Abraham Deng Ater Releases Memoir, MY LOST CHILDHOOD
In the late 1980s, the Islamic government began to systematically torture and kill Southern Sudanese families, burn their villages and enslave young boys and girls. The actual numbers are unknown but it is estimated that more than 27,000 boys from southern tribes were forced to flee from their homes. Beyond the statistics are harrowing stories of survival and of young boys whose lives are changed forever by unfathomable tragedy. Abraham Deng Ater is one of the survivors of that horrific period in Sudanese history and in his new book, "My Lost Childhood," he shares his story.
Ater, separated from his family in 1987, is one of approximately 3,800 boys now known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. After the systematic killings of their families, the young boys were forced to flee naked and barefoot to the neighboring Fugnido, Ethiopia. Returning to Sudan, the Islamic government forced them to travel for another five months, ultimately arriving in Kakuma, Kenya, after four years of unthinkable hardship and walking over thousands of miles naked, barefoot, and ailing from starvation, dehydration, and diseases. Many boys perished along the way.
In "My Lost Childhood," Ater looks back to that tragic episode in his life and the history of Sudan. With honesty and courage, he gives voice to the darkness and fear that came during those unrelenting moments of weakness. More importantly, he celebrates the sense of hope and the rare light that helped him move forward.
After several years of trauma, Ater found a new life and home when he was granted refuge in the United States in 2001. In his compelling and candid voice, he guides readers on a journey from suffering to healing, from fear to redemption and from the darkness of his past to the light of a new future.