The mission of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund is to improve quality of life in rural Northern Uganda through access to health care and education, improvements to infrastructure, exposure to opportunities in sport, and means of self-sufficiency. AUCF undertakes all projects in partnership with native Ugandans, with the goal of transitioning to a state of self-sustainability and independence from outside assistance.
October 2013 to Present
AUCF sadly lost its Executive Director when Jim Fee died after a bicycle accident in California on October 4, 2013. But our work continues, as we’re spurred on by Jim’s vision to provide health care, education and opportunities to the people of Northern Uganda. Living now in Uganda, Julius coordinates all local initiatives, supported by the tireless efforts of brother Jimmy and the AUCF team. Meanwhile, a team of committed supporters, including Jim Fee’s wife and two sons, continue the work of raising money and providing guidance from the U.S., while partner organization Love Mercy Uganda’s generosity enables AUCF to spearhead new projects. Among those projects is expansion of the Kristina Health Center. To treat the hundreds of monthly patients and accommodate their families as well as the KHC staff, AUCF has constructed an overnight ward, so that patients can convalesce inside and out of the weather, and has begun construction on staff quarters, including a kitchen, to enable our committed medical team to conduct their work in relative comfort.
Kristina Health Center opens its doors and begins treating patients providing primary healthcare to the community. A full time resident staff of 5 including clinic manager, senior clinical officer, comprehensive nurses (2) and lab technician/HIV counselor provide medical care, including consultation and treatment, counseling, inoculations, education and triage of seriously ill patients to Lira Regional Hospital.
Kristina Health Center dedication takes place on August 25, consisting of a 10 room clinic (lobby, consultation and treatment rooms (4), emergency room, pharmacy, laboratory and office), four individual living quarters for permanent medical staff and two pit latrines for the clinic and staff. The campus includes a bore-hole well donated by Lifewater Int’l providing essential water for the health center. KHC includes a solar power system providing electricity to both buildings – the first electricity in the village. The electricity powers lighting, medical equipment, a computer system and refrigerator/freezer for storing vaccines.
Ground breaking of Kristina Health Center (KHC) in Awake. Materials and labor, when possible, are provided by the community of Awake providing jobs for over 20 people.
AUCF announces the commencement of planning and fundraising for a health center in Awake village. A plot of land is acquired.
Achon Uganda Children’s Fund partners with Australian counterpart, Love Mercy Foundation, to improve the lives of the children of Otuke County.
Water is flowing! For the first time in the history of Awake village, residents do not have to walk 3 miles or more to obtain clean water. Thanks to Care International, who located and drilled for water, a permanent well is now operating. This has made a tremendous impact on the lives of all the people of the village.
The first church/community center and pit latrine in the village have been built with the help of donations from Grace and Julius, members of the True Life Fellowship Church in Beaverton, Oregon, as well as friends from Australia.
AUCF received Internal Revenue Service tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
2004 – 2009
The eleven orphans remain under the care of Julius’ brother, Jimmy Okullo, and are attending school in Lira. Achon Uganda Children’s Fund has provided the funds to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, and provide health care to them.
Julius joined the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, Oregon, where he paced and trained elite US Olympic athletes under the direction of Alberto Salazar. Despite his modest salary, Julius and his wife Grace continued to help support the orphans and other members of his village, wiring money directly to his brother for the purchase of food, seed, oxen, clothing, shelter, school tuition and uniforms. When other members of Julius’ community in Portland began to take up the cause, he decided to formalize the effort by establishing the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund.
While in Uganda in 2003, Julius came across a group of children who were sleeping under a bus in Lira. These eleven orphans had escaped from the same Otuke village where Julius was raised after their parents were killed by the LRA, and were then living and begging on the streets. Touched by their suffering and grateful for his own blessings, Julius decided to adopt them.