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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 09:28 GMT
Heading home: Peter Dut Angon
Peter Dut Angon
Peter's degree in nursing will benefit his Sudanese community
Following the historic signing of the peace deal between Sudan's government and southern rebels we spoke to Sudanese living abroad about their plans to return home.

Peter Dut Angon is one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan and is currently living in the US.

I am from a small town called Wedweil in Sudan.

At the end of 1987 I went to Ethiopia.

I left because my God-given precious gift was taken away. My father was murdered by militiamen.

I wanted to avenge his death but I was not old enough to join the front line.

My mother, four of my brothers and one sister are still alive. I may not remember their faces

I lost my home, people, friends and freedom. There were other children like me.

The leaders of the rebel group, Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) called all of us children "the Seeds of the future Sudan" and made some of the educated people within the SPLA our teachers.

Whilst in Ethiopia I completed the first, second and third grades of school.

We had to move to Pochala in Sudan during May 1991 because we were no longer safe after the then Ethiopian government fell.

Map of Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya

In February 1992 we fled to Narus because Pochala was attacked.

We soon fled again, this time across the border to Lokichokio in northern Kenya.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) moved us to Kakuma refugee camp in August 1992, where I spent the next nine years.

Here I was able to resume my studies.

"The Seeds of the future Sudan" became known as the "Lost Boys of Sudan".

A new life

The United States welcomed us and I left for America in August 2001.

After arriving in August 2001, I spent a year working and going to local learning centres until taking my secondary school examinations.

Peter and fellow Sudanese celebrated their country's peace treaty at a rally in Arizona, US.

Then, thanks to the sponsorship of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, I was enrolled at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, US in August 2002.

I am now a level one nursing student.

I intend to return to Sudan to visit my family this coming May for the first time since 1987.

My mother, four of my brothers and one sister are still alive. I look forward to seeing them, some friends and cousins. They will also be grown up. I may not remember their faces.

Rebuilding Sudan

There are both good and bad times in one's life

After I finish my remaining two years and receive my Bachelor's of Science and Nursing degree I want to go back to Sudan and work in the health department.

This achievement will benefit my Sudanese community.

I shall join in, rebuilding Sudan, when there are no more gun-sounds and when our leaders commit to what they have promised.

I will have courage and tell young people that there are both good and bad times in one's life.

God is the key to everything. Hope, faith, love, peace, joy and mercy come from God.

Without God's help, I could have not survived until this time.

The generous people that welcomed us into their homes must not be forgotten.

The BBC News website aims to follow Peter's journey home.

Your comments:

Thank you very much for all your comments. They are encouraging and I won't forget them. To dear fellow Sudanese wherever you are, I am not encouraging you to go home immediately, but I want to say that the time has come for us to invite our friends, our brothers and sisters, who offering parts of their lives to make us people of the future Sudan. We need to be donors and not just receivers. For the last two decades we have been receiving. If you are in the middle of what you are doing, please finish first and then bring your brothers and sisters home to see where you came from and show them the culture that the civil war took us from. Last but not the last, I want to remind you that the places that we always wished to go to were built by the citizens of those countries and so we need to build our home, too so that others will like to make our place a home for them.
Peter Dut Angon, USA

Really Peter is "the seed of the future Sudan" despite the difficulties he met in his early life, he succeeded to continue his education and planning to go back and participate in rebuilding the beloved country, I hope all the Sudanese will look at Peter as an example of a loyal citizen, keep up Peter - wishing you all the best.
Abuelhussein Khamis Ali, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Congratulations Peter on your success and courage - Sudan needs people like you to start the massive job of reconstruction. I hope that you can try to convince the many Sudanese refugees here in Kakuma to return home; although they are all very happy about the newly brokered peace, many fear going back, due to the hardship that awaits them. We have a job here, trying to convince Sudanese refugees that they in fact are the lucky ones, having escaped years of brutality and hardship at home.

Many have benefited from a good education and vocational training within the camp - they are key to Sudan's future. Your life story can only serve as an example and a beacon of hope for all Sudanese refugees across the world. Good luck for the future.
Harsha Chauhan, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

To Harsha Chauhan: Thank you for your comments. Because of them I wrote my message (above). I decided to send it not only to Kakuma but to all Sudanese. Thank you.
Peter Dut Angon, USA

It's a strong commitment! I wish you all the best in rebuilding your country.
Helen Addis, Ethiopia

I am also a 'Lost Boy' of Sudan and I am glad to have read what my fellow brother in Arizona talked about. I am proud to have been one of the 'Lost Boys' and I feel what Peter feels. Besides being the seeds we have one more 'Lost Boys' slogan: "Education is our father and mother" which helps us strive for wisdom and knowledge to rebuild a free Sudan. I am thankful to Peter for expressing his opinion about why he wants to go back home. I feel the same way too. Let the freedom ring across the great land of Sudan.
Justin Machien Luoi, Fargo, North Dakota, US

We are all so proud of you, Peter. We remember the fateful day when you came to Phoenix in August of 2001 and Rick was there when you came off the plane. Look at all you have done since that short time! You, and your brothers, have taught us all valuable lessons. Those who have had the honour and privilege of knowing you are blessed.

