Blog Post

From “Lost Boy” to Clinic Founder


Like Kon Abraham and Jok Dau, my childhood memories are full of stories attached to the cow or life in cattle camp. Cow means everything in Dinka’s livelihood. Dinka people believe fresh dairy products to be one of the reasons they are tall, strong, and healthy. As a little child in the village, I never wanted to go to bed at night without a full tummy with milk. I enjoyed drinking milk even more if I had nothing else to eat.

My life changed abruptly when I was separated from my family at six years of age, because of a civil war that began in 1983. With thousands of other children, we walked to Ethiopia with poor feeding, terrible medical conditions, and no milk to drink. Our life in a refugee camp was a disaster. Most of my colleagues died from malnutrition or simple preventable diseases. We used plant-based remedies that have no scientific proof for treatment. I can’t count how many times I had malaria, diarrhea, airborne disease, and many more complications with nowhere to seek medical help. I got sick until I recovered like a wild animal. Our life changed a little bit when the United Nations delivered minimal food that included dry milk and medical supplies. Lack of medical centers was one of the reasons our population shrank from 35,000 to 16,000. The few of us who made it to the US are the luckiest ones to be part of the very best health system available in the world.

Bol's paintings

Upon my return home to in 2007, I visited my former village of Piol, where I was shocked to see people getting only malaria medicine for any kind of sickness they had. Malaria pills were administered by a medical attendant with 2nd grade education. Thank God for the intervention of the Buckeye Clinic.

As of today, many people in South Sudan are still behind. I was extra shocked in 2019 when my sister who was abducted for nearly 30 years came back home from a very remote village that had no access to any basic services like health centers, schools, communication system or clean water. She had four kids and does not know how old they are because none of her kids had a vaccination record. Nobody knows how to read or write there. They use natural herbs or ritual activities when one gets sick. I can’t believe what I hear every day when I talk to her. Buckeye Clinic was the first place she and her children sought medical attention – the first time in her life that she and her family had received any medical care.

Buckeye Clinic has saved the lives of my people with hiring of professional staff, providing medical support, and building a medical facility in my home village of Piol and in the Mongalla Internally Displaced Persons camp. I’m proud to continue to support the clinic because I know firsthand what life is like with no medical care.

Thank you for your support,

Bol Aweng, President and Founder
Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan



® Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan 2022
P.O. BOX 21794
Columbus, Ohio 43220


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