Gai Nyok

Gai Nyok’s story highlights an amazing journey from being a “lost boy”, refugee, orphaned by Sudan’s bloody civil war to fulfilling a childhood dream, recently becoming a U.S. diplomat
In an inspirational story, a former South Sudanese “lost boy” and refugee from Bor has fulfilled a childhood dream, becoming a U.S. diplomat.

Gai Nyok was one of the over 20,000 Sudanese children orphaned by the country’s civil war and against all odds, the 29-year-old was recently sworn in as a foreign service officer in the U.S. State Department.

Nyok and his family fled the war when he was about a year old. According to the Sudan Tribune, the family fled, “during SPLM/A’s war with the government of the Sudan. The deplorable violence forced him and the family members to flee on foot to Ethiopia in 1987”.
From Ethiopia, Nyok returned to South Sudan and eventually reached the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where he was “one of the nearly 20,000 Lost Boys of the Sudan known also as SPLM/A child soldiers (the Red Army),” the Sudan Tribune reported.

With the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Nyok was granted asylum in the US in 2001.

The 15-year-old was placed with a family in Virginia, where he quickly perfected his English, eventually graduating high school with honours. Nyok then won a “scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he also got two degrees in four years; a B.A. in international relations and a B.S. in economics in 2010 with cum laude,” according to the Sudan Tribune.

Nyok continued to further his studies before being accepted for a State Department program which trains future diplomats, a stepping stone to fulfilling his childhood dream.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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