Father Donald Dunson Speaks at Mount Union College

May 26, 2010

Father Donald Dunson, author of the book No Room at the Table: Earth's Most Vulnerable Children, spoke at Mount Union College's Dewald Chapel on Thursday, March 29 about Uganda's children soldiers.

In 2001, Dunson traveled to Uganda to talk with children about their experiences at Gulu United to Save the Children Organization (GUSCO). GUSCO is an organization available for children who have been abducted from their families. Most of the children who get abducted are only 10 years old or younger. They are forced to leave their homes and travel to Sudan where there is no food or water.

While Dunson was in Uganda he met with many children who have led horrible lives. He talked about a specific boy who touched his heart in many ways ' Sam ' who died at a very young age from HIV.

Dunson met Sam at a local hospital in Uganda. He said when he saw Sam, he couldn't believe his eyes.

'Sam looked at though he hadn't had anything to eat in years,' said Dunson. 'His body was so skinny and old looking.'

Most hospitals in Uganda don't provide food for their patients; it is the parents' responsibility to feed their children. But most children there, including Sam, don't have parents.

Sam's last words to Dunson were, 'Father Dunson, you got any pocket money?' He had lived his life without ever having money and just wanted some change to take with him.

'I've learned some very wise lessons from Sam,' said Dunson.

Martin Dek, a refugee from Sudan, spoke about his experiences as a refugee. Dek, like most refugees, was kidnapped at a young age and taken away from his family. While he was in Sudan, he was forced to kill innocent people and survived by eating animals and leaves and drinking water. In 1999, Dek was given a chance to escape from Sudan and come to the United States to live a free life. He now lives in Cleveland with his mother, father and two brothers.

'If you have a difficulty, put it in Gods hands and you will succeed,' said Dek. 'All you need is God, faith and the love of your family members.'

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