Lost Boy of Sudan returns from mission trip to refugee camps; speaks about immigration reform

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 19:11:58-05
Former refugee James Chol Bol is back in the Omaha Tuesday after spending  six weeks in Africa giving  back to those in the camps where he grew up.
He is one of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan who came to the U.S. in 2007. He's offering a different perspective on President Donald Trump's  immigration policy - as a Sudanese refugee turned U.S. citizen.
"This country when you have a dream, it will happen. If you want to do the action and make it happen, it will go," said James Chol Bol, founder of Clothing World Needy People. "But in the rest of the world, it's very difficult, you can have all these ideas in your mind, but the capacity to do them is very limited."
James Chol Bol says he's living the American dream. He came to the the states in 2007 from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and wasted no time thinking about a plan to give back. Through Clothing World Needy People, his vision became reality in the form of a 20 by 20 foot container packed with clothing donations for the refugees.
"Those are wearing torn clothes, you can see part of the body. Some children are just naked," said Chol. "They are very happy. You can tell from their faces because these people they are hopeless. They have nothing to buy - clothes. They only thing they get from the UN is food to eat."
Chol says stories like his show how the refugee community can contribute positively.
"Does it mean we are bad people? We can do something like someone who was born in this country," said Chol. "Something good for the nation. And I want the people from Nebraska and the rest of the nation to keep keep welcoming refugees."
He says this is especially important at a time of uncertainty - a sentiment echoed by the Refugee Empowerment Center. 
"I would also imagine what it's like to a refugee. If you were a refugee yourself, what would it be like for you to live in a refugee camp and worry about your family and your children so I'd ask themselves to put themselves in that position," said Amelia Rosser, Interim Assistant Director at the Refugee Empowerment Center. 
"Don't take the politics into your heart that's a big thing. A human being is a human being," said Chol. 
As part of his trip to Africa, Chol visited his family in South Sudan for a special Christmas reunion. Chol hadn't seen his mother since 1987.
Chol says he takes unpaid time from work to visit the refugee camps. His foundation, Clothing World Needy People, is in need of monetary donations to help fund the next shipment of clothing.