Gulu Walk’s Top Advisers

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(Ambassador Allan Rock and others will help GuluWalk raise $1 million for the children of Uganda’s Acholi region)

Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Allan Rock and genocide expert Dr. Gerry Caplan, among others, have been named to the advisory board of GuluWalk, a one-day worldwide event set for Saturday, October 21, 2006, to raise awareness and funds for education, rehabilitation and youth support programs in northern Uganda.

The goal of GuluWalk is to raise $1-million this fall and the board’s role is vital to ensuring that the GuluWalk messaging is true to the Acholi of northern Uganda and that the money raised is being directed to youth programming that is truly making a difference. With encouraging peace talks imminent, it’s important now, more than ever, to be prepared to play a role in the future of this generation being left behind. “What we kept hearing in towns and in the internally displaced persons camps we visited in March was that, ‘even if there is peace, don’t forget about us,’� said GuluWalk founder Adrian Bradbury. “That’s the legacy of the walk. To make certain that we never forget and that we do everything we can give these kids a chance; and this experienced advisory board will make sure we get it right.�

The GuluWalk Advisory Board includes:  Dr. Erin Baines, Director of Peace & Conflict Studies, Liu Institute (Vancouver Canada); Dr. Gerry Caplan, Founder, Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide (Toronto, Canada); Alison Lawton, Founder Mindset Media & Producer Uganda Rising (Vancouver, Canada); Anna Miller, Program Director Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (Toronto, Canada); Michael Otim, Director, Gulu NGO Forum (Gulu, Uganda); Michael Poffenberger, Director Uganda Conflict Action Network (Washington, DC); Allan Rock, Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations (Windsor, Ontario); and, Alanna Rondi, Executive Director AMREF Canada (Toronto, Ontario).

In the spring of last year is when Adrian Bradbury and Kieran Hayward first heard the stories of the ‘night commuters’ of northern Uganda. They kept reading these unbelievable accounts of children, as many as 40,000, who would walk every night from rural villages into the town of Gulu and other urban centers to sleep in relative safety and to avoid abduction by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

In the midst of this 20-year civil war, not only do the children ‘night commute’ in northern Uganda, but over 1.7-million displaced persons have been forced into abhorrent conditions in camps where hundreds of people are dying every week because of a lack of clean water, food and medical care.

The plight of these children sparked the idea for GuluWalk, a 31-day ‘night commute’ in support of these courageous kids. Every evening in July of 2005, Bradbury and Hayward walked 12.5 km into downtown Toronto to sleep in front of city hall. After about fours hours sleep they made the trek home at sunrise, all while continuing to work full-time and attempting to maintain their usual daily routine.

In the fall of 2005, over 15,000 people in 38 cities around the world took the very first international step towards telling the story of the children of northern Uganda. GuluWalk Day attracted people of all nationality, color, race and religion in a global show of support for the innocent victims of the world’s most ignored humanitarian emergency.

GuluWalk started in 2005 as an attempt by two average Canadians to better understand the ordeal of the ‘night commuters’ of northern Uganda. It has now grown into an urgent, impassioned worldwide movement for peace.

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