In 1987, an exodus of some 20,000 boys and girls took place. They were fleeing the genocide in southern Sudan, a war that continues today. More than half perished in their journey—dying from crocodile and lion attacks, drowning, thirst, starvation, or militia ambushes.
In 1991, after being forced out of an Ethiopian camp where they had found solace for four years, these Lost Boys and Girls settled in Kakuma, a refugee camp that Kenya and the U.N. established for them. When international attention was brought to their plight, 3,800 were resettled in the U.S. in 2001. Most of those remaining returned to South Sudan risking their lives in the continued civil war. But 439 still remain—25 years later.
They are no longer children but are men and women with children of their own. Twenty-five years later, they still cling to the hope of finding a safe haven they can call their own, where they are free to work and raise their children without fear. Some are defiant, some are dispirited. All are lost.