Joan Hecht

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Joan Hecht is an American humanitarian and award winning author of the book The Journey of the Lost Boys. She is also the founder and President of the 501 c-3 non-profit Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan, an organization that assists with the health and educational needs of Lost Boys and their families living in the United States and Africa. Hecht formerly traveled as a back-up singer for The Johnny Van Zant Band and began recording professionally at age 14. However, she is best known for her work related to the Lost Boys of Sudan, including engaging in public speaking on their behalf and that of the people of South Sudan, as well as writing an award winning book about them titled , "The Journey of the Lost Boys".


Hecht first encountered the Lost Boys in 2001, when 85 of the approximately 3800 refugees who had relocated to the United States settled in Jacksonville, Florida, where she lived with her husband and two children. Prior to that point, Hecht had worked as an executive in sales and marketing and also as a professional singer, backing Johnny Van Zant. Encountering some of the refugees personally in her church, Hecht decided to lend a hand, expecting to help them acclimate to Western culture for a relatively short time. In 2002, after Ezekiel Kong Deng — one of the refugees whom she had unofficially adopted — died following a failed liver transplant, Hecht conceived the idea of creating...
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