adults talking in worried tones of fighting near us, villages attacked. Soon refugees began coming to our village. We welcomed them, and my father, who was the village leader, helped feed them, even slaughtering our cows for food. We began to hear the adults say that the Arabs were killing Dinka boys particularly, so that the boys would not grow up and join the army. We grew very scared. My mother started cooking small meals, because food was scarce and because she said our stomachs must get used to less food. She told us that if the village was attacked, we, her children, must hold hands tightly, so we would not get separated as we ran.

One night as I slept—it was August, the rainy season, in 1987—I began to hear a dull thumping that seemed to be slapping me in the ear. In my sleep it was just something annoying, but then I woke up and scrambled outside the crowded hut I shared with other children. Everyone was running, and the sky was lit up by mortar blasts. I saw my father run past, so I ran after him. The women and children were running and crying. I could hear bullets, zzzzing zzzing, whistling past us. I can still hear that sound. I thought that the end of the world the Bible talks about was here.

I kept running, following my father, out of the village into the bush. And then he kneeled down in the tall grass, to watch for soldiers, and I caught up to him, and it was not my father. It was our neighbor Abraham. He told me to be very quiet, and he grabbed me and we crawled through the tall grass to the bush. I was so scared. "Where is my family?" I asked. "They are coming, they are coming," he said, and he pulled me by the arm and made me keep running, dragging me along with him. I could hear Abraham's heart pounding.

At dawn we met a woman and her two girls from our village, and we joined them, heading east toward Ethiopia, where we thought we would be safe. My knees were scraped from falling as we ran, my feet were bloody, and I was naked, because I had left the village that way. None of us had taken anything as we fled. No food, no cooking pots. We ate almost nothing—wild roots, a pumpkin from a farmer's field. At night the mosquitoes would torment us as we tried to sleep.

Then, one day, a group of militia ambushed us. The men grabbed Abraham, forced him to the ground, and began beating him with a stick, telling him to give them money. He had no money, so they took his shirt and left him in the dirt, his back bloody. I felt lucky, because they had not killed Abraham. I do not know why they let him live.

We kept going, now heading southeast to avoid the militia, but on the seventh day, we ran into another militia. Again, they beat Abraham, and this time they beat me, too, over and over on the head with a stick. While they were beating us, they abducted the woman and girls. That was the last time we saw them.

Now, there were just the two of us with our wounds. We had to keep moving, following narrow footpaths through grasses so high they were over our heads. We stole pumpkins from farmers' fields when we could, but often we just chewed grass stems to help our hunger. We would listen for the sound of frogs, then follow that sound to find water pools. We were very careful when we went near water, as that is where others would come, including Arab militia. Abraham taught me how to stay almost submerged in the pools, with my head far back, so that only my nose would be above the water level to breathe. It was good he taught me this, because once Arabs did come to swim and relax at a river we were in. They never saw us.

