Sudanese Man Returns Home to Help
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"There are no roads, no clinics, there are no schools, no running water," Palath Thonchar said of Sudan.
Thonchar now lives in Rochester. But he was once one of what's known now as the Walking Boys, a group of 26,000 children who walked for years in search of refuge during Sudan's second Civil War. It was a deadly struggle where 2.5 million people were killed and another 4 million left without homes.
"In 1987, the village that I was born was attacked, burnt down, people were killed and I had to run," Thonchar recalled.
Martha Dieter helped rescue Palath, now a RIT graduate from the grips of war and famish.
"I have watched Palath succeed in Rochester like no one I have ever seen," Dieter said.
Thonchar returned home in 2009 and saw the desperate need, still apparent.
He then started the Sudan Village Care Foundation, helping mothers and their children.
And on January 1st, he'll head to South Sudan to start up a clinic.
He'll focus on well-drilling, finding a team of physicians and securing vaccines and medical supplies.
"There was a lot of suffering. People were dying from preventable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, meningitis, cholera," Thonchar told YNN.
As they did when he arrived here, Thonchar hopes others will come to his aid once again...this time to help him give these children a future potentially as bright as his own.
"I owe the world a lot more than what the world owe me," he said.
Palath says he needs the community's help, not only with donations but also with ideas. His foundation states that 100 percent of the donations go directly to supporting clinic start-up and operations as the foundation is run entirely by volunteers.
His foundation's website is www.sudanvillagecare.com.