John Bul Dau’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .
John Bul Dau has experienced challenges in his life that most people never imagine. Born in war-torn Sudan, Dau is one of 27,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” driven from their villages when the northern Arab government attacked the ethnic minority population of Southern Sudan in 1987. For the next five years, John Bul Dau led groups of displaced boys across Sudan for hundreds of miles facing starvation, disease, and violence.
While living in a Kenyan refugee camp, John Dau attended school for the first time at the age of 17and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education. In 2001, Dau was selected to immigrate to the United States and settled in Syracuse, New York.
Following his initial culture shock, John Bul Dau took on two jobs, earned an associate’s degree and has become an American success story. Currently the President of the John Dau Foundation, he is an influential part of many efforts to bring hope and peace to the people of Southern Sudan, founding three nonprofits and raising over $700,000 to build a medical clinic in his home village.
John Bul Dau co-authored his first book, God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir, in 2007 and has received many prestigious awards including the National Geographic’s “Emerging Explorers” award.
John Bul Dau is also featured in the award-winning documentary, God Grew Tired of Us, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
John Bul Dau’s life provides the ultimate example of a profile in courage. He is a natural leader who exemplifies true resilience and perseverance under the most horrific of circumstances.
Today, John Bul Dau is a compelling motivational speaker whose life is defined by his uncompromised commitment to having a lasting impact on the future of his native country. “I think people refuse to try things because they fear failure,” he observes. “There have been many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was dead and I feared they were dead, but 20 years later we were reunited. You can’t give up.”
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John Dau is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded three non-profit organizations. In 2003, he helped establish The Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of Central New York which raised funding for books and medical expenses for Lost Boys living in the United States and was instrumental in founding the American Care for Sudan Foundation which solicited funds to build and operate the Lost Boys Clinic in Southern Sudan.
John Bul Dau speaks on a variety of topics at corporations, churches and colleges, including an address to 10,000 people at the University of Minnesota’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation and top executives at a United Technologies Corporation conference.