Gabriel Bol Deng is one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” and a 2007 Le Moyne College alum. He is also the founder and director of HOPE for Ariang, which is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing South Sudanese with inclusive access to education, opportunities, and resources, with a special focus on women and girls – One village at a time.”
Civil war in South Sudan forced Gabriel to flee Ariang, losing both his mother and father at the age of 10. While at a refugee camp in Ethiopia, he learned English by writing on cardboard with charcoal. It was in these camps Gabriel realized the importance of literacy education. He believes “education is my mother and father.” It was the security he found in his education that gave him the hope for a better future, inspiring him to establish the HOPE for Ariang Foundation, Inc.
Educating the children of Ariang is key to achieving lasting peace and sustainability in South Sudan. To that end, Gabriel has raised funds to build the Ariang School, which was completed in May 2011. The school is now educating 500 students.
During the fall 2012 semester, students in the marketing research course at the Madden School of Business has been helping HOPE promote handmade jewelry made by Dune Jewelry. The jewelry contain parts of actual brick used to build the Ariang Primary School in South Sudan.
The official launch of these unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry will be on November 28th at Le Moyne College. Stay tuned for further information about the launch, and we hope that you will join us for this exciting event!