What horrified me mos - National Geographic, John Dau with Karen Kostyal


As a man, John Dau is a 34-year-old security guard and college student in Syracuse, N.Y. He's recently married, a brand-new father and a citizen of a strange country called the United States.
But Dau, the subject of the National Geographic documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," which opened in Washington yesterday, is using his life here to try to improve the lot of people back home. Life in its fullest sense, he says, is something in which connections remain, over the years, over the oceans.
"I'm getting into the 'my my my' and 'I I I' thing here. But I need to stay in my culture, to be able to say, 'This is ours.' I want to combine the 'I' and the 'us.' "
It's that sense of the language, and rumination on what this life means, that makes Dau the unlikely star of an unlikely hit - an 85-minute film about a few of the young Sudanese refugees who fled the government extermination of their ethnic kin in the late 1980s. (The title stems from a haunting soliloquy Dau has in the film.)
He's talking in a small office in the National Geographic headquarters in downtown Washington, soft of voice, shy of manner. He's wearing a leather jacket and a Disney "Cars" watch. He is 6 feet 8 inches tall. Last week, Variety reported that at the Hollywood premiere of the film, you could pretty much walk up to producer Brad Pitt and chat as long as you wanted. Dau? Forget it. The man was mobbed.
More than a decade ago, Dau and the 25,000 or so of his young compatriots were dubbed, in someone's idea of a fundraising gimmick for aid organizations, the "lost boys" of Sudan, a moniker that has more to do with Peter Pan and Western imagery than it does a brutal conflict bordering the Horn of Africa. But it was effective at highlighting the plight of thousands of young men who, once in a sprawling refugee camp in northern Kenya, couldn't go home again.
"Their suffering, even on a refugee scale, was as acute as humanly possible," says John Prendergast, senior adviser at the International Crisis Group, who has been going into Sudan for 20 years. "The extremities of violence and horror they had to endure, alone, without their families, just set them apart."
After nine years in limbo, a few thousand young men were granted asylum in the United States.
Dau, a natural leader, was one of those chosen, and the film follows his 2001 journey, along with that of two others, into the complications of life in a place with grocery stores, swimming pools, indoor plumbing and confounding realities.
"We came with maybe the wrong perception of America. People thought it was so easy here. You'd tie a green card around your neck and you could go to any restaurant and eat," he says.
He became the focus of the film by happenstance. There was a message board in the refugee camp - this was a place of 80,000 people - to which people would stampede to see who had been granted immigration acceptance.
Film director Christopher Quinn: "We were standing there at the name board, and John had already been chosen. He came up to me and asked, 'What happens to my friends left in the camp?' "
So even as Dau landed in America, with one inglorious job after another - factory worker, burger flipper - he sent money back to the refugees. He also helped create a tiny nonprofit at a local church, the American Care for Sudan Foundation ( http://www.acsudanfoundation.org/). It's all volunteer, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward building a hospital clinic in his home region.
He's just starting work at a new nonprofit, Direct Change ( http://www.directchange.org/), that is trying to push the clinic funding from its current $180,000 level to its $230,000 goal. They're scheduled to start construction next week.
"I'm really looking forward to that," he says. "Our women have never given birth in a hospital before."
What does a man owe his past?
John Dau, day by day in America, is finding out.
What debt does a man owe his past? Do survivors have an obligation to the dead?
As a boy, John Bul Dau ate mud, drank urine and swam rivers to outrun the men with the guns. He survived a 1,000-mile trek from his village in southern Sudan to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. He dug shallow graves to bury children who collapsed. The next day, a hand or foot would be stretching out of the earth, gnawed by hyenas. - The Washington Post, Neely Tucker


John Dau doesn't mind being called a "Lost Boy," even though he is no longer either. Dau is 33, recently married (to a "Lost Girl") and a new father living in Syracuse. He is, literally and figuratively, thousands of miles from the chaos of his youth in Sudan.
"His is an impressive story, an immigrant's tale: coming to the U.S., working three jobs, saving as much money as you can, helping others," said Christopher Quinn, director of the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," which opened yesterday and follows Dau and other Lost Boys from Sudan as they make their way from refugee camps to America. "He's an amazing human being. It's been incredible spending the last five years with him," Quinn said.
"My organization is American Care for Sudan Foundation," Dau said. "We have raised $170,000 already for the Duk County Lost Boys Clinic. We are sending seven volunteer Americans to Sudan next month to start building." Dau is also director of the nonprofit Direct Change's Sudan Project.
It's quite an evolution for someone who, as a 13-year-old, fled his village in the middle of the night as Arab militias attacked.
"I was lucky; I got out," Dau said. "I saw somebody running and thought it was my father. We ran that night through the water, the mud. When we saw militia, we ducked in the grass until they passed and then ran until daybreak. Then I realized it was somebody else, not my father; my neighbor."

