Last night, Stephanie Bluma and I had an opportunity to see an early screening of 22 Years From Home, a short documentary about one the Lost Boys of Sudan, Kuek Aleu Garang. It’s a powerful piece: haunting images of war torn Sudan and a narrator, Kuek Aleu Garang, who shares an extraordinary story of being one of 27,000 children who fled Sudan in 1983 for refugee camps in Ethiopia, only to be driven out by rebel forces in 1991. Fleeing Ethiopia, he walked to a refugee camp in Kenya.
The piece recounts his experience of being one of 3,800 refugees in Kenya who, with the assistance of UNHCR, were resettled in the United States during the Clinton Administration. It culminates in his return to Sudan to be reunited with his mother and father, after 22 years apart. You can view a trailer for the film at www.22yearsfromhome.com; the full film will be available on Amazon.com on May 1.
The event was followed by a panel discussion on the ongoing conflict in Darfur and upcoming elections in Sudan, moderated by Alex Koppelman from Salon.com. Taken together, the film and thoughtful discussion that followed made for a great eventIt was an example of how small-scale community events featuring powerful personal stories and discussion of complex issues can educate and inspire people on the road to advocacy. For additional resources on advocacy related to Sudan, visit www.enoughproject.org.
To learn more about Kuek Aleu Garang’s efforts to strengthen education opportunities in Sudan, visit www.abekcommunityusa.com.