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Rocklin, CAย—Feb 3, 2009ย— Though they are normally rivals on the football field, students at Rocklin High School and Granite Bay High School are combining efforts to help raise funds to build a school in Malik, Southern Sudan. As part of global awareness and community service, the two high schools have each formed a Sudan Club to raise awareness and money for impoverished villages in Southern Sudan.  All proceeds from club activities will be donated to the Placer County based, non-profit corporation Impact a Village, Inc. ( whose mission is to improve education in Southern Sudan.

Rocklin High School is hosting Deng Jongkuch, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” (refers to 30,000 young boys who were displaced from their villages during the Sudan Civil War) to speak at the Rocklin Sunset Center located at 2650 Sunset Blvd in Rocklin, CA on Wednesday, March 25th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Granite Bay High School is helping in the fund-raising efforts and will have a raffle and sell African gift items immediately following the speaking event. The public and media are invited to attend, and there is no charge for the event.  Donations to ImpactAVillage will be gratefully accepted.

Deng Jongkuch, a recent graduate from San Jose State University and currently pursuing his Masters in Public Health, will discuss his challenging experiences during his 18 year displacement from his family where he endured walks of over 1000 miles, lack of food, water and shelter, violence and years in refugee camps. He will also discuss his experience in the United States and his passion for helping rebuild villages in Southern Sudan.

Granite Bay High School held a similar event in November 13, 2008 with over 600 students, parents and members of the community in attendance. “Deng’s presentation was extraordinary, and I have never seen so many people in our school cafeteria ever. Deng was a captivating and motivating speaker and his story kept scores of teenagers riveted and inspired. Deng’s presentation raised the awareness of a community. It was abundantly clear to me and the parents who spoke with me afterwards that we need to find more opportunities to sponsor speakers from around our globe who have compelling stories and life experiences “a world apart” from ours. As I watched dozens of students crowd to shake Deng’s hand or give him a hug, I knew that for a moment at least, they were thinking globally and about the plight of others,” said  Mr. Mike McGuire, Principal of Granite Bay High School.

*Press release

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