On October 24, grade 7 students attended a presentation from Gabriel Bol Deng for the Creative Arts and Science program. Gabriel is one of the “Lost Boys” from Sudan. His message was one of hope and inspiration. Gabriel shared how he had to overcome unbelievable obstacles in life. He was just 10 years old when North Sudanese Murahileen militiamen led a violent attack on his village of Ariang in South Sudan in 1987. He lost his parents in the attack and had to survive four months of perilous journey before he reached a refugee camp in Ethiopia and in 2001 he was resettled in Syracuse, NY.
In 2007, he chose to return to his home village of Ariang after 20 years of being away and started Hope for Ariang (HFA) as a vehicle to help rebuild Ariang village. His work includes building a school for Ariang, providing quality education, teacher training and empowering women so that they can attend school and gain job skills.
Gabriel encouraged the students to hold onto their hopes and dreams. He reminded them to work hard and keep on persevering towards their dreams. To find out more about Hope For Ariang, please visit the website.