In the News: Former Senate Fellow and 'Lost Boy' from Sudan Finds a Home in Public Service

May 14, 2013

From broken universe to Syracuse, former 'Lost Boy' lands city hall job

Syracuse, NY - When it came time to welcome a group of new United States citizens to Syracuse, Mayor Stephanie Miner’s representative stood up.

He faced a courtroom full of immigrants from Somalia, Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Sudan and other “broken universes,” as he put it.

“Like myself,” he said.

At about age 6, Chol Majok began a journey that would rid him of war and famine, but would also forever separate him from his family and his home. Majok and his brother hitched a ride with aid workers from South Sudan to Kenya and then spent seven years with other “Lost Boys” in the Kakuma refugee camp. There, they knit together a different kind of family of brothers, uncles and mentors.

Majok’s story has best been captured in documentaries. In the movie “God Grew Tired of Us,” he said he can be seen poking his head through a group of boys, eager to see the papers stapled to a board that would show the names of the lucky boys who would next board a plane for U.S. cities they could not pronounce. Another documentary, called “Benjamin and His Brother,” shows him on the airplane out of Kakuma, suffering from motion sickness on his first flight.

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