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Thursday, May 28, 2020

A letter from Bill Pelke

Saint Peters Secondary School Kampala, Uganda - Photo: Scott Langley

Friday, September 07, 2018 Age: 2 Years

The Uganda Journey of Hope: October 4-11

Dear Friends of the Journey,

I want to thank all of the wonderful people that have helped the Journey over the years and I am excited to share with you what we have done with your investment in us.

As the president of the Journey of Hope I can confidently say that that the Journey is preparing to go to a higher level than I ever dreamed. We have the attention of the world. 


                                              The Uganda Journey of Hope: October 4-11 


A Journey of Hope team of 6 leaders are going back to Uganda. We went to Uganda in 2011 when Edward Mpagi asked me if the Journey of Hope could come to Uganda and help him in his lonely battle against the death penalty. We returned in 2014 to help Edward establish Ugandans Against the Death Penalty. The story of our success and its importance is included in this mailing. 

Edward Mpagi has been called the “Mandela of Uganda”. He was on death row for the murder of a person who was later proven to still be alive. After 20 years in prison Edward was released and has become a symbol of Hope and Forgiveness throughout Uganda. In addition to his abolition work, Edward founded the Dream School in Kassenge.  

On January 23 of this year Uganda President Museveni, who stopped signing death sentences in 1999 because of his “Christian background”, said he believed he had made a mistake and was ready to ‘take a few necks’ to deter the rising crime rate. Hanging is a means of execution in Uganda.

The Journey of Hope and Ugandans Against the Death Penalty are planning to meet with the President and share with him our message of “Love and Compassion for all of humanity”. We believe he will respond to us, keep the moratorium in place, and begin the process of abolishing the death penalty from Uganda’s law.  

Edward has stated on several occasions that the Journey’s voice will be heard loud and clear. We are going with a powerful team that includes George White and SueZann Bosler, both murder victim family members and cofounders of the Journey. George and SueZann have been with the Journey since our first Journey of Hope in Indiana in 1993. Rev. Jack Sullivan’s sister was murdered and he is a JOH board member. Shujaa Graham is a death row exoneree from California and a member of Witness to Innocence. Shujaa is also a murder victim family member. Bob Gross, the new executive Director of the Journey of Hope, is also joining us. Bob organized the Indiana Journey of Hope and has worked extensively with peace and reconciliation projects. The announcement of his appointment is also included in this mailing.  

All of us going agree that “The answer is love and compassion for all of humanity”.  

We will be in Uganda  October 10th, World Day Against the Death Penalty. World Day is a project of the World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The WCADP will be sending a spokesperson to join us in Uganda on World Day for a major press conference. We will be speaking to religious leaders and parliamentarians. We will be speaking in high schools, colleges, churches and other public events.

Uganda is known as the “Pearl of Africa”. It is a very religious country (mostly Christian) and we know our message will be well received. Once again, I am asking for your help in spreading this precious seed of Love and Compassion. What we have sown in the past has brought forth a bountiful harvest. Please consider investing in the Journey once again. 

None of this is possible without your help. I know that these days it seems everyone is asking for money and it is my least favorite thing I do as an abolitionist. Not everyone can travel and speak, but you can each be an important part of this Journey. Your prayers and support are needed and greatly appreciated. You can also donate online on this site.

In Peace,  

Bill Pelke

President, Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing

< Uganda Tour Exemplifies Abolition Collaboration