MURRAY, Ky. --When Gabriel Akech Kwai graduates from Murray State University in December, he'll have more than a finance degree. He's also learned how to help his troubled African homeland.
Kwai, who has lived in the United States for six years, has established the Women's Educational Empowerment Project for Southern Sudan to help educate and empower women there. The goal is to bridge the educational gap between the northern and southern regions of the wartorn nation.
"This is where my dreams lie," Kwai said in a recent interview with the Murray Ledger & Times. "... I learned that children learn a lot from their mothers, and if we educate the women of Sudan, then we help her entire family."
Kwai, who was born in 1979, was 7 years old when his father was killed in northern Sudan. His homeland was divided by civil war that eventually forced him to travel with the 33,000 other "Lost Boys of Sudan" to Ethiopia and later to a Kenyan refugee camp.
He lived in Ethiopia from 1987 until 1991, when that government ordered the refugees to leave the country within 24 hours. Kwai recalled the devastation to come: While seeking shelter in Kenya, Ethiopian militias attacked the young refugees, killing 5,000 of them in one day.
"I was one of the luckiest who crossed the border," he said...
This from the Herald-Leader.