Sharing Wisdom: John Dau ’05


There is no slowing John Dau. The President of the John Dau Foundation, which provides healthcare and nutrition programs to the citizens of South Sudan recently published his third book. His latest work, “The Pillars Of Wisdom” is a collection of stories and folk tales that are told in the traditional Dinka style, which instill values and lessons through the adventures of animals and humans as they interact with nature. When John lived in Sudan before civil war ravaged his homeland and forced him to flee, he was and still is a member of the Dinka tribe.

The Dinka pillars of wisdom are: respect, empathy, honesty, fairness, sharing, listening, welcoming, brother/sisterhood, friendship, love, perseverance and other subliminal lessons. “In my homeland, we told stories to help fill the young with wisdom acquired from the tribe. They rang true when I struggled to maintain my identity, my faith, and my hope as a Lost Boy of Sudan in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya (…) They ring true today, as I live and work as a U.S. citizen, husband, father, and foundation president in New York and Virginia.”

_V6B9010John has received numerous awards for his humanitarian efforts, chronicled in his 2007 book “God Grew Tired Of Us,” which documents his time as a child growing up in Sudan, escaping his homeland due to civil war, and his journey to America. The book was later turned into an award winning documentary.  He was honored as an OCC Alumni Face Recipient in 2007 and was most recently recognized as an American Association of Community College Outstanding Alum in 2014.

To purchase the book visit John currently lives with his wife and four children in Virginia.

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