Inspirational figure and Lost Boys of Sudan member visits Brescia

November 4, 2013
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

London, ON –Brescia University College will welcome Jacob Deng, whose story is based on the Emmy-nominated documentary, The Lost Boys of Sudan. Jacob has become a household name in Eastern Canada, and has been followed by local television stations and newspapers since arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2003 when he began to speak about his journey from the war-torn country of South Sudan to Canada. Jacob was forced to see most of his village burned to the ground and his family killed at the young age of seven. Over the next 14 years, Jacob travelled hundreds of miles on foot, through multiple refugee camps, before coming to Canada where he now heads up his organization “Wadeng Wings of Hope” – a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to raising funds in support of children’s education in South Sudan. Jacob’s story is also based on the book by Jan L. Coates titled, A Hair in the Elephant’s Trunk, a 2011 Governor General’s Literacy award nominee.

Jacob will be at Brescia on Tuesday, November 5 and will spend time with students and faculty on campus in the Community Development program at Brescia. Dr. Lisa Jakubowski, Associate Professor at Brescia, explains, “Brescia’s Community Development Program is very proud of, and grateful for, its strong community partnerships within the city of London. We are also extremely fortunate to partner with inspirational young leaders such as Jacob Deng. Community Development is about fostering active citizenship and building bridges between the university classroom and the wider community. Through collaboration with our community partners, students have the opportunity to become positive change-makers, both locally and globally.”

Erika Clark, Brescia student and President of the Social Focus Club, speaks about a campaign that the students have launched in support of Jacob’s organization, and explains, “Wadeng has built a vocational school, which is set to open in early 2014, as well as and a goat barn, which allows members of the community to keep goats to help with food and employment. The Social Focus Club’s goal is to raise enough money to help build a community centre through Wadeng’s “Brick-by-Brick” campaign. Each brick costs $25, and the community centre will need 400 bricks to bring it to completion. Brescia has a strong sense of community and we would like to be able to extend the benefits and privileges of a strong community to the people of South Sudan.”

Jacob now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife Jenty and their three young children; however, he remains dedicated to seeing that every child in his home community of Duk Padiet in South Sudan receives an education. “I am so fortunate to be in Canada.  In good conscience I can’t leave the South Sudanese people behind.” For more information about Jacob Deng and his organization, Wadeng Wings of Hope, visit http://www.wadeng.org/index.php.

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For more information please contact Colleen Aguilar, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer, at 519.432.8353, ext. 28280 or colleen.aguilar@uwo.ca.

Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western.
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