John Dau is a survivor. He survived a plethora of events that most see as unimaginable and impossible to survive through. He survived moving through desert land hundreds of miles by foot with nothing.
On March 8th the Warsaw Student Council has invited Dau to come to our school to tell his story.
“Mr.Sylor let the Student Council choose the speaker because we wanted the students to have a choice who the speaker was,” said Principle Rick Ellis.
John Dau, known as a member of the Lost Boys of Sudan, walked from South Sudan to Ethiopia at the age of just 12 and was separated from his parents after his village was attacked during the civil war. Dau is one of thousands of boys, many of whom died due to starvation and dehydration, that made the journey from their homeland to refuge in Ethiopia. The boys were chased by enemy soldiers who caught and killed many other before they reached a refugee camp where they often went without food or clothes.
He then was chased out of his refugee camp when war broke out in Ethiopia. He was forced to jump and try to get to the other side of the alligator infested Gilo River. From there he walked to Kenya to the Kakuma Refugee Camp established by the United Nations. Here, he could start getting an education. He started the first grade at the age of 19. Dau graduated High School in 2000 and then in 2001 he learned that he was going to be sent to the US.
“We wanted to give them a memorable experience. And opportunity and has not been done here before,” said Middle School Principal Kim D’Amico.
The Lost Boys of Sudan have such a inspirational and unfortunate story that it has spawned a lot of stories based around it. One of which is the story of A Long Walk to Water which has been a book the 7th grade English Teacher Amanda Hoy has required for reading. The book is based around the story of a fictional character but is mainly based around the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, mainly Salva Dut who is a Lost Boy living in Rochester, NY.
“It shows most of our daily difficulties are lesser to what other people are going through in the world,” said 7th grade English Teacher Mrs.Hoy.
During his time at the camp in Kenya he was chosen as one of the 4,000 refugees relocated to the US. He was placed in Syracuse where he worked 2 to 3 jobs, getting 3 or 4 hours a sleep a night before he had to go back to work.
“It was very much unfortunate that young men were placed in this situation at such a young age,” said Mrs.D’Amico.
John Dau has talked at a myriad of places telling his story and raising money for a charity that helps South Sudan. the charity is the John Dau Foundation. The foundation helps establish medical facilities in South Sudan the overall goal is to change Health Care in South Sudan.
“We wanted to have a meaningful presentation so kids could look at different cultures and see the difficulty that others have to go through,“ said Mr.Ellis.
Some people have not heard about his story, though a large majority of people of people have heard of the overall story of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
“I’ve seen more of the all around story of the Lost Boys, it's remarkable for those kids and men to get through that, there is a great lesson to be learned from that,” says Mr.Ellis.
Teacher Choice Classes
By: Ben Brewer
This is not your normal day of school
On March 8th the Student Council will be hosting our first ever Strive day. During the day the teachers will get a chance to teach what they want to teach about. Students have gotten to pick 5 classes that have interested them and they will get to break out of the regular school day.
The day will be broken into five classes in which teachers got to choose what they wanted to teach about, whilst the students got to pick the teacher that was doing something that interested them. A few examples are the Hoy’s who chose to make ice cream as their teacher session. Also a bunch of other teachers decided to play board games.
During Strive, Ms. McGary and Middle School Counselor Mike Bauer will be doing a relaxation class. They will be making stress balls and teaching some tips to help relieve stress.
“She (Ms. McGary) came up with the idea,” said Mr. Bauer “We are going to be talking about relax tools and tricks where you don't need anything, were going to have some stress relieving objects that they can utilize homemade stress balls if they need more things physical,”
Mr. and Ms. Hoy will be having a homemade ice cream course where they will show students how to make ice cream.
“It was Mr. Hoy’s idea,” said Ms. Hoy. “He loves ice cream so he was interested in making ice cream.”
Ms. Marsh will be talking about her travels for her class. She will be talking about her traveling to all 50 states.
“I’m passionate about traveling,” said Ms. Marsh. “I want students to know that I grew up in this area. I’ve only had a teachers salary and I've travelled all over and so can they.”
This Strive Day will be the first of its kind and hopefully there will be many more to come.