Joan Hecht to speak with the Lost Boys of Sudan


Joan Hecht and the Lost Boys find their way to SDSU for a night of motivational speaking.

Juice Reporter

This Thursday, Mar. 24, Joan Hecht and one of the “lost boys,” Atem, will be making an appearance in Jacks Place.

Joan Hecht is an American humanitarian and award winning author of the book The Journey of the Lost Boys.

Hecht founded the Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan in 2004 where she serves as director. The organization provides aid for educational and medical needs to the refugees in the United States. It also targets those still in Africa by supplying basic survival needs.

So who are the “lost boys?” The Lost Boys are a group of young children who became separated from their parents due to civil war in their homeland. Hecht’s book details the struggles these children endure while walking over a thousand miles across the dangerous terrain of Africa in search of safety.

The book starts in the rural villages in southern Sudan and ends with the children arriving to the United States as young adults. It takes an intimate turn through the relationship between Hecht, lovingly called “Mama Joan” and the boys.

Last semester in my Family Resource Management class, I watched a video about children who are forced to separate from their families to escape the dangers of the military.  I fell in love with the topic and wanted to learn about their struggles and triumphs.

“Hearing from Joan and Atem will provide a unique topic for students who haven’t heard about the Journey of the Lost Boys,” said Samantha Wangberg, UPC Lectures and Forums Coordinator.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in Jack’s Place. Any questions can be directed to the UPC office at 688-6173.