Lost Boy Found
Valentino Deng's courageous escape from the South Sudanese War has inspired a best-selling novel, and won him celebrity. He's now using the proceeds from the novel to help rebuild his ailing homeland.
"I could see the soldiers, kneeling in the grass of the riverbank, shooting at us as we crossed. I turned to see a boy in the jaws of a crocodile." It's a small insight into the ordeal that Valentino and thousands of other children experienced as they marched across the desert for over a thousand kilometres. Desperately fleeing a brutal war, many like Valentino lost their families along the way. He left for the States, where he met award-winning author Dave Eggert, who wanted to tell his story. Returning to his home town with the profits from the novel, Valentino was proud to build the region's first Secondary School: "Last year there was no road like this and you see people going to school, all schools were closed during the war". Queuing up excitedly for school, and hounding their volunteer teachers for information even in break time, the children in this small village in Marial Bal represent a new hope for Sudan. "We fought for more than 50 years. Things are going to change through education."FULL SYNOPSIS