Sudan Development Foundation (SUDEF) founder Abraham Awolich (MPA ’09) recently traveled with two high school graduates from Essex, VT to South Sudan to document the work of the foundation and the local community of Kalthok.
The resulting film, a SUDEF documentary short “Grace Under Pressure – The Story of Kalthok” was featured at a fundraising showing in September, raising approximately $2,000.
Abraham Awolich, of Burlington, first left his family in 1988 after government-sponsored militias attacked his village of Kalthok, in South Sudan. He fled to Ethiopia, and then back to Sudan where attacks came again in 1992. This time he left on foot running. He lived as a refugee for nine years before settling in Vermont.
Today, Awolich has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He was a winner of the World Bank Development Marketplace grant competition for $200,000 in 2007 to build a high school in Southern Sudan. He was also awarded the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award by National Grid after his graduation in 2006.
Four years ago, Awolich founded the Sudan Development Foundation (SUDEF), with several Burlington area Sudanese diasporas. By 2007, the foundation raised enough money to build a medical clinic in Kalthok, a rural village that serves a population of over 25,000.
For the full story from the Burlington Free Press, click here.