Olara Otunnu, Uganda, is a patron and Honorary Adult Friend of the World’s Children’s Prize. He was also selected as the first The World´s Children´s Ombudsman, assigned by millions of children in WCP Global Friend Schools.
“I became a global citizen early on in life, at home in northern Uganda,” says Olara Otunnu. “My father was a travelling evangelist in neighbouring countries like Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania. I kept track of where he was by looking at the stamps on his letters. When I was seven years old I became my dad’s foreign correspondent. He sent me to the shop to listen to the news. Then I’d run home fast, so I didn’t forget anything, and recite the news from memory.”
Olara came a long way
That little boy has come a long way in the world, and has been a lawyer, Foreign Minister, Chairman of the UN Security Council, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission, and UN Under-Secretary-General for children and armed conflict. And in 2006 the WCP Child jury, on behalf of millions of Global Friend students, gave the mission of being the first ever World’s Children’s Ombudsman to Olara Otunnu. He said at the time:
“I am delighted and honoured to accept your invitation to become the World’s Children’s Ombudsman. In my work to ensure protection for children exposed to war I have seen many projects for and by children, but I have never seen such an empowering process, involving so many children, in so many countries. I am delighted to join this project, and I invite all other institutions and individuals in a position to do so to give their full support to help the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child to develop and to grow. You, the children, are a special global asset, and the World’s Children’s Prize is a uniquely empowering process for children all over the world. You can count on me as a member of your team!”