By LAYLA ABBAS
Are you ever discouraged on the road to following your dreams because of the lack of money, support from others, or even the doubt contained within yourself? Well I am here to inform you, yes you, that your opportunities are endless. It does not matter how financially equipped you happen to be or not be, pursuing your dreams is possible, but takes an unremitting amount of work. I am going to share with you a true story, about a group of boys who were relentless and driven to reach a life filled with opportunities.`
The Lost Boys of Sudan are the epitome of what it takes to be an inspiration and earn success. The outbreak of the civil war in Sudan in 1983, caused over 20,000 Sudanese children to flee their country in hopes of escaping persecution and unfair treatment. In a 1,000 mile journey to Ethiopia, the next four years was spent in crucial conditions. Many of these “Lost Boys” lost their own lives to hunger, dehydration, and hunger.
The situations they found themselves in, are often capable of leaving one speechless. It is reported that some of the Lost Boys were attacked and eaten alive by wild animals. Others were drowned in rivers, while some found themselves dying in the middle of war zones. In the midst of what seems to be a person’s worst nightmare, the Lost Boys persevered through it all. It would have been feasible to just lay down in the miles of untouched land and surrender. They did not, and continued to travel in hopes of finding a destination that would treat them like the human beings that they are.
The Lost Boys soon found themselves when the opportunity to restart their lives was presented. Located in Northern Kenya, the Kakuma Refugee Camp, would provide shelter under the care of refugee relief programs, such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Through this program, The Lost Boys were eventually guided to resettle in the United States. In 2000, the Kakuma youth were resettled in places like Dallas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. With time, the IRC helped the boys obtain jobs and connected “them with volunteer mentors for help studying for exams.” This would allow them to earn their General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and give them the opportunity to gain a higher level education by attending college.
This particular story inspires me tremendously. It really displays that despite the situation you find yourself in, it is never too late to change your path. The Lost Boys were persistent and knew that they wanted a better life, and with time they achieved just that. Many of these boys turned into men in America. By working hard, they were capable of having jobs and earning an education. Hard work is how you achieve your aspirations. Money should never be a reason as to why you do not follow up on your dreams.
The Lost Boys were once at the lowest position they could have ever imagined possible. They proved that determination and willpower can transform your position in society. In times of struggle, do not surrender. You can always come out on top and build a life worth living.
In a time, when many of us are preparing for our future, it is easy to get discouraged because of the costs that come with it. I am here to remind you, that money should never be an obstacle, neither should the amount of time it takes for you to achieve something. Remind yourself everyday, that determination and perseverance are the key ingredients to a successful life. Stay determined to reach your goal and persevere in times of struggle, just like the Lost Boys of Sudan.