“Lost Girl Found” Tells the Story of a Sudanese Woman’s Journey

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While most people have heard of the lost boys of Sudan, not many know of the many female survivors, some of whom were relocated to the U.S., but

While most people have heard of the lost boys of Sudan, not many know of the many female survivors, some of whom were relocated to the U.S., but the majority of whom still live in Sudan. When Leah Bassoff and Laura DeLuca wrote their fictional book “Lost Girl Found”, one of their many goals was to raise awareness not only about the 89 girls currently living in the U.S., but also about the many Sudanese girls still living in danger zones around South Sudan.

In the fictional book that the put together from the experiences of the many Sudanese girls and women who they talked to, Poni is a young girl growing up in Chukudum in South Sudan before the bombs hit. The book starts when she is only nine, but Poni already knows unfairness, laughter, and pain alike. Leah Bassoff says of the emotion contained in the book, “…as a reader, as a listener, you feel you are bearing witness…both joy and sadness.” “Lost Girl Found” is a fictional story, but it draws deeply from the experiences and strength of the relocated Sudanese girls.

The two women met each other and the women from whose experiences and personality Poni would later draw at a conference in Denver in 2007 that brought together Sudanese women. Bassoff, a teacher and writer, immediately saw an opportunity. She was a writer, and had for a long time been wanting to do a book on South Sudanese women, but knew little of the culture. On the other-hand, DeLuca, an anthropologist who had spent many years working in the Sudanese community, could help to provide realistic cultural aspects. Together, the to women developed “Lost Girl Found”, a realistic fiction showcasing how hard it was for the 89 young women living in the U.S. today to get where they are.

While “Lost Girl Found” is a lively fictional book, it does have some scenes that would be either too intense or too politically related for younger kids to understand. For those reasons, I would recommend it for mature audiences only, though it would be a good book for teens and adults alike because of its background in truth. All royalties from the books are donated to Africacare.org, an organization which works to improve quality of life in Africa.