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Gabriel's Dream, Inc.'s purpose is to serve and assist a large group of approximately 300 refugees, who live in Arizona, known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. Our mission is to provide help, nurturing, and support for the Lost Boys of Sudan until they can be educated and become self-sufficient citizens of the United States.
The Lost Boys came to the United States in 2000-2001as unaccompanied minors from the Kakuma, Kenya Refugee camp, where they had lived for 9 years. They had been on the run, seeking shelter and safety since 1987, when their villages were attacked by Arab extremists. The Lost Boys came here approximately 1,000 years behind our culture and were given only two months to catch up and become self-sufficient. Most were 16-20 years old when they arrived. They have achieved amazing results, but there is still a great need for day to day guidance and support.
Our purpose is to provide guidance, support and encouragement to this group population of young men, who traveled 1,000s of miles in a war torn country, and still have a long journey ahead of them, and battle all sorts of problems in trying to live in and understand our culture.
We provide much needed dental care and some medical services. Their tribes had a tradition of removing 6 lower teeth as a rite of passage. When they arrived in the United States, this became a self-esteem issue, as well as a health and nutrition problem. Many of them had other serious dental problems, and we have provided over $600,000.00 in free dental care to correct them. Care has included surgery and placement of implants, orthodontia, root canals, cleanings, extractions and fillings.
Additionally, we provide emergency cash for car repairs, prescriptions, food, and apartment rent for young men who have had a serious medical problem or a job loss. We also provide donated clothing and furniture for apartments. All emergency funding is paid to a provider and not directly to the Lost Boy in need.
Most recently we have begun to provide merit scholarships for young men who are going to college or a technical school. This year we have given 7 scholarships of approximately $500.00 each, and will provide another 8 $500.00 scholarships from funds that will be received in December that are directed for that purpose. We have many young men who need tuition help.
- Reita Hutson
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