Grace Akallo

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Not to be confused with Grace Akello.
Grace Akallo
Allegiance Lord's Resistance Army
Years of service 1996–1997

Grace Akallo (born 1981) is a Ugandan woman[1] who, at the age of 15,[2] while attending a Catholic school,[3] was abducted by Joseph Kony to be used as a child soldier[4] in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).[5] As part of her initiation into the army, she was forced to kill another girl, a very common practice among armies that employ child soldiers.[4] She remained in the LRA for seven months,[6] during which Akallo became a skilled AK-47 user.[4] She was raped[7] and became a sexual slave.[1] She was eventually rehabilitated and became a mother.[4] The 2007 book Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children is a biography of Akallo.[8] She is interviewed in the documentary film Not My Life on the subject of human trafficking, saying that "this kind of evil must be stopped."

After escaping, Grace returned to St. Mary's school[9] to finish her high school education. She began her college education at the Uganda Christian University. After giving a speech for Amnesty International in New York, she received a scholarship to finish her undergraduate degree at a college in Massachusetts. Grace majored in communications with a desire to continue studying International relations and conflict resolution. Grace went on to receive her masters degree from Clark University. She would use her information gained in her studies and experiences to try and keep what happened to her from happening to other innocent children. Grace used the experiences she had from being a child soldier to help counsel children who had escaped like her.

Grace gave many speeches at colleges like Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Roosevelt University in Chicago. She also shared her story on shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show. Grace worked lobbying United States congressmen about the issue of child slavery in Uganda.[10]

Grace began her career as an advocate for peace and justice with jobs at Rachelle Rehabilitation Center and World Vision USA. Grace later worked as a Public Relations and Advocacy Intern in America,[11] writing press releases and documents for media use. She reported on conferences including The Interfaith Summit on Africa, and drafted amendments for the Senate bill on children affected by war.[citation needed]

In America she has started a non-profit organisation (UAWCR) that aims to end the prosecution of child soldiers.[10] Grace Akallo has also catalysed action in Washington D.C. to help end the violence in Uganda; in addition she has appeared in public to raise awareness amongst the common people in addition to the politicians.[12] She also appears in the documentary film Grace, Milly, Lucy... Child Soldiers.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fighting Worldwide Trafficking Through Documentary: A Review of Not My Life". Do Something. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Lucy-Claire Saunders (30 April 2009). "Former Child Soldier Tells Her Story at UN Security Council". China Radio International. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Former Kony Child Soldier Tells Her Story". WBUR. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d John Dankosky (17 April 2013). Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery. Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  5. ^ John Rash (3 August 2013). "Dehumanizing human trafficking on, off screen". Star Tribune. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Agostino Bono (12 October 2006). "Former teen soldier asks U.S. to help work for peace in Uganda". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Debra Carlton Harrell (28 April 2006). "Night vigil shines light on 'invisible children'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Jeff Adair (24 February 2008). "Adair: Speaking out about an African atrocity". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  9. ^ washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/09/AR2006050901907.html July 2014. 
  10. ^ a b africanwomenrights.org/what_we_do/ July 2014. 
  11. ^ africanwomenrights.org/who_we_are/staff.php July 2014. 
  12. ^ Lynette Holloway (23 October 2011). "Documentary Exposes Modern-Day Slavery". The Root. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "'Grace, Milly, Lucy': Girls Forced into Conflict". NPR. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013.