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The 'Lost Boy' of Sudan

John and his mother in close-up outside the home had built for her
Crossing Continents
Thursday 19 July 2007
At 1102 BST on BBC Radio 4

John Majok is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, the name given to the boys who were orphaned or displaced in the 1980s during the country's brutal civil war.

To escape the brutality of government troops, thousands of largely young boys set out on an extraordinary journey that took them to Ethiopia, back to Sudan and to refugee camps in Kenya.

Several years later, a few thousand of them were given the chance to establish new lives in the US on a resettlement programme.

John Majok was one of them, and now, after six years of life, education and work in the US, John has decided to travel to the Kakuma refugee camp in North West Kenya, to be reunited with his mother and to marry a girl from his own Dinka tribe.

Can there be a happy ending for him and his new wife?

In Crossing Continents, Jane Little follows him as he meets his mother and the girl is due to marry.

She experiences first-hand what life has been like for the tens of thousands of Sudanese - and in particular, the girls - who were left behind.

And she hears concerns about the competition for brides among the Lost Boys, which, in some cases, is leading to forced marriages.

How will John reconcile his modern, educated and comparatively wealthy lifestyle with that of the traditional, tribal, non-English speaking ways of his family and wife-to-be?

Can there be a happy ending for him and his new wife, either in America or back in their homeland, Sudan?

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 19 July 2007 at 1102 BST.

It will be repeated on Monday, 23 July 2007 at 2030 BST.

Presenter: Jane Little
Producer: Sue Ellis
Editor: Maria Balinska

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