The Lost Boys of Sudan: Ambiguous Loss, Search for Family, and Reestablishing Relationships With Family Members

The Lost Boys of Sudan were separated from their families by civil war and subsequently lived in 3 other countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 refugees who located surviving family members in Sudan after an average separation of 13.7 years. The interviews probed their experiences of ambiguous loss, relationships in the refugee camps, the search for family, and reestablishing relation- ships with family members living on another continent. With guidance from elders, peer groups functioned as surrogate families until the youth reestablished relationships with surviving members of their biological families.

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