Warlords armed him with an AK-47 at the age of 6.
Recently, Australia’s Western Sydney University started an ad campaign that focuses on the incredible journey of one of its students rather than the university itself. The ad tells the story of Deng Thiak Adut, a Sydney lawyer who overcame unbelievable odds to eventually help Syrian refugees. When you consider Adut’s beginnings, the fact that he’s even alive is amazing enough.
Adut was born in Sudan, snatched from his mother at the age of 6 and thrust into a child army. The warlords put an AK-47 in his hands and sent him to fight in a bloody civil war where he was wounded at least twice. With the help of his brother John, Adut was smuggled out of Sudan and made it to Australia in 1998.
As a teenager in Australia, Adut taught himself to read and write. He would go on to attend Western Sydney University and get a law degree. Today he’s a refugee lawyer, working tirelessly to improve the lives of Syrian refugees. “I put the video up as a form of telling everyone that no matter how many journeys, how many problems, how many obstacles you have in your way, you have to acknowledge that your disadvantage is not entirely your disadvantage,” Adut told 702 ABC Sydney. “It could be your advantage if you followed a way with the right ingredients or the right training or the right kind of people.”