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Book Drive Seeks to Aid Sudan's "Lost Boys"

Date: April 24, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News, Campus News

A University of Cincinnati faculty member is striving to make sure the so-called "Lost Boys" do not lose out on the opportunity for a higher education in the United States. They are young men in their late teens and early 20s, among the tens of thousands who were orphaned by civil war in southern Sudan and are now resettling in this country.

Mary Brydon-Miller, assistant professor of education and co-coordinator of the Urban Educational Leadership Program, commutes to UC from Louisville and a great deal of her research is conducted in Louisville communities. Her research involves grassroots, community-driven plans for positive change. Brydon-Miller began her work with the Lost Boys when Louisville's Migration and Rescue Services brought the refugees to the bluegrass.

Brydon-Miller points to their tragic story that was detailed in the New York Times, explaining these boys covered approximately 1,000 miles on foot, many dying on their journey from starvation, the rugged conditions or animal attacks. As children, they were first forced to walk to refugee camps in Ethiopia before they were displaced again and had to walk to camps in Kenya.

"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees resettled about 4,500 people in the United States, and Louisville is one of the cities to receive refugees...about 90 altogether." Brydon-Miller is assisting the refugees in English as a Second Language (ESL) and says within two months of that training, the young men must find jobs. "They received a varying amount of education in the refugee camps under a traditional British Educational system. Many of them have advanced skills and want to go on to college."

Brydon-Miller says the young men need college-level textbooks across different disciplines, including biology, geography, agriculture, medicine, literature, physics, math and religion. So, she is sending out a call to other UC faculty to get rid of some their office clutter for a good cause. Send any textbooks you're not using through campus mail (ML 0002), or drop them by her office at 407B Teachers College. She will get them to the Sudanese refugees in Louisville. For more information, call Brydon-Miller at 556-5108.

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