Feb 05, 2013


'Lost Boy' Paul Manyok to Share Story With Students, Staff, Faculty and Community

Free presentations to take place in both Columbia & Franklin

Imagine you are a young child, as young as three or four and you are separated from your family by civil war, traversing deserts and mountains with little food or water, no medical care, and no protection from wild animals. Imagine watching hundreds of boys perish around you from hunger, disease, or attacks by enemy soldiers and wild animals. To most of us, it is unimaginable, but this was reality for "The Lost Boys of Sudan," thousands of young boys and girls who were separated from their families and forced to walk approximately 1,000 miles to reach safe refuge from war and certain death.

"I knew very little about the lost boys, but I did find that it is one of the most incredible stories in history. I found they don't look back, they forward to the futureā€¦but it is a story that has to be told," said Tom Hallquist, instructor of communications at Columbia State.

Columbia State Community College's Lyceum Committee is proud to host a talk by one of these remarkable young men, Paul Manyok. Manyok will be at Columbia State's Ledbetter Auditorium on Wednesday, February 24 at 7 p.m. to share his story of courage and survival. He speaks of incredible events, and of the 'miracle adventure' that led him to the United States. He is a frequent speaker and the co-founder of the movie War Child. Mayok will also be in Franklin at the Williamson County Public Library on Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. The Williamson County Public Library is located at 1314 Columbia Avenue in Franklin. This event is free and open to the community.

The story of "The Lost Boys" is one of history's lesser known and darker tales from the recent past. There were thousands of children who were orphaned, displaced or simply cut loose during the second Sudanese civil war that occurred and devastated Sudan between 1983 and 2005. This long, complicated struggle undermined a generation of children, obliterating families, educational systems, human rights, and the ability to stay alive.

"The Lost Boys" are so named because refugee groups worked to relocate them to various countries. Less than one-sixth of the remaining Lost Boys found their way to the United States. There are larger numbers of these lost children in other countries. America has taken only a small number of these refugees.

Today, Mr. Manyok is an Anglican Pastor and one of main organizers for Peace and Reconciliation in the Southern Sudan.

Hallquist has been involved in the reconciliation committee. He has visited Africa numerous times and works regularly through government and private organizations and businesses to make people aware of the tragedies in Africa and the things they can do to help displaced peoples of the world.

"Join the Lyceum Committee for a captivating and educational evening about one of the worst civil wars and acts of genocide in the last half century. Manyok and the Lost Boys lost everything, and their survival is a remarkable tale of the human spirit," said Stuart Lenig, interim division chair for humanities, professor of speech and drama at Columbia State and Lyceum committee member. This event is free and open to the community.

For more information contact Tom Hallquist at (931) 540-2640.