My Lost Childhood is a memoir describing immeasurable suffering the author went through in his early childhood. In the late 1980s, the Islamic government began to systematically torture and kill Southern Sudanese families, burn their villages, and enslave young boys and girls. As a result, an approximately, as numbers are largely unknown and only an estimate, 27,000 plus boys from Southern tribes were forced to flee from their homes. Traveling naked and barefoot, they sought refuge in neighboring Fugnido, Ethiopia, where a few years later they were forced to flee yet another civil war. Returning to Sudan, the Islamic government forced them to travel for another five months, ultimately arriving in Kakuma, Kenya, after four years of unthinkable hardship and walking over thousands of miles naked, barefoot, and ailing from starvation, dehydration, and diseases. Many boys perished along the way and their numbers shrank into few thousands. Abraham Deng Ater, separated from his family in 1987, is one of approximately 3,800 boys now known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. He left Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya after several years of massive suffering and was granted refuge in the U.S. in 2001. Many Lost Boys including Abraham have since become U.S. citizens and have continued to pursue their education. Thousands more have also been granted refuge elsewhere and are scattered around the globe.
Abraham Deng Ater was born in Duk, South Sudan, between 1976 and 1979. He immigrated to the United States in 2001 after spending fourteen years of immeasurable suffering in refugee camps in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya. He attended the University of Arizona and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Master of Public Health in 2006 and 2010 respectively. In 2007, he along with his friends started a nonprofit organization to build a school in his native homeland. In 2012, he started a two-year graduate fellowship with Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, along with his wife and son.