A Narrative of Gratitude Born in South Sudan, Nyuol Tong has had what he calls an "eternity worth of experiences both of hell and heaven": He was born when the Sudanese civil war was at its peak of intensity. The war eventually forced his family to flee the village, becoming refugees for a decade in northern Sudan and in Egypt. Brook Comer, an American professor at the American University in Cairo who ran writing workshop for refugee children, helped Nyuol get a scholarship to a boarding school in California in 2006. Three years later, with the help of his teachers, he established the Sudan Education for Liberty Foundation—known as SELFSudan—with the mission of building schools in South Sudan. SELFSudan's first school opens this August in Nyuol's village. Nyuol's a Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar at Duke University. Among his interests are philosophy, literature, linguistics, human rights, critical international development, and education of liberation.About TEDx:In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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