Thus began Dau's journey as part of a generation coming of age without families and under siege. They fled empty-handed on foot to Ethiopia and later to Kenya. More than 20,000 children walked about 1,000 miles, half of their number dying before the survivors found safety in a UN refugee camp.
"God Grew Tired of Us," which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at last year's Sundance Film Festival, follows three of the 3,800 Lost Boys lucky enough to gain passage to America, including Dau. The film details their adjustment to a new culture while they keep one eye on Sudan, looking for relatives.
Quinn said one audience member had "expected to get a talking-to about Sudan, but they came away with an appreciation for what's really important in life - and they were struck by what they learned about America too."
Coping with starvation
The documentary doesn't dwell on the Lost Boys' epic walk or the savagery of the militia attacks, but those events unquestionably shaped Dau.
"There was nothing to eat," he said of the exodus to Ethiopia. "We'd chew some grass so we could stay alive. Sometimes there was no water, so some of us would eat mud; others would drink human urine. I'd rather forget that life."
The refugees formed improvised families, with older boys such as Dau taking leadership roles. But even in the Ethiopian camp, starvation and epidemics forced grim duties on them as their younger charges died in large numbers.
"We had to take them to the cemetery, but there were no tools to dig deep," he said. "By the time we came back the next day, we found they were eaten by hyenas and other animals."
A 1991 coup forced the Lost Boys to flee again, and as they headed for the border, Dau said, they were fired on by government troops. The survivors eventually reached the UN refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, where they lived for several years. It was there that Quinn and his crew found the film's subjects: boys granted the chance by the International Rescue Committee to start anew in America.

"John actually appealed to us to help get his friends, who he'd be leaving behind, to go to the U.S.," said Quinn, recalling his meeting with Dau in 2001, "so we knew he was a pretty special person."
Celebrity rescue
After running out of funds for the film, Quinn showed a rough cut to some friends, actors Catherine Keener and Dermot Mulroney, who along with TV writer Eric Gilliland were able to bring Brad Pitt into the fold. With the four producing and Nicole Kidman narrating, the documentary was completed.
"A woman who saw the film at Sundance said she went back to her hometown in Utah and found that [refugee] Somalis were living there," Quinn said. "She got 50 volunteers organized and has been helping them with tutoring and day care. We had a viewing in a high school and the kids had a bake sale and raised money; they raised $1,000 for the Lost Boys clinic."
Dau believes the economic power of ordinary citizens and the political and military leadership of the United States can force the Sudanese government to honor the current peace accord. It's a message he spreads while traveling through his new country as the leader he's become.
"If the world lets us down, I don't know if I could bother myself to say there is an international community," he said. "I don't know if I would want to live on Earth.
"Help us. Please. You are our only hope. Even if the U.S. don't want to fight, this is the war you should fight. We are helpless."
Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc. - Los Angeles Times, January, Michael Ordona


A documentary film crew followed Sudanese refugee John Dau around Syracuse for three years to capture his first experiences living in the United States.
The crew filmed Dau at school, at work and at the bank when he sent money home to Sudan. The documentary is called "God Grew Tired of Us." Christopher Quinn directed and actress Nicole Kidman narrated.
"I thought it would be a better chance to talk to this film crew and one day we could show it to the American people so some of them would know what is going on in our country," Dau said from his Eastwood apartment. "We allowed them to come and film, and we didn't care about our privacy. I thought I could sacrifice my own privacy for the good of the community."
The film will be released in select cities Jan. 12. Dau said he hopes to show it in Syracuse soon, but no dates are set. It chronicles the lives of Dau, Panther Bior and Daniel Abul Pach as they fled their war-torn country, lived in a Kenya refugee camp and settled in the U.S.

Bior and Pach live in Pittsburgh.

Dau, 34, also wrote a memoir about his journey with author Michael S. Sweeney. The book, which shares the same name as the film, will be in bookstores Jan. 16.

"I thought it would be good if Americans had a complete understanding of my journey from one place to another and it would be something you have in your hand," Dau said.

Dau became a participant in the film project when he spotted Quinn's crew filming in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp in May 2001.

A crowd was gathered in front of a board that listed the names of "Lost Boys." That's the name given Sudanese youths who spent much of their adolescence fleeing war, famine and slavery. Those on the list would be resettled in the U.S.

