The Good Lie is a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon about the resettlement to the US of the refugee children known as the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan. These children escaped the Sudanese government’s attacks against its southern people between 1983 and 2005 that claimed more than two million lives and displaced many more millions.
Among the 3,600 young adults who came to the US, only 89 were women. Yet there were at least hundreds of other young women in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp who shared the same story of flight and persecution as the Lost Boys. They too had fled the violence, walked up to one thousand miles, and faced starvation and attacks before finally reaching the relative safety of Kakuma.
But in the camp the surviving orphaned and unaccompanied girls faced new dangers. As they reached the age of 12 or 13 they were often prevented from attending school, and many were forced into marriages against their will. They fell through the cracks of humanitarian assistance and became commodities to be bartered and sold for a bride price.
RefugePoint’s early efforts included enabling some of these refugees to resettle to the US and reunite with their siblings. RefugePoint has had a presence in Kakuma camp for many years working to protect unaccompanied children, enable refugees to resettle to the US, and most recently to respond to the emergency influx of new South Sudanese refugees.
With the eruption of conflict again in 2013, approximately 1.8 million people have been displaced from their homes in South Sudan, including nearly 500,000 who have fled to Kenya, Ethiopia and other neighboring countries.
The Good Lie debuts at a critical time in South Sudan’s history. The film is raising attention and awareness for the current conflict and in so doing highlights the needs of today’s refugees, as well as organizations such as RefugePoint, which are protecting those searching for safety.
RefugePoint’s founder and Executive Director served as an advisor on the film. To read more about his engagement click here.