Ger Duany

Born in Akobo, South Sudan in 1978, Ger Duany is a self-described “village boy”.  Ger remembers his early childhood as a herd boy tending to his family’s cattle in the ways of his forefathers. Recollections of roaming vast grassy plains in search of pasture and of playing in the waters of the White Nile are etched in his memory.

He had his first experience of war at the tender age of seven. It marked the end of his idyllic childhood. His family and community uprooted. At age 13, war separated him from his mother and, like others, he resorted to becoming a child soldier as a means of survival during South Sudan’s struggle for independence. Ger became a refugee in Ethiopia and then Kenya and was resettled to the United States from Ifo camp at age 16 on May 23, 1994.

Ger struggled to assimilate in his new environment. He had to learn to adapt while dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from life in the war zone. Ger went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. He worked hard and built a successful career as an actor, model, and now an author of his memoir, Walk Toward the Rising Sun.

On 20 June 2015, World Refugee Day, UNHCR appointed Ger as the Goodwill Ambassador for the East and Horn of Africa region. Like many more refugees and former refugees throughout the world, Ger is driven by the urge to give back to the cause of forced displacement.

Ger Duany: Walk Toward The Rising Sun