Dau had lived in the camp for nine years after fleeing his village in southern Sudan when civil war broke out. He saw his name next to Syracuse. But other boys weren't as lucky.

He thought members of the crew were government officials, and he asked them to help the other boys. They said they would do what they could, Dau said.

As Dau turned to leave, the filmmakers asked him two questions: How do you feel about going to America? What was life in the refugee camp like?

Dau hasn't been able to get rid of them since, he joked.

The crew visited Dau in Syracuse about every two months, sometimes twice a month, to film and conduct interviews. They stayed from a few hours to two days.

The crew followed Dau when he went grocery shopping and as he walked through downtown Syracuse.

They filmed at Dau's church, First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles. It's his church because, through the Inter-Religious Council of CNY, First Presbyterian sponsored Dau and three other "Lost Boys." The crew filmed at the church on Christmas and for prayers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For Dau and other Sudanese refugees the first reaction to the attacks was to think the Arab militia that stormed their childhood homes had followed them to the U.S.

"We were told that America was the place for ultimate security," Dau said. "We thought we brought them to America."

The crew finished filming in 2004 and took their movie to the Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won two awards and caught the attention of National Geographic Films.

Dau and members of First Presbyterian hope the film will also spread awareness of their project to build the Duk Lost Boys Clinic, the first medical clinic in Duk County, Sudan, where Dau grew up.

A 12-person volunteer team from First Presbyterian will supervise construction on the seven-room clinic later this month. The clinic will serve more than 140,000 people.

"It's very much a gift from the Lost Boys," as well as Syracuse-area residents, said the Rev. Craig Lindsey, of First Presbyterian Church.

The Central New York-based American Care for Sudan Foundation raised $180,000, but needs another $35,000 to pay for medical equipment and resources, Lindsey said.
Neither Lindsey nor Dau will be part of the team this time. Lindsey was in Duk County a year ago and said he would rather let the experienced contractors and volunteers take his place.
Dau will be traveling the country promoting his book and the film and raising money for the clinic.
He is also studying public policy at Syracuse University and caring for his new daughter, Agot, with his wife, Martha.
The family hopes to move into a house on Green Street in Syracuse in the next couple months.
"My life is so good," said Dau, who works as a security guard at St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center. "I think I'm living the American dream." - Syracuse Post-Standard, BoNhia Lee


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Bio

Lost Boy of Sudan Featured in the Film God Grew Tired of Us

John Bul Dau has experienced journeys in life that most people never imagine. Dau was born in war-torn Sudan, and in 1987, his village was attacked by government troops involved in the 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 stayed in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four years, but when civil war broke out in the region, he was once again forced to flee. As one of thousands of “Lost Boys of Sudan,” Dau wandered hundreds of miles and faced disease, starvation, and violence, until arriving in Kenya. While living in the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp, he attended school for the first time and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education in 2000. In 2001, he was brought to Syracuse, New York along with 140 other young Sudanese refugees.
Despite the initial culture shock – women driving cars, huge stores filled with food – 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 as a security guard, he received an Associates degree from Onondago 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 Sudan Foundation which was founded in July of 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 Southern Sudan.
Dau’s move to the United States and early experiences in the country are the subject of the film God Grew Tired of Us, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. His memoir, also entitled God Grew Tired of Us, was released in January 2007 by National Geographic Press.
Dau’s command of the English language has helped assure that his voice and the voice of the Sudanese is heard in the United States and around the world. He has become a successful national public speaker, focusing speeches on his life story and the importance of perseverance against all odds. His moving talks also focus on the importance of human rights and on ending the tragedy in Southern Sudan.
In his brief time in the United States, Dau has earned many awards for his public achievements and charitable work. He received a National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers Award and was named a Volvo for Life Award finalist in the Quality of Life Category in 2008 which carried a contribution of $25,000 to the John Dau Sudan Foundation. As he continues to work to succeed in the United States he envisions a positive future for Sudan. He says, “I hope for my country to get out of war and secure a good government. I want Sudan to become a place where people are welcome and hope is restored.”