Gabriel Bol Deng is one of the most determined men I've ever met. His dream is to provide opportunities for education that he never had until, as a refugee, he entered first grade at the age of thirteen. He is now working on a Master's degree, but plans to return this winter to establish the school. He calls his Syracuse-based organization "H.O.P.E. for Ariang" to distinguish it from other organizations using H.O.P.E. as an acronym. He has applied for nonprofit 501(c)3 status. ~David Morse
Gabriel Bol Deng, Founder and Director of Hope for Ariang, fled Sudan as a child of 10 years of age when his village was attacked by North Sudan Arab militiamen. He fled knowing only that his parents were lost in the attack - not knowing if they were alive. With other children whose villages had also been attacked, he walked for months, crossing the Nile and untold miles of desert. They finally reached Ethiopia, where they were safe, until political upheaval there meant that Gabriel and the others he had traveled with had to flee again. They made their way to Kenya and a refugee camp there. This primitive education provided in he Kenyan camp gave Gabriel hope for his future.
In 2001, Gabriel came to the United States, and along with other Sudanese refugees he received help resettling in New York state. He has since graduated from Le Moyne College in Syracuse NY having received their "Distinguished Student Teacher of the Year" award in 2006. Gabriel has thrived in the United States and is now working to help his village enhance their education by building, maintaining and supporting the Ariang Primary School. His commitment to education is strong and his belief that education is key to his village's success has not waived.
To learn more about Gabriel Bol Deng's flight from his village of Ariang, his journey to the United States and his hopes for the future and for Ariang, follow the links below.
Press Release: 10/11/07: "Lost Boy" tells of visit to South Sudan [pdf]. Gabriel Bol Deng speaking in Connecticut October 18 - October 22, 2007
Jen Marlowe's documentary film about the return home of Gabriel Bol Deng, Koor Garang and Garang Mayuo and their efforts to provide health care and education for their communities is scheduled for completion in Fall 2008. Learn more at rebuildinghopesudan.org
David Morse and Gabriel Bol Deng Interview, Where We Live, WNPR. August 8, 2007.
"The Narrow Escape: The Facts of My Life"
Gabriel Bol Deng, Voices Vol. 32, Fall-Winter 2006. New York Folklore Society.
The Long Road Home. Le Moyne Alumni magazine, Fall 2006.
Sudanese native relates horrors of his childhood to Cornell U. crowd. By Konstantin Shishkin, Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University, November 16, 2006.
Lost Boys of Sudan, Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary directed by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk.
This web site is sponsored by David Morse in conjunction with Gabriel Bol Deng, Founder and Director of Hope for Ariang. Gabriel Bol Deng, one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" is working to build, maintain and supply the Primary School for his village, Ariang, in southern Sudan.