Resettlement Costs - Atem & Family

PHASE 1: All donations will go directly for purchasing the airfare for the family (Mary and 2 children, Garang & Ayen) to travel from Nairobi, Kenya to the USA, and for the first month of housing in Sioux Falls, SD (Deposit & Rent). *All donations will receive a tax donation letter and EIN from Mary's Project a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.

At the tender age of 8 years old, Atem along with an estimated 27,000-36,000 boys between the ages of 8-12 years old, escaped from their villages of birth as a last resort of survival to escape genocide out of their beloved Southern Sudan. Traveling over a thousand miles bare foot, with no clothes, no parents, no food, and no water, their epic journey is one of courage, hope, struggle, death and life. 12,000 boys survived the journey.

Atem, a "Lost Boy of South Sudan" now living in Sioux Falls, SD, fled from his homeland and village in 1987. In 1983 civil war broke out in Sudan pinning the Arab North against the Christian South. As the Christian villages of the South where Atem lived were attacked by the North, homes were burnt to the ground, most of the adults including his father were killed, young women and girls were kidnapped, raped and murdered, while nearly 36,000 children including Atem, esacped to the bush. Over 2 million lives were lost in this conflict. The young boys, known as the "Lost Boys," who were able to escape walked a long dangerous journey traveling over 1,000 miles on foot with no parents, food or water, while battling crocodiles, lions, starvation, and the gunfire and bombing raids of an enemy that wanted to see them "no more." Eventually, after losing two thirds of the group, about 12,000 Lost Boys somehow survived and made it to relief camps in Ethiopia and later in Kenya. In 2001, approximately 3,800 Lost Boys were selected from Kakuma Refugee Camp for resettlement in the United States. Four years later the 20 year war ended and the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) was signed in 2005. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the new, free, and independent "Republic of South Sudan." Now, young men, 3,600 boys are living in the U.S., and in Sioux Falls, SD.

Atem and Mary were born in neighboring villages in South Sudan. They met as young teenagers in Kakuma Refugee Camp where they spent their young lives and teen years growing up together between 1991-2001. In 2003, Atem was able to return to Kakuma refugee camp to marry Mary. After almost 20 years in separation, On January 5, 2018, Mary received her visa to immigrate to the United States with their 2 children Garang (10) and Ayen (4), and be with her beloved husband Atem. Please unite with us to complete their journey of love and hope!! Atem with his son Garang visiting Kenya 2013 

For more information:
Lisa Marie Johnson, Executive Director
Mary's Project
[email redacted]

Documentary and Movie on the Lost Boys of Sudan:

THE GOOD LIE (official trailer, movie available on Netflix)

Mary's Project - 501-c-3

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Lisa Marie Johnson 
Sioux Falls, SD

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