Student raises awareness about Sudanese orphans

HINESBURG-Peter Deng, a Champlain College senior from Hinesburg, spent the spring semester working with fellow student and co-writer Jillian Towne to write a book about his experiences as an orphan in the Jonglei state of Sudan. Deng hopes to use his book to raise money for his non-profit, the New Sudan Jonglei Orphans Foundation, an organization to send Sudanese orphans to school.

"Peter Deng is a testament to all that is good, just and noble in our world. His journey, one rooted in heartache, captured my students on numerous levels," said Champlain College Professor Rowshan Nemazee after a talk Deng in her class. "Peter's pain is palpable, yet he refuses to dwell on it. His is a poignant story of the resilience of the human spirit; and he is determined to wake us up to the healing power of 'giving back'- of transforming somber memories into hope by funding Sudanese orphans in their quest for an education and a bright future."

New Sudan Jonglei Orphans Foundation (NSJOF) is a non-profit organization based in Burlington working to improve the future living standard of orphans in southern Sudan particularly in the Jonglei region by sponsoring orphaned children to go to school. NSJOF was founded in January of 2010 by Deng.

Deng migrated to United Stated from Southern Sudan three and half years ago. He attended Community College of Vermont and then transferred to Champlain College, where he will receive his bachelor's degree in Business with Concentrations in Accounting, Finance and Marketing in May.

After experiencing the life of an orphan when he was young, he launched NSJOF to provide humanitarian support to those orphaned children who are in need of help in his home country. Currently, Deng's focus is on raising funds to sponsor orphans back home.

The book was released last week. The Champlain College Publishing Initiative, founded in 2009, has already engaged more than 100 students from eight different majors in real-world professional-level publishing activities. Its mission is "to play an active part in the great experiment that is publishing in the twenty-first century."

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