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The founding President of Friendship Outreach International, Phillip Awan Deng is a South Sudanese native. He left his home country at a younger age due to the one of the longest civil war in his country then known as Sudan. The civil war started in 1983 between Central Sudanese Government and Sudan’s People Liberation Army which cost about two millions of lives most of which children and women. The war between two parties lasted till 2005. Thousands of young boys ages 6 to 12 were forced out to neighboring countries. This particular group of young boys walked hundreds of miles, for weeks, and sometimes months bare-foot without food and drinking water. Some of whom did not make it to Ethiopia dying from hunger, thirst, and wild life animals. As you can imagine, there was no adequate adult supervision during this horrifying journey. This group of young children later named “Lost Boys of Sudan” and eventually forced once again to flee to Kenya due to internal war in Ethiopia. The “Lost Boys of Sudan” found a home in Kenya (Kakuma Refugee Camp) where they went to school and later given an opportunity to come to the United States for education and better life.

Phillip was among the lucky roughly estimated 2500 “Lost Boys of Sudan” chosen to come to the U.S.

On August 28th, 2001, just two weeks before September 11th Phillip arrived in the United States and immediately recognized the importance of education. He put himself to college attending school fulltime and working fulltime in order to continue to live the life style he wanted. Phillip understood the importance of education. Four years later, he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.

Early on in 2002, Phillip Deng was involved with South Sudanese communities within Pennsylvania helping out his South Sudanese fellows who were struggling adjusting to the cultural differences. He was then recognized by his peers and voted a President of South Sudanese living in the state of Pennsylvania which was formed in Philadelphia area. The South Sudanese Association was supported by the Lutheran in Philadelphia. Numerous meetings were held State college, Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA. He continued to enhance the South Sudanese rich culture by keeping his South Sudanese fellows united.

In 2005, peace agreement was reached by Dr. John Garang of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Garang was sworn in as vice-president as part of the power-sharing deal but was killed in a helicopter crash two weeks later. Garang’s deputy, Salva Kiir was sworn in as the new vice-president. In the 2010 elections, Salva Kiir was reelected president of the semi-autonomous South. South Sudan became independent July 9, 2011, officially breaking away from Sudan after 2 civil wars over 5 decades that cost the lives of millions.

Phillip was reminded once again about what brought him to the land of opportunities (United States) when the conflict erupted in the newest nation, South Sudan. The fight believed to start as political differences between South Sudanese democratic elected President, Salva Kiir and former vice President, Riek Machar. The fight quickly spread across the country of South Sudan and Phillip’s entire family members were affected in Bor, South Sudan as a result. Phillip quickly alerted his South Sudanese fellows through local news media (WGAL and Fox43 News) and wasted no time and flew to Uganda where he helped his family settle at the refugee camps. Phillip first-hand witnessed the horrific living condition at the refugee camps as he was visiting each camp. He also went to Juba, South Sudan where the fight began. Unaccounted number of civilians lost lives during this unnecessary war and millions of civilians were affected nationwide. When Phillip came back, he showed some of the pictures he took to his wife, Amanda Deng and immediately came up with the idea of “do something”. Growing up as a Christian, Phillip always wanted to help other people. His wife supported him and began to talk to his friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers alike.
With full support from his wife, Amanda, Phillip started to explore the resources of starting the non-profit organization to help refugees and internally displaced families in Uganda and South Sudan. And with the support from family, South Sudanese in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and American friends, the faith-based non-profit organization, Friendship Outreach International was born. This organization will focus in helping refugees and internally displaced families in two countries in Eastern African Continent, providing basic human necessities to one family at a time. We hope you join in with Phillip helping the refugees and internally displaced families.

"Friendship Outreach International is fully committed in rebuilding lives of those who have been affected by civil war/conflict.

We also believe in assisting children obtain access to education.

We offer basic necessities such as food, clothes, shoes, sponsorships, provide sanitation items such as hand sanitizer and soap, building toilets for refugees, etc.

We work tirelessly and closely with local and international communities in hope to meet the needs of the refugees."

Our vision is that of rebuilding lives together globally of those who have been affected by civil war/conflict. As a Christian based organization, we strongly believe that assisting people who have been forced to leave their country and lost personal belongings is the healthy way to get them back on track. We have deep intention and commitment to help. In these difficult times in life, our services serve as the first initial recovery process. We put smiles on faces.

President: Phillip Awan Deng

Operations Directors: Amanda Deng

Outreach/Marketing Director:
Nikki Wever

Treasurer: Melinda Leckrone

Tom Booker

Terri Robinson

James Kongor

Friendship Outreach International
P.O. Box 399
Mt. Wolf, PA 17347


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