Walking for a Cause

Gidion, Theo, Jen & Kids

Back in 2004 I moved to Uganda to work with Rwandan refugees. I implemented sport and play programs in the refugee settlement with the hope of helping to build community and to help with the development of the children. It was an amazing experience that I’m sure will stick with me forever. I still remember my people, the Rwandans (and Ugandans) who touched my life and my soul. When I returned home I worked with an organization called GuluWalk. GuluWalk aims to raise awareness and funds for the people of Northern Uganda. There has been a civil war happening in Norther Uganda since the late 1980s. Thousands of people have been displaced, thousands of children have been kidnapped and forced to become soldiers. The situation is not great. While I didn’t work in Northern Uganda, I have a heart for the people there. For three years I worked with GuluWalk, raising money and organizing a walk in my hometown. This year there is no walk in my city, but I’m hoping to join one of the other walks in a nearby city. I’m hoping that you might consider walking for the children of Northern Uganda.Curious

I’ll leave you with the top 10 reasons for joining the GuluWalk this year (as posted on the GuluWalk website).

    #10: Ashton Kutcher, Ellen Degeneres and Britney Spears all have more than 3 million followers on Twitter. That is slightly frightening. But also a good lesson in trends – can we change them? Let’s prove that we actually DO care about less superficial things.
    #9: We are all global citizens.
    #8: While serving as the United Nation’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland called the LRA conflict in northern Uganda ‘the world’s most neglected humanitarian crisis.’  If you don’t know the history, learn it.*
    #7: Scars from 23 years of war do not heal overnight.
    #6: When GuluWalk began in 2005, thousands of children were walking each night to seek a safe place to sleep; a place where the risk of abduction by the LRA would be low. They were known as ‘night commuters.’ Night commuting has stopped. There is a tentative peace in northern Uganda. But these children are still growing up, having known only war for the majority of their lives. They need support, they need a voice, they need leadership.
    #5: There are close to half a million people still living in IDP and transit camps in northern Uganda.
    #4: The LRA continues to wreak havoc in the region, mostly in the Congo, Sudan and now Central African Republic. It’s history in northern Uganda is a big piece to this puzzle and its impact there must not be forgotten.
    #3: You still have an extremely high chance of earning an all-expenses paid trip to northern Uganda. Become a ‘founding builder’ (one of the first 500 people to raise $500 online) and you could receive that trip, see first-hand the need for programming and gain a deeper understanding of the conflict.
    #2: This year, by walking, you will be raising awareness and funds for the Gulu Youth Cultural Centre: a home for much-needed youth leadership training; arts and cultural programming; rehabilitation and rebuilding.
    #1:Take real action. Because as easy as it is to click a button or join a Fan Page or change our Twitter profile picture, I think we are still capable of being roused; of feeling inspired; of using our free time, our voice, our combined effort, to act. Your voice will be heard.
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~ by dawseng on October 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “Walking for a Cause”

  1. “#1:Take real action” is also a very strong argument for not participating in the Gulu Walk. Ain’t that something?

    • I know… they could have used you in the marketing department (or the argument department…) but, I still support the organization and believe in what they are doing, so I won’t worry about how they advertise… (and, Mr. Hanley, most people don’t have brains like yours! ~ You are unique :))

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