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Connections

Sebastian Maroundit on the value of education and the latest with Building Minds in South Sudan

Three smiling people wearing headphones sit at a table in a radio talk studio: A man back left is bald and is wearing a white button-down shirt and a sparkly black jacket; a woman in the center has short brown hair and is wearing a purple dress; a man at right has short dark hair and is wearing a blue button-down shirt
Gary Pudup
/
WXXI News
Sebastian Maroundit and Judy Schwartz on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sebastian Maroundit was only nine years old when war came to his village in South Sudan. He witnessed horrific violence against his family before fleeing to Ethiopia with his cousin, Mathon Noi. Four years later, war reached them again, and they two boys spent a year walking across the desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. After nearly a decade, they were selected to resettle in the United States, where they earned college degrees and built successful lives.

But Maroundit and Noi knew there was work to be done in their homeland. When their returned to their village to find no roads, no clean water, and no school for children, they sprang into action. The two men formed Building Minds in South Sudan. Since it’s founding, the non-profit has helped hundreds of young people access vital resources and education.

Maroundit was last a guest of WXXI News in 2019, and since then, he has expanded his organization’s work and reach. This hour, he joins us to discuss the latest from Building Minds in South Sudan, the impact it has had, and what he wants Americans to know about the role of education in the lives of those who cannot access it easily.

Our guests:

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.