Friday, October 22, 2010

Benefit for Rebuild Sudan

In the next few postings I may be showing more pictures from United States Botanic Garden, as the orchid pictured above. Hope you enjoy them. After we toured the garden Wednesday, we took a short time to tour the Supreme Court building, and then drove to the Eighteenth Street Lounge to attend a benefit for Sudan. Our son's fiance, Amanda, has a friend (Jill Sornson) who is President for the Board of a new organization, Rebuild Sudan. She encouraged Amanda to attend this benefit so she could hear Michael's story. Michael Ayuen de Kuany  is one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan". He is pictured below with Amanda and our son Daniel.
Michael's story is an amazing one. At the age of six years soldiers set his village on fire. Young African boys are always instructed to "never be captured" ( if that happens they will either be killed or placed in an army). Michael walked to the Ethiopian border and was taken into a refugee camp. That was his home for four years until Ethiopia went into war with Eritean forces in 1991. He fled from there to Kenya where he stayed for ten years, still not knowing where his family members were. He made it back to Sudan in 2007 and was reunited with his family at that time. In  2001 Michael was able to make it to the United States where he was given assistance and became a US citizen. He received a bachelor's degree in political science and international studies, and a master's in Conflict Transformation. He has been able to work for the United Nations Development Programme in southern Sudan. Regardless of limited resources he has always felt that God has a plan for him, so he founded Rebuild Sudan. As a little boy he had dreams of getting an education, and now he wants to share this dream with the children of Sudan. I will quote him here: "Children are the future leaders of southern Sudan. These children need to be prepared to lead southern Sudan into a new chapter of peace and global participation". Plans have been made to build a school in his village. The goal of Rebuild Sudan is to raise $200,000 by November 1st so construction on the Jalle school can begin before the rainy season starts. I was happy that John and I made the effort to attend the benefit to hear Michael's story. He certainly deserves to be heard and given assistance in his efforts to build a peaceful Sudan. If you wish to help his foundation out, monetary donations can be made online at www.rebuild

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