“Who are we, without a beginning?” Those were the words uttered by Lual Mayen five months ago when he announced his foundation had just concluded its very first Gala. This happened in December 2021 in Washington DC. It was a great way to bring the curtain down on a year and usher in a new one. 

The gala featured engaging keynotes and panel discussions by expert speakers who shared their insights on the major educational challenges that Lual Mayen Foundation is addressing. Lual Mayen foundation was started by Lual Mayen who is a former refugee, to empower refugees through technology, education and employment. The foundation currently runs a technology centre at the refugee camp in Uganda where Lual Mayen grew up. 

The keynote at the gala was on refugees empowering fellow refugees and there was a panel discussion on investing in refugee education. The panel was moderated by Malika Bilal an international broadcast journalist and the panellists included Chris Boian a spokesperson for UNHCR and Dau Doldol a former refugee and a Gates Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership & Human Development.

Lual Mayen had the following to say to everyone who showed up,” This event was really hard to put together but thanks to my friends at WeWork, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Hakuna Matata Grill for the great support. Thanks again to all the incredible people who came to support us during this critical time. I’m super excited to see what we can do together next year. Thanks to my friends and mentors who I always look up to, keep leading the way and keep inspiring us.”

Lual’s journey is inspiring. He is a reminder of what we as Africans are capable of once we set our minds on making a difference beyond us. Thanks to Lual, 500 refugees are scheduled to be trained in game development free of charge. He chose to use his influence and great networks to make a difference and give back to Uganda the place he found refuge as a young boy after he fled from South Sudan. We are all made of the same stuff and just like Lual we can leave our mark on this Earth. All we need to do is start where we are, with what we have after all who are we, without a beginning?