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Grace Akallo
Spokesperson, children of war in northern Uganda
Based in Boston, Massachusetts

Grace Akallo is a student at Gordon College near Boston, Massachusetts. She was abducted by Ugandan rebels at the age of 15 and is now serving as a spokesperson and activist for peace in northern Uganda.

October 9, 1996, Ugandan rebels called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked St. Mary’s College, a girls' boarding school in Aboke Town in northern Uganda, abducting 139 girls, including Akallo.

The school’s deputy headmistress, Sister Rachelle Fassera, followed the rebels into the bush and pleaded for her students’ release. The rebels released 109 of the girls, but kept Akallo and 29 others.

Akallo and her schoolmates were marched into southern Sudan, where the LRA was based. The rebels gave her a gun and taught her how to assemble, disassemble and clean it. They told her when she got hungry enough, she’d learn how to shoot it.

Akallo was abused and forced to commit atrocities against civilians and her own fellow captives. She witnessed the fate of two children who had tried, unsuccessfully, to escape. They were brutally murdered in front of her.
Seven months later, Akallo found herself caught in the crossfire of a battle. Literally dodging bullets, she fled. Eventually, she found a small group of children who also escaped. They walked three days, living on soil and leaves before they found a group of villagers who cared for them and helped them return to northern Uganda.

Akallo finished her secondary education at St. Mary’s. She later transferred from Uganda Christian University in Kampala to Gordon College near Boston, where she is completing her senior year.

While juggling her studies, Akallo also serves as a spokesperson and peace activist with World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization working in northern Uganda. In April, Akallo testified before the House of Representatives, urging Members of Congress and the Bush Administration to better engage in Ugandan peace efforts. October 9, the 10th anniversary of her abduction, she will serve on a keynote panel at “Uganda Lobby Day,” an event designed to inform and equip citizen advocates to reach out to their elected officials to tangibly support peace and reconstruction in northern Uganda.

She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004 and in April 2006, was featured in the Washington Post.

Who Is World Vision?

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

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