John Bul Dau

Contact for speaking opportunities

Email: Johndau@johndaufoundation.com

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John Dau speaks professionally throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In 2006, John Dau was featured in the award-winning documentary film, "God Grew Tired of  Us", and wrote his first book also entitled "God Grew Tired of Us": A Memoir, published by  National Geographic in 2007 both of which are circulating in the West, South Korea, and other places as well. 

As a human rights activist for the people of South Sudan, John has lived a remarkable life of  cultural adaptation in America. He has received many prestigious awards, including National Geographic Emerging Explorers Award and was a Volvo for Life finalist in the Quality-of-Life category, which carried a financial contribution from Volvo to the John Dau Foundation. John  was also named alongside of DRC Former president Joseph Kabila, a World Economic  Forum Young Global Leader for 2008 and together with Former Secretary of State, Gen.  Collin Powell; he received a Most Caring Award from the Caring Institute plus other 38 awards. 


John Dau has experienced challenges in his life that most people never imagine. Born in  war-torn Sudan and now South Sudan, Dau is one of 27,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” driven  from their villages when the northern Arab government attacked Christians and ethnic  minority population of South Sudan in 1987. For the next five years, John Dau led groups of  displaced boys across Sudan to Ethiopia and Kenya for hundreds of miles facing starvation,  disease, and violence. 

While living in a Kenyan refugee camp from 1992-2001, John Dau attended school for the  first time at the age of 17 and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary  Education. In 2001, Dau was selected to immigrate to the United States and settled in  Syracuse, New York. 

Following his initial culture shock, John Dau took on two, sometime three jobs, earned an  associate degree and Bachelor degree at Syracuse University. Currently, John Dau is the  President of both the John Dau Foundation (JDF) and the South Sudan Nation Builders  (SSNB), he is an influential part of many efforts to bring hope and peace to the people of South  Sudan, founding four nonprofits and with help from volunteers Americans John raised over $6 millions to build and run Duk Lost Boys Hospital and 10 other clinics in his home village of Duk  Payuel and Jonglei State, South Sudan. 

In the past 12 years since its inception, John Dau Foundation hospital and clinics in South  Sudan have provided life-saving healthcare services, free of charge to all citizens of the  Greater Bor, Greater Akobo and Greater Pibor regardless of their tribal affiliation. 


• After 14 years of pursuing this mission, as of September 30th, 2021, JDF via its 11  medical facilities and nutrition centers have provided life-saving medical services to  over 1,000,000 patients! 

• Of these 1,000,000 patients, the JDF facilities have delivered over 55,000 babies.

• Identified, counseled, and treated 1390 patients with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, leprosy,  and other highly infectious diseases. 

• Provided 667,000 individuals suffering from malnutrition with therapeutic feeding  programs and treatment. 

• Pre- and Post-Natal Care for over 52,000 mothers who gave birth at our facilities.

• Vaccinated over 46,000 children. 

• Hosted countless trainings and educational courses focused on public  health, preventing the spread of disease, and the safe delivery of newborns.

• Miracle doctors” from the Utah John Moran Eye Center restored eyesight  to 600 blind patients in 2011 and 2012, with commitment to continue at 300 patients  per year for the next 5 years to come. 

• De-wormed over 55,000 patients so far. 

• JDF hired 243 full-time employees with over additional 50 seasonal/temporal workers making JDF the largest employer in this region. 

• John Dau Foundation was the first entity ever in this region to issue birth  certificates. 

• Mobilized and together with our partner JDF transported, fed, cared for and help fixed  cliff plates’ deformity for 34 patients.  


These achievements were made possible in part by the growing reputation and prominence  of the JDF facilities over these past years. We have well trained, well-educated, and  developed great working ethics among our staff that we always brag about as the best  employees in South Sudan in the NGO health sector. 

John Dau’s life provides the ultimate example of a profile in courage. He is a natural leader  who exemplifies true resilience and perseverance under the most horrific of circumstances.  Today, John Dau is a compelling motivational speaker whose life is defined by his  uncompromised commitment to having a lasting impact on the future of his native country. "I  think people refuse to try things because they fear failure," he observes. "There have been  many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was  dead and  I feared they were dead, but 20 years later we were reunited. You can't give up." John Dau is  an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded four non-profit organizations. In 2003,  he founded the Lost Boys Foundation of New York, which raised funding for books and  medical expenses for Lost Boys living in the United States and was instrumental in founding  the American Care for Sudan Foundation, which solicited initial funding to build and operate for a year the Lost Boys Hospital in South Sudan. 

John Dau speaks on a variety of topics at corporations, churches and colleges, including a  commencement address to 10,000 people at the University of Minnesota's College of Arts and Sciences graduation and top executives at a United Technologies Corporation  conference. 

What People Are Saying 

"Mr. Dau is a true leader, inspiration, a real star. I have never been so moved by a speaker. I  feel inspired to make a difference in the world." Syracuse University Student.

“His journey is incredible and the ability to overcome that and still want to give back is simply  astonishing. Mr. Dau is a kind, pervasive, gentle giant who cares for humanity” University of Minnesota’ student 

“Mr. Dau is the best speaker I have ever heard in my entire life. Tells vivid stories and keeps  everyone interested”. Executive Director, Sikorsky 

“I think it would be a shame if a class or school didn’t have the opportunity to see John Dau  speak”. University of Wisconsin’s student 

“Mr. Dau makes me feel like I should try harder”. Alma College’s student 

“John Dau was able to balance seriousness and humor to stress his points”. UTC participant.