Over 500 'lost boys and girls' to return home if Bill passes in US Congress

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Up to 500 men and women, former ‘lost boys and girls’ from South Sudan, could soon return home to help rebuild the country if the US Congress passes a bill which seeks to establish a fellowship for them.
Making the announcement, US Congress member Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said the Lost Boys and Girls Rebuilding Infrastructure to Sustain Enduring Peace in South Sudan Act (Lost Boys and Girls RISE Act) of 2016 would pay transportation costs for former lost boys and girls who are working in the US and who want to return back home and put their expertise to use.
“Each time I‘ve met with members of the Lost Boys and Girls Community, they have passionately expressed their desire to return to South Sudan to share their acquired skills with the country they were forced to leave behind,” said Rep. Bass. “The RISE Act will enable these men and women to help build South Sudan’s infrastructure through the transference of knowledge.”
The bill that was introduced last week in the House Foreign Affairs Committee calls for transporting up to 500 skilled workers to South Sudan, but the number could be revised upward if the need arises.
The term "the lost boys of Sudan" began in the mid-1980s, a time of civil war in Sudan, which had not yet been divided into two countries. Over 20,000 boys and girls, who were displaced or orphaned during two decades of civil war, endured many hardships as they traveled on foot to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.
The US took in about 3,800 of them in 2001. Those in the US as well as those resettled in Canada and other European countries experienced post-traumatic stress and cultural isolation as they struggled to rebuild their lives in foreign countries.
Since then, the lost boys and girls have acquired skills in various disciplines. The Lost Boys and Girls RISE Act would enable fellows to use their expertise to educate and train the next generation of workers in South Sudan, by creating a three-year pilot fellowship programme through the US Department of State, under the purview of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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