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Sat May 18, 2019, 01:44 AM

Former 'Lost Boy' starts nonprofit in Africa


Former “Lost Boy of Sudan” and islander, Jacob Acier, is raising money for his nonprofit organization in an effort to fulfill a long-held dream of providing dental care and educational scholarships to the people of the war-ravaged villages of his home of South Sudan.

Acier’s South Sudan Village Development is now a state-recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Juba, South Sudan, and Nairobi, Kenya. With a board of directors and legal advisors already in place, Acier needs funds to register his organization as an international NGO, and to set up an office from which to operate.

“These ideas came to my mind to help my people when I was living on Vashon,” Acier said in a recent conversation with The Beachcomber. “Cavities are a big problem for people in the villages where I come from, so I am establishing how to get a mobile dental clinic around to them. And we want to provide scholarships, particularly for girls, to go to school. It is very expensive to go to school here, and most can’t afford it, so they don’t go.”

The scholarships specifically would be for young Sudanese women living in Kampala, Uganda, and Nairobi — both places have far more education opportunities than South Sudan, and are where many Sudanese refugees now live.

Acier’s journey from young boy fleeing for his life from civil war in Sudan and rebellion in Ethiopia, to running a soon-to-be international nonprofit, has been long and filled with trials many might only imagine as the plot of a book or movie.

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