South Sudan VP stops in Phoenix

September 28, 2012

The vice president of the world’s newest country will be in Phoenix Sunday. As KJZZ’s Peter O’Dowd reports, the South Sudanese dignitary will visit the Lost Boys Center for Leadership Development.

PETER O’DOWD: Phoenix is home to between 3,000 and 4,000 Sudanese refugees who fled here during a long and bloody civil war. In July, 2011, South Sudan gained its independence and now the country’s vice president, Riek Machar, will visit the largest Sudanese refugee communities in the US. Kadi Tierney is with the Lost Boys Center in Phoenix.

KADI TIERNEY: I think it was an easy and obvious choice for him. The Lost Boys Center is really known around the country as being the heart of the Lost Boys South Sudanese community. So that was a really easy decision to come to Phoenix.

O’DOWD: Tierney says the Lost Boys will explain their new mission to the vice president. The group has started a program that trains high-achieving Lost Boys and Girls and sends them back to South Sudan to work in primary schools. The United Nations says the country has among the worst literacy rates in the world.

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