Request for Feature Coverage and Interviews with Youth, Lost Boy

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The high school youth of Trinity Church, Newtown, CT, are learning how to be leaders. They are planning and carrying out a social action project to benefit the people of southern Sudan, recently called by the United Nations "the hungriest place on earth." They are working with Lost Boy John Dau, who is going back into his homeland of southern Sudan, helping to rebuild it.

Request for Feature Coverage and Interviews

Why: The high school youth of Trinity Church, Newtown, CT, are learning how to be leaders. They are planning and carrying out a social action project to benefit the people of southern Sudan, recently called by the United Nations “the hungriest place on earth." They are working with Lost Boy John Dau, who is going back into his homeland of southern Sudan, helping to rebuild it.

What:    One Hope Speech, Reception and Book Signing with John Dau (Lost Boy of Sudan, novelist, filmmaker, motivational speaker, philanthropist), and U2charist featuring music of U2 by live band of youths

Key Elements:

  •     Youth Led Project – the future leaders of our world in action
  •     Aid going to southern Sudan (considered by the United Nations to be in a “perfect storm” for a major humanitarian crisis)
  •     John Dau, Lost Boy of Sudan and now leader and author, will be the speaker. He will share the story of a life that is a profile in courage.
  •     Money will go to Dau’s Duk Lost Boys Clinic to pay for training of a midwife who will train others in a country where there is almost no prenatal care and 50 percent of babies die at birth

When:    Saturday, May 22
    6 pm John Dau Speech, Meet and Greet, Book Signing
    7 pm U2charist with Live U2 Music

Where:    Reed Intermediate School
    3 Trades Lane
    Newtown, CT 06470

Cost:    There is no charge. A free will offering will be taken during the U2charist with all proceeds going to the Duk Lost Boys Clinic through the John Dau Foundation.

For Interviews with the Youth and John Dau: Contact: Carol Zimmerman, 203 220-8573 or email The5zs@aol.com

Here is how it all happened:

Every year Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown, CT, focuses a Sunday on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations. The MDGs are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges (End Poverty and Hunger, Universal Education, Gender Equality, Child Health, Maternal Health, Combat HIV/AIDS, Environmental Sustainability, Global Partnership). They were adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

Three years ago several Lost Boys of Sudan (who had walked over 1,000 miles as children to escape genocide) came to visit Trinity on MDG Sunday, and Anna (a youth), after hearing their story and the story of present day southern Sudan asked the question “What Else Can We Do to Help?

Out of that came a youth led effort that last year raised $8000 to build a well in southern Sudan and this year, on May 22, will endeavor to pay for the training of a midwife in Nairobi ($20,000) who will then return to southern Sudan and train others.

The mortality rate from births there is nearly 50 percent. One out of six women who become pregnant will die. Only 10 percent of all birth deliveries in southern Sudan are assisted by skilled health personnel, compared to 57 percent countrywide. There are only 10 registered midwives in southern Sudan.

Conditions in southern Sudan today are extremely grave and getting worse. Two years of failed rains and continued tribal clashes have set up a gigantic humanitarian crisis. southern Sudan is the area of Africa that the United Nations calls “the hungriest place on earth.” Forty-six percent of children in southern Sudan are malnourished; fifteen percent is considered an emergency.

The One Hope Speech and Meet and Greet and U2charist will feature John Dau, who as a 12-year-old led 12 hundred Lost Boys on a 1,000 journey across The Sudan as they escaped government troops that were annihilating towns and killing inhabitants. Years later, by the end of the journey, half of the boys had died of thirst, starvation, wild animals, and disease in one of the bloodiest civil wars of the 20th Century.

As an adult, John wrote a book and co-starred in an award-winning film called God Grew Tired of Us about his experiences walking across The Sudan, later in refugee camps, and finally coming to America. Today he is a husband, father and activist living in Syracuse, New York, working to rebuild his homeland of southern Sudan, through his foundation, The John Dau Foundation of which the Duk Lost Boys Clinic is a part. He also continues to write and has a children’s book about to be published.

The U2charist is an Episcopal Eucharist service that features the music of the rock band U2 and a message about God’s call to rally around the UN Millennium Development Goals. Live music will be provided by the rock band Station Wagon Mishap which includes members of the Trinity YAC Class and other youth in the community. Trinity youth have done countless hours of work to promote, fund and produce this weekend of events from creating flyers, coordinating sales, producing sound and lighting effects, doing research, and creating messages and images which will be projected onto a large screen with photos of the Lost Boys and those currently in southern Sudan. The event is appropriate for all ages.

Trinity Church
YAC Class
36 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Contact: Carol Zimmerman, 203 220-8573, The5zs (at) aol (dot) com
YAC (Young Adults in the Church) Teacher

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Carol Zimmerman

1 203 2208573
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