Thursday, March 3, 2011
While most children in America were being swept up in the latest television craze, Scott Sutton was busy chasing monkeys in mango trees and riding camels for fun. As the son of a missionary doctor, Sutton spent 11 years in Eastern Chad learning to love the people, language and culture.
Sutton and his family are the only Americans to have lived in the Darfur region of the world prior to the current crisis. Ever since 2003, when the Janjaweed militia began their vicious onslaught on innocent civilians, Sutton has had to watch the people that he knows and loves flee to refugee camps or risk being killed. These are his friends who suffered in what the United Nations once described as “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
At 29 years old, Sutton is already a veteran international traveler and speaker. He moved to Belgium when he was four years old and two years later, he moved to Chad, Africa. He went to a boarding school in the Black Forest region of Germany for high school and then it was off to North Carolina for college. He has visited five continents and over 30 countries. Sutton now lives with his wife in Charlotte, N.C., where he works as the sustainability engagement manager for Duke Energy. This means helping ingrain sustainability into the DNA of the nation's largest electric utility.
The crisis in Darfur has dropped out of the mainstream media in recent years, but the situation in Sudan is just as dire as ever and the need for attention is great. However, even the most skilled journalist can only report on the disaster as it occurs. Sutton can show pictures, tell stories and bring to life the lifeless faces on the evening news. He can provide context and insight that very few others can. Sutton’s passion is speaking, writing, and raising awareness about the crisis that is engulfing his friends and the villages he once called home.