Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Mawuor Dior: A “Lost Boy” Comes to Monterey

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Mawuor Dior on Southern Sudan

Mawuor Dior (IPS '10) shares what it means to be Dinka and to struggle for a future in Southern Sudan.

August 7, 2009

Mawuor Dior (MAIPS '10) is one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” After living in a refugee camp in Kenya for many years, Mawuor left Africa in 2001 as part of a US refugee resettlement program. He completed a degree in History and Global Studies at Colorado Christian University before coming to Monterey.

At age 12, Mawuor escaped the conflict in Sudan by walking for three and a half months to Ethiopia, Uganda, and then Kenya. Many like him died of starvation on this journey, and Mawuor didn’t even know if his parents, who had stayed in Southern Sudan, had survived. After seven years of complete separation, he located them through the International Red Cross’s family tracing program and reestablished contact over a transistor radio.

Mawuor Dior and Elias Shakkour

Mawuor acknowledges how Dinka culture has encouraged him to overcome obstacles:

“Whatever I went through, I did so with courage and persistence. It’s part of my culture to be strong and not have a weak heart.”


Mawuor and Elias Shakkour (MACI '10) enjoy last May's graduation reception.

Mawuor currently studies conflict resolution and human rights and speaks four languages: English, Sudanese Arabic, Swahili, and Dinka. He will return to Africa this January as a participant of the Sierra Leone Practicum. After graduation, Mawuor hopes to pursue an international law degree, return to Southern Sudan, and work towards a better future for his people.

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