Lost Boy inspires BSM to build well in Sudan

Sara Schleuter

For Catholic Schools week this year, BSM chose a unique cause to donate money to: the Macara Miracle Network. This non-profit organization, founded by a few of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” became a way for them to help give back to their native countries. Ting Maiya, one of the “Lost Boys,” came to talk with the BSM students about this organization.

In the late 1980s thousands of young men and boys were forced to leave behind their homes in Sudan because of a bloody civil war. These young men were then dubbed with the title, the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” Walking hundreds of miles through deserts with no food or water, the boys made it to a Kenyan refugee camp. Once they reached the camp, they had to stay there for more than ten years, unable to return to their homelands.

The boys had some educational opportunities in the camps, but no real future was being built for them there, so the United States government decided it would take some of these boys and allow them to live in the U.S., where they would hopefully gain an education and have a better chance at life. Ting Maiya who became one of the chosen boys, currently takes classes at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, studying sociology.

Maiya came to talk to BSM students about his experience, culture shock, and how he hopes to help those still suffering from the devastating effects of war. “The program that I am working with aims to provide health, clean water, and education to the Sudanese villages,” said Maiya.
The Macara Miracle Network strives to achieve goals that include building wells that allow villages to have clean drinking water. In coming to BSM, Maiya’s hoped to raise enough money to build a well for a small Sudanese village.

Having the ability to get the children in these villages clean water will be the key to many of the problems that the region faces. Fifty-seven percent of Sudanese deaths include children, and much of it due to the inability to get clean water. Also, having a well available in the villages will spare the young girls the effort it takes to get water for their families.

In Sudanese villages, the girls have the responsibility of walking over five miles a day to get a few gallons of water for their families to use. “By drilling a well, the girls will have the time to attend school, rather than getting water, and they will be able to have an education, so it really helps create equality,” said Maiya.
In addition to Maiya’s goal to raise money for the well projects, his success in the U.S. has hopefully let him be an inspiration. “I am also helping the Sudanese by being an example of what they can accomplish,” said Maiya.

“This particular foundation came to us by luck and had perfect timing. It was related to the Sisters of St. Joseph because they would work with getting wells built also, and this offered an incredible experience for the students to hear a ‘Lost Boys’ story and learn about it,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, who helped to coordinate this opportunity. BSM set the goal of raising enough money to actually dig a well, which costs $2,500. Amazingly, the students at BSM collected a little over $2,600, so a well will indeed be dug.

This project not only helped a Sudanese village attain clean water, but the BSM community learned about a story that many don’t know about. “I hope that people can learn from this what goes on in the world, and [how we are responsible] as humans on what we can do [to help],” said Maiya.