Sunday, July 20, 2008

Immigrant of the Day: Valentino Achak Deng (Sudan)

200pxwhatisthewhatbook Valentino Achak Deng is a Sudanese Lost Boy whose story is told in novel form in What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng by Dave Eggers. Deng discusses the novel at here.

Valentino Achak Deng was seven or eight years old when he fled the civil-war stricken Sudan. He walked to Ethiopia with 30,000 children but was forced to flee again to a refugee camp in Kenya, one of only 10,000 children to survive the journey. In Kenya, Valentino attended high school and worked with the United Nations’ youth and culture program.

Valentino was sent to the United States for resettlement in 2001, one of the last lost boys allowed out. Currently living and working in Clarkson, Georgia, Valentino Achak Deng shares an apartment with four of his lost boys “brothers.” He is a highly requested speaker at schools and colleges, churches, civic originations and religious institutions, sharing a message of character, perseverance, faith and hope. He was also featured on CNN’s Inside Africa.

Deng recently became a U.S. citizen. His activities are further detailed at his foundation website.


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