News / Africa

Human Rights Activist John Dau Speaks on Sudan Atrocities

NGO focuses on providing healthcare to South Sudanese

President Barack Obama meets with the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir in New York, Sept., 21, 2011.
President Barack Obama meets with the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir in New York, Sept., 21, 2011.
Kim Lewis

Organizers of the Global Summit against Discrimination and Persecution say they want to impress upon world leaders that human rights are universal.

Among some of today’s speakers is John Dau, founder of the John Dau Foundation, an NGO that focuses on providing healthcare to South Sudanese.

Dau’s story was highlighted in the award winning documentary “Lost Boys of Sudan.”  As a child he was separated from his family during a night time military attack and was left to survive on his own.  He said he was forced to eat whatever he could find, leaves, berries, or most of time nothing at all.

Dau expressed excitement when asked about the new country of South Sudan.

“It is a wonderful feeling and I am so glad that this thing happened while I am still alive,” said Dau.

The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir will speak September 23, at the UN General Assembly.

“Now that we have our own country, we will speak up.  What we don’t like and how we’d like our country to be governed—we will have that opportunity to voice our concern, and I think it will be heard,” said the NGO founder.

The John Dau Foundation is focused on providing healthcare services to the people of South Sudan.

Dau says this is something that did not exist in the past.

The John Dau Foundationa has built a medical center in Dau’s hometown in South Sudan as well as having vaccinated over 65,000 children.

He said over 800 mothers have given birth for the first time in the medical center which also has ultrasound equipment, an ambulance, internet access, HIV and nutritional programs.

The goal is to provide free health services for everyone in South Sudan.

As world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly in New York, Dau said he has a message for them.

He said, “you don’t say things, do things.  You are here to represent the whole world, and there are atrocities being committed, anywhere, China, Zimbabwe or somewhere else, Abyei, Kordofan, Blue Nile—these atrocities are being committed as we speak.  What are they (world leaders) waiting for?  Do they want to see another Darfur?

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