The story of Deng Thiak Adut and his journey from child soldier to refugee lawyer is so full of inspiration, I can't believe it hasn't yet been made into a movie. Knowing that people are most receptive to brevity, here is an incredibly short version of his amazing story. You can visit the links at the bottom of the article to learn more.
At the age of six, rebels snatched him from his mother in Sudan. After marching 33 days to Ethiopia, he was trained as a soldier and on how to use an AK-47, which he claims was actually taller than him. Then in 1993, he was forced to march to Kapoeta, a small town in Sudan, where he fought in the war that eventually split his native country. Wounded on at least two occasions, the most catastrophic was a shot he took to the back at the age of 12.
He was eventually smuggled out of Sudan into Kenya, where with the help of the UN and his half-brother John, he then made his way to Australia at the age of 15 in 1998. Illiterate and unable to speak any English, he taught himself to read, then later received a scholarship for Western Sydney University where he earned a law degree in 2009.
In an interview Adut beautifully said, "learning is a marathon, you've got to take it slowly, you've got to take time to get there and it shouldn't be rushed."
Check out this extremely powerful ad, which his alma mater Western Sydney University made about his story. Watching this is a great use of 90 seconds. Enjoy!
Story was originally published on kinda kind in 2016.