60 Minutes: Lost Boys Resettlement, Sudan Independence & Refuge Point

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60 Minutes: Lost Boys Update

The Lost Boys of Sudan first came to America 12 years ago. It was quite a culture shock, and 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon picked up the story to find out how they have adjusted to American life over the past decade. Here is an update on the Lost Boys Resettlement.

60 Minutes: Lost Boys US Passports

60 Minutes: Lost Boys Resettlement, Sudan Independence & Refuge Point

60 Minutes shared an update on the Lost Boys resettlement, checking in a decade later on those who came to America after overcoming insurmountable odds.

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The US government invited the Lost Boys to immigrate to cities across America. Simon set out to reunite with some of the Lost Boys, whom he visited intermittently through the years.

Abraham earned the chance to become an American citizen. He carries his passport with him everywhere as a point of pride. It is the first form of identification he has ever had.

60 Minutes: Lost Boys Then & Now

Joseph said that his driver’s license was stolen, he was hit by a car, he was stabbed, and lived through a kitchen fire. Joseph’s response? “Things happen.”

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He was also laid off due to economic setbacks, but he has made it back to work and is happy to continue studying medicine, even though it is unlikely he will ever get to pursue a medical degree.

60 Minutes: Refuge Point Charity

Joseph said he has not felt like a success, since he has not been able to become a doctor. That is his benchmark for success. Across the country, Abraham graduated from Atlanta Christian College.

Sasha, who ran the orientations for the Lost Boys, now runs the Refuge Point charity for African refugees. But he is happy to stay in touch with those he helped come to America.

60 Minutes: Lost Boys Resettlement

“I would say this is one of the most successful resettlements in US history,” he said of the Lost Boys. Some of the 4,000 have gone on to law school or medical school. However, not all were successful, succumbing to drugs, alcohol, and even prison.

But other war orphans have happily served their new homes, including Daw Dekon, who enlisted after 9/11 and served three tours in Iraq.

60 Minutes: Lost Boys History

Dominic Leek wrote a song to express the emotions and thanks of the Lost Boys on their new chances and lives in America. Abraham has made it his mission to keep the story of the Lost Boys alive, speaking at places like Yale about their experiences.

Abraham feels that his God-given purpose was to be a witness to the atrocities of Sudan. There are more years between the boys and their horrific past, but some of them still report having nightmares.

60 Minutes: Sudan Independence

In July 2011, the Lost Boys learned that their former home in South Sudan has become an independent country. According to Sasha Chanoff, the story of the Lost Boys was critical for the country’s independence.

He said that their presence helped bring to light the genocide in Sudan and change the conversation and international response. In Aweil, Sudan, citizens celebrated at a cathedral, where Abraham was installed as the region’s first Episcopal bishop.

60 Minutes: Episcopal Bishop Abraham

Bishop Abraham has returned home, and is no longer a Lost Boy. He splits his time between two countries, and he is also a husband and father of three.

Due to red tape and bureaucracy, Abraham’s family remains in Africa. Joseph, meanwhile, has never been back to Africa. But he did learn that his mother survived the war at a Ugandan refugee camp.

60 Minutes: Lost Boys Skype Reunion

Via Skype, Abraham had the chance to talk to his mother for the first time in decades. 60 Minutes was on both sides of the emotional conversation. She thought her son was dead as well, and did not know the saga he had endured over the past 25 years.

They shared some happy memories from simpler times, and she even asked why her son had not found an American woman to marry. Joseph said that he would visit his mother as soon as he could.

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