October 19, 2009

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bicycles Against Poverty will host the third annual GuluWalk on Sunday, Oct. 25, during Homecoming Weekend at Bucknell University. The two-mile walk around the Bucknell campus begins at 1 p.m. in front of Davis Gym.

A GuluWalk represents the efforts of children in northern Uganda who fear being abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group to be used as child soldiers in the country's 22-year war. Daily, these children walk miles from their rural homes to town centers where they stay in more protected shelters.

Donations requested
Participants are asked to donate $10. Money raised will support Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP), a community-based organization in Gulu, Uganda, dedicated to alleviating poverty among people who live in camps, through provision of sustainable transportation and appropriate technology. The organization also promotes peace-building, education services and general programs for the region through seminars.

Begun by Bucknell junior Muyambi Muyambi, a civil engineering major from Uganda, BAP raises money to support a microfinance bicycle initiative in villages surrounding Gulu. Ugandan participants must re-pay half the cost of the bicycles they receive, which allows BAP to purchase more bicycles for the communities.

The GuluWalk will be kicked off with performances by three a cappella groups: Bison Chips, Beyond Unison and Voices of Praise gospel choir. BAP members also will show a documentary and slideshow about their trip to Uganda this past summer to begin the bicycle program there.

Summer bicycle distribution
Kylie Brandt, a senior majoring in education and psychology, was one of 15 Bucknellians who traveled to Uganda to establish the program. BAP distributed 102 bicycles to needy families, trained volunteers to sustain the program and held seminars on bicycle repair.

Essential to the economy in small villages in northern Uganda, the bicycles are used to carry fare-paying passengers and to transport goods and perishable produce to market. They also can be used to fetch well water that may be located miles away, thereby allowing families more time to focus on making a living.

"The GuluWalk represents our awareness of bicycle recipients' turbulent pasts; BAP works to help people rise up from their past by providing bicycles as stepping stones for economic development," said Brandt. "I am very grateful to have the opportunity to help many families cycle towards prosperity."

Begun in July 2005, GuluWalk has grown into a worldwide movement for peace. Last year more than 30,000 people in 100 cities in 16 countries took to the streets to urge the world to support peace in northern Uganda. Since its inception, GuluWalkers have raised more than $1 million for programs that provide education and rehabilitation to Uganda's war-affected youth. For more information, visit GuluWalk.

Contact: Division of Communications