International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The Lost Boys of Sudan

In 1987, civil war drove an estimated 20,000 young boys from their families and villages in south Sudan. Most just six or seven years old, they fled to Ethiopia to escape death or induction into slavery and the northern army. They walked more than a thousand miles, half of them dying before reaching a Kenyan refugee camp. The survivors of this tragic exodus became known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.

In 2001, close to four thousand Lost Boys came to the United States seeking peace, freedom, and education. 120 of these young men resettled in the Atlanta area with the IRC’s help.

New Book Benefits the Lost Boys
“The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience” is journalist Mark Bixler’s account of the Lost Boys’ journey.  Bixler saw the book in part as a means to help the Lost Boys achieve their educational goals, offering to donate 10% of his royalties to a fund that would serve their needs. Purchase the book through this link and an additional donation will be made to the IRC by

Sudanese Assistance Fund
Since its inception in 2001, the Lost Boys Emergency Fund has distributed over $14,000 to southern Sudanese refugees, with the generous support of IRC donors. The fund’s focus on emergency assistance served the youth well during their initial resettlement; however, their primary concern now is accessing education.

Typical funded expenses are for college and vocational application fees, SAT and GED test fees, books and supplies, test preparatory course fees and vocational training. Assistance may also pay a portion of tuition costs. The fund also continues to help in emergencies.

100% of the donations to the fund go directly to refugees.  The fund is guided by an advisory committee, made up of IRC volunteers, Sudanese representatives and IRC staff members. The committee distributes the aid quarterly (except in emergencies), based on need and eligibility.

How can an eligible candidate apply?
Requests can be made through the IRC Atlanta office or through any of the advisory board members. Applicants must document their needs. 

How can I make a donation?
Simply make a check out to “IRC – Sudanese Assistance Fund” and send it to:

IRC Atlanta 
2305 Parklake Drive, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345