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Lost Boys Find ‘7th Heaven’

Mar 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Brenda Hampton, creator of The WB drama “7th Heaven,” has a history of tackling social issues on the show. The latest, scheduled for May 3, is the plight of the Lost Boys of Sudan. “Lost Boys” refers to thousands of young males left homeless and parentless during the Sudanese civil war in the mid-1980s, who over the following decade walked through Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya searching for a safe refuge. In 2001 about 4,000 of the boys settled in various U.S. cities. Ms. Hampton started researching the Lost Boys story after seeing a news report. She eventually found a group of young men living in San Diego and invited two of them-Nicodemus Lim and Jacob Puka-to appear on “7th Heaven” in an episode illustrating their plight. In the episode, which filmed two weeks ago, Ruthie and Peter miss their bus home from a field trip and are found by the two lost boys. Ms. Hampton hopes that “it will make Americans aware of the continued plight of the Lost Boys and also make us see how much these young men value education.” The episode also promotes a Web site, www.lostboysofsudan.com. Ms. Hampton said that after meeting Mr. Lim and Mr. Puka, “We had cast and crew volunteering to help them in every way that they can. … I’m hoping that the television audience is going to feel the same way.” Ms. Hampton invited the two young men to stay at her house while they filmed the show, and planned a surprise. She was flying three of Mr. Lim’s cousins, who now live in Lansing, Mich., and one of Mr. Puka’s cousins, who now lives in Phoenix, to Los Angeles. However, it didn’t quite go off without a hitch. “The surprise was blown by a cousin in Uganda who e-mailed them and asked why their cousins were flying to California.”