About three-dozen young men, all refugees from the African nation of Sudan, are being recognized and welcomed in their new Iowa homes this weekend. Wesley McMahon, of the Refugee Cooperative Ministry in Des Moines, says the young men have seen many horrors in their homeland.There were all orphaned around ages seven-to-ten during the Civil War. Their families were killed and their villages were burned. They headed off on foot to get away from the fighting. Some walked two thousand miles to a refugee camp in Kenya, where they stayed ten years before the U-S agreed to take about four thousand of them. Now, in the age range of 19 to 21, the group is being settled in Des Moines, the only group in Iowa.The main problem is employment. They didn’t have jobs when living in camps so it’s difficult to find employers who are willing to work with them. They’d like to work to earn money for educations. McMahon says the 35 young Sudanese men can communicate with us relatively easily.A ceremony at Wakonda Christian Church in Des Moines on Sunday at 1 p-m will recognize the Lost Boys and the seven local churches who’ve helped them settle in the area.
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