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On Saturday, October 21, 2006, GuluWalk Day, over 30,000 people, in 82 cities and 15 different countries took to the streets to urge the world to support peace in northern Uganda. The event raised over $500,000 for programs for a generation of children being left behind and GuluWalk Day 2007 is set to take place globally once again on Saturday, October 20.

GuluWalk will take place to support what the former U.N. Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland called “the world’s most neglected humanitarian crisis” and “one of the biggest scandals of our generation.” The GuluWalk is supported by Phoenix Suns’ good-guy Steve Nash, recording artist Sarah McLachlan, vocalist Measha Brueggergosman, actress Melissa Fitzgerald, singer Chantal Kreviazuk, Lt-Gen. Romeo Dallure, and Stephen Lewis, who said: “The phenomenon of the ‘night commuters’ in northern Uganda is so surreal that it almost defies description. It has been one of the worlds worst crises facing children, and every effort to bring attention to the impact this war is having on children is commendable. The GuluWalk is an imaginative project that will bring a ray of hope to the future of the children, and the communities of northern Uganda.”

GuluWalk began in 2005, when two Toronto men, co-founders Adrian Bradbury and Kieran Hayward, began hearing stories about the “night commuters” of northern Uganda. Over 40,000 children were forced to walk from their rural villages into the town of Gulu and other urban centers to find a safe place to sleep. The journey was necessary to avoid abduction by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for use in the country’s 21-year civil war. Today, peace is unreliable and the lives of children are threatened by conflict, poverty and disease such as HIV/AIDS.

“No man, woman or child should have to live in constant fear of being killed or abducted. We are walking in solidarity with northern Ugandans and are determined to make long-lasting peace in Uganda a Canadian priority,” said Lama Hammad, Committee Chair of GuluWalk Ottawa 2007.

GuluWalk continues to have global reach and has been featured in media outlets all over the world. GuluWalk co-founders Bradbury and Hayward were recognized in 2005 as Newsmakers of the Year by Maclean’s magazine, while Bradbury’s writing on the conflict continues to appear the National Post, the Sudan Tribune and Uganda’s Daily Monitor. 

Since 2005, GuluWalk has grown into a major international movement, with over 30,000 walkers expected in 89 cities and 14 countries in 2007. Hopefully all of you will go out this weekend and join the thousands of people around the world that will march for love.

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