Visit From Lost Boy of Sudan Inspires Middle School Students

Do you like cheeseburgers? Do you drive a car? Do you have any pets?

These were among the dozens of questions the inquisitive minds of Gananda Middle School students asked of Sebastian Maroundit, a native of Sudan.

The questions followed a March 21 visit to Gananda Middle School from Mr. Maroundit, who at the age of 9 was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan to walk thousands of miles to escape the violence of civil war in pursuit of safety in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. The story of his journey, his relocation to the Rochester area and the work he’s doing today to bolster education in South Sudan was compelling and informative, not to mention impactful. Gananda students had plenty of questions for Mr. Maroundit, who graciously fielded all the questions for nearly 25 minutes.

The visit was part of the English Language Arts lesson that had students read “A Long Walk to Water,” the book by Linda Sue Park that tells the story of the Lost Boys.

But the lesson did not end at the visit of Mr. Maroundit for Gananda students. A goal of walking 1,000 miles as a group has been set and pledges were taken to raise money for Building Minds in South Sudan, the initiative co-founded by Mr. Maroundit. Its focus is on rebuilding schools and providing a safe environment for learning, especially for young women of South Sudan.

Thank you to Mr. Mourandit for making the time to visit and share his story. It clearly had an impact on the Middle School students and it’s an impact that’s sure to last well beyond the March 21 visit.