DECATUR, Ga. -- For the thousands of miles they walked, for the armies they fled, for the families killed and left behind, they were named lost, like the boys who followed that fairy tale figure, Peter Pan -- the Lost Boys of Sudan.
Fourteen years ago, one of those boys, Majok Marier, came to Atlanta.
Last week, he entered a Decatur kitchen to cheers of "Surprise!"
It is the day before Marier is returning home to his village in South Sudan, and what he is bringing to them is something they've never had.
The people in Marier's village must walk hours each way to get clean water that they then carry home in heavy gourds.
Working as a plumber for M. Carey and daughters in Atlanta, Marier sends his money home. He started a non-profit called Wells for Hope to build much-needed wells in Sudan. Each well costs $9,000 and finally Marier has raised enough. He is going home..and he will tell his people, "We have a lot of people in America, in Atlanta, Georgia, who are willing to help you to help you bring clean water. Now you're going to have clean water for the first time in my village."
And in that Decatur home, surrounded by supporters and friends, he was surprised with more donations. His bosses at M. Carey gave him a check for $250, the owners of Finders Keepers gave him $500 and Van Michael Salon gave another $500. It's more money for more wells, a simple yet profound need.
Marier is home in South Sudan now, and the well will soon be drilled.
To follow his journey and to learn more about Wells For Hope or to make a donation, click here.