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Colorado 'Lost Boy' heads back to Africa to help kids in refugee camps

Arok Garang worked as a school custodian and is the founder of non-profit called Seeds of South Sudan

WESTMINSTER, Colorado — A man in Colorado who knows more than most people do about the unrest in Sudan is headed back to Africa with a mission.

Arok Garang is one of the so-called "Lost Boys of Sudan", a group of more than 20,000 kids orphaned during the conflict during and after South Sudan's fight for its independence.

Garang's parents were killed and he lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for nine years before coming to the United States.

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When he wasn't working as a school custodian with Westminster Public Schools, Garang was forming a non-profit called Seeds of South Sudan, raising money in Colorado to help get kids out of the refugee camps and into schools.

"I did not think we will help that many students, but I feel good, I am happy," Garang said. "What has made a difference is the community and the friends, friendship that I have built here has made a huge difference."

He said the non-profit has helped 130 kids and counting. 

"I think it's getting worse because there are now over 200,000 people that have come to refugee camps," Garang said.

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Now, more help is on the way. Garang has left his custodian job and will travel to Kenya to help refugees directly full-time.

"It is one of the reasons that I need to be on the ground, you know, to help because to help encourage these children not to give up that there is opportunity for them," Garang said.

Opportunities like the ones created by a custodian in Colorado reaching across the world to make a difference.

"To give people hope that need, you know, not to give up," Garang said.

As he prepared to leave for Africa on Tuesday, he did have something to say about his time in Colorado.

"One thing I will not miss is the snow," Garang said. "I feel like I have two families now. One family here and one family in South Sudan."

If you want to find out more about Seeds of South Sudan, click here.


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