You teach us countless things in life - the value of working hard, of what it means to give of yourself, of the meaning of true kindness, of perseverance, and most of all what it means to have faith. True faith in God. I know your father would be very proud of you, and he is smiling at this moment.
Carol Powell, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Thanks so much Peter for your love for our beloved country Sudan. I wish that every Sudanese and especially the southern Sudanese living outside Sudan would go back home to be part of building and rebuilding a country that needs each and every one of us. Let us all be like Peter and let us go home.
Luk K Kang, Toronto, Canada

Bravo Peter, continue with the spirit of accomplishing your education and taking back the knowledge, there is a lot to be done in south Sudan comrade. I am at college in Ohio and am looking forward to completing my degree and going back to help the community that needs all of us to build. It is so sad to remember about the war in the past, being one of the ex-freedom fighters there is a lot to sacrifice.

Thank God I am alive and going to sacrifice in building the land that many lost their lives for. But again there is much to thank God because I would have never gone to college under the Sudan government, and so now I am using the chance that I have here in the United States. To all the southern Sudanese who got this chance please exploit it to the maximum for the betterment of a new Sudan.

Just remember all of you are share holders of that land therefore nobody should discourage you from going back or identifying yourself with it. The pride I now have is that I have a nationality and a country. God bless all.
Latio Elunai George, Ohio, USA

Peter, thank you for not forgetting your roots and most of all your people who suffered and I am really proud of you for taking this peace opportunity and committing yourself to serving your country in the future. You can be the best example for my people who fled Ethiopia and never came back after the peace.
Abdul Yusuf, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Peter, You and others like you are testament to the drive and hope that humans hold dearly. I only wish that the so-called rich countries had have stepped up to the plate earlier. You and many like you would never have had to go through what the rest of us could only imagine to be the worst possible havoc wreaked on humanity. Only God in his wisdom can explain why things happen the way they do, but trust that you and others were spared for a reason.

In rebuilding a country that should never have fallen, you will be showing the world that each of us have been put on this earth for a reason, and not one of us has good enough reason to take another out. Good luck in your life ahead. I know that all the people that worked throughout the area more than 10 years ago will be happy to learn of peace coming back to the area, but still ache because of their inability to change what should never have been.
Debbie Knowles, Delta, BC, Canada

You really have exhibited a sense of nationalism. I wish you all the best in the course of your studies while in the United States. I hope that the signing of the peace accord would bring ensure peaceful co-existence between the two regions.

One thing we Africans should remember is that we are all one people. What decides us is the land demarcations which are naturally invisible; but rather visible only when seen as a carving of our continent by our colonizers. Thanks for your belief in the dignity of our people and the hope that you have to impact change through your services as a health professional.
Habiba Suleimana, Tamale, Ghana

Your story is really heart moving. We look forward to people like you coming home to help rebuild the country and help the people with the experience they have gained, remembering the name given to them by SPLA.
Alfred Sende Gbandi, Khartoum, Sudan

I am very glad that Peter will help the younger generation. Thank you very much and I hope we shall met sometime. God bless you.
Santino Akol Atak, Aweil, Sudan

Peter was one of my students at Literacy Volunteers. Although he has moved on to college and I no longer work at LVMC, we remain close friends. Peter is one of the finest human beings I have had the pleasure of knowing. His kind spirit shows through in his ready smile and soft-spoken manner.

I am joyous in his success and pleased that he wants to return to help his country. I hope the world will not again turn its back on Africa, when asked for help. Africa, and the world, need more people like Peter.
Dianne Moore, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

I work with a refugee rehabilitation organization and have worked with so many refugees from Africa. Recently we started a new organization where we are sending the Lost Boys back to Kakuma to work there and assist other refugees who are still in the refugee camp. I am very proud of them and the good job that they are doing. The main encouraging thing is that they are offering their time to help other people.

So my request in general is to support all the displaced people and assist with whatever we can to make sure they get the basic necessities in Life. Keep it up Peter and keep on being a good example to the Lost Boys.
Erick Mwirigi, San Diego, CA, USA

I am a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills, Arizona USA. Our church is so proud of Peter Angon. Although he was only able to get his education in tents, he managed to get the equivalent of a high school education and qualify for college. He also works at Grand Canyon University in security and accepts all work available.

He works nights, all holidays, and even stays on campus working during vacation breaks. We have set up a scholarship for anyone who cares to contribute. Please send an email if you would like to contribute and BBC will pass on the details. Peter is a fine human being we have been privileged to know him.
Catherine Underwood, Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA

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