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Michael Mayen, Nyoun Justin, David Mabior Atem, Atem David Jr., Dr. Axworthy, Abel Magok

e-dition - Volume 24 Number 18



Left to right:
Michael Mayen, Nyoun Justin, David Mabior Atem, Atem David Jr., Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Abel Magok

Lost Boys Find Hope at UWinnipeg


By Naniece Ibrahim

The University of Winnipeg welcomed two 'Lost Boys' into its alumni family at Spring Convocation. David Mabior Atem and Michael Mayen received their degrees on June 3, 2007, becoming the first of the 'Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan' to graduate from UWinnipeg.

This is a historic moment for all parties involved. UWinnipeg is proud of Atem and Mayen's dedication in pursuing their education and their community work. Atem quotes President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy who referred to the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan as "Peace ambassadors whether in Africa or elsewhere around the world."

The challenges the two men faced seem unimaginable, yet their perseverance and strength of spirit helped them survive. Their degree, vision and focus will now empower them to continue to achieve any other goals.

David Mabior Atem arrived in Canada as a war refugee and played a key role in establishing the formal group in Winnipeg, The Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan. His Bachelor degree is a tremendous accomplishment, obtained under extremely adverse circumstances. But his education is not yet complete. Atem was accepted into the joint Master's of Public Administration program between UWinnipeg and University of Manitoba.

Atem's success serves as an example, as well as moral support, to his community, which has undergone many hardships. Atem sees himself as a mentor and role model to others who are trying to upgrade their skills and improve their life situations. Upon completion of his MPA, David plans to work in the administration of organizations whose goals are primarily working with immigrants and war-affected refugees including war-affected children.

Michael Mayen graduated with a BA-4 year in International Development Studies. He was also one of the founders of the Lost Boys & Girls of Sudan.

Mayen intends to help refugees and War-Affected Children in Winnipeg and continue to support the Sudanese community. He credits The University of Winnipeg with helping to establish the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan and has enabling him to achieve his dream of a post-secondary education. Through Menno Simons College and UWinnipeg, he went to Congo for his senior practicum to observe the election last Summer and Fall, which he describes as an unforgettable experience. Mayen feels it is his responsibility to help others, and because he considers Winnipeg 'home' he would like to stay here to build his life with his family.

The Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan are refugees who were displaced. Most were orphaned or separated from their families when government troops systematically attacked villages in southern Sudan killing many of the inhabitants, most of whom were civilians.

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