Founders & Board Members
Founder: Mr Napoleon Adok Gai
Gurtong was “born” in the UK, by a South Sudanese Internet Technology (IT) expert, Napoleon Adok Gai in 2002. While in Europe, Napoleon, seeing a need of bringing the South Sudanese together, regardless of the distance, used his skills to create the website. South Sudanese previously used to meet physically for discussions a few times in year yet there was a need to continuously have constructive social engagements to unite them in the midst of the conflict then.
Thus, the website, which had within it an inbuilt discussion forum provided a platform for the South Sudanese in the Diaspora from several countries and continents including USA, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia to talk.
Napoleon secured the support of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs who helped establish the “Gurtong Peace Project” in London. While in London, the project was surrogated by the London-based Africa Educational Trust. In 2004, on return to Kenya, Napoleon registered Gurtong as "Gurtong Peace Trust” and set up an office in Nairobi, from where he managed the project until his departure at the end of 2005.
Napoleon continues to serve in the Board of Advisors of Gurtong.
Other Founding Members
Dr. Conradin Perner (Kwacakworo)
A Swiss Anthropologist who also served as the Supervisor of Gurtong. Popularly known as “Kwacakworo” in South Sudan, he lived in the southern regions of Sudan for almost thirty years. Kwacakworo’s work in South Sudan and his great contribution and impact on many lives of the South Sudanese “Lost Boys” during the civil war saw him honoured by President Salva Kiir in July 2011. The president expressed his appreciation by giving Dr. Perner the Yellow Star Medal, a symbol of hope and prosperity on the flag of the new Republic of South Sudan.
He was one of the key guests invited by the President of the new Republic to the celebration of the independence of South Sudan on July 9th.
Dr Perner is a long serving member of the Board of Advisors of Gurtong.
Author of the 1978 study “Living on Earth in the Sky: The Anyuak.”
Current Board Members
Gurtong has 10 persons sitting on its board and who give advisory and informative contributions to the project.
The members of the board are:
- Mr. Napoleon Adok Gai (Founder)
- Dr. Charles Saki Bakhiet (Chairman)
- Mr. Jacob Jiel Akol (Secretary to the Board)
- Dr. Conradin Perner (Kwacakworo) (Founder)
- Mr. James Emmanuel Oryema (Member)
- Dr. John Gai Nyuot Yoh (Member)
- Mr. Acuil Malith Banggol (Member)
- Ms Awak Bior (Member)
- Dr. Alfred Lokuji (Member)
- Dr Jok Madut Jok (Member)