Mayom Bol Achuk was born in Sudan as a member of the Dinka tribe. Modern education was unknown in their culture as young boys were raised to tend cattle and practice their hunting skills.
In 1987, as the civil war escalated, Mayom and his family were forced to flee to a refugee camp in Ethiopia, and later they moved to the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp. While at the camps, Mayom was able to gain his education through twelfth grade.
Mayom is one of the “Lost Boys” who were resettled in the United States when South Sudan experienced a long civil war that killed 2.5 million people and displace millions more.
Once in America, Mayom wanted to go to college, however to meet the requirements for college admission he had to take the GED exam. He continued his studies and often worked 2-3 jobs to support himself and his family members still in South Sudan.
Mayom eventually graduated from college with two graduate degrees and relocated back to South Sudan to help rebuild the nation through the peace-building process and educational system.
Unfortunately, the instability in South Sudan forced Mayom to once again return to the United States after having his life threatened five times at gunpoint.
Mayom now resides in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy training he received through LIRS provided him with renewed energy and a focus on supporting the Sudanese community here in America.
“Since I can’t go back home under the current leadership, I am still part of the nation-building process and change for good governance in South Sudan. I hope change will come to South Sudan as soon as the current generation of former rebel commanders and old guards, who are now the national ministers, are gone.
I can help form strong communities of Sudanese people in the areas where they have relocated. My goal for advocacy is to reduce or stop any government policy that creates another generation of child soldiers and increases refugee populations worldwide. I have dedicated myself to help other refugees feel welcomed in this great land of opportunity, just as I was welcomed. I will continue to fight for the human rights of those who are still held hostage in oppressive political systems.”
Thank you for equipping refugees, like Mayom, to be agents of change within our communities!