This time of year is normally dry. But this year has been particularly dry. We've heard the word "drought" more this year than any year we can remember. The impact has been significant--very low crop wields, reduced income, and hungry people. We're responding with the drilling of more bore holes and a larger investment in our Cents for Seeds micro-lending program to help replace lost crops.
Also, family planning and maternity care has been an area of focus for the past 2-3 years. We recently took a huge step forward with the purchase of a new incubator. It's a large investment that requires a trained employee and a lot of energy. But the benefits to mothers and children is tremendous--we're already seeing the results in improved neo-natal health.
Thanks for your generous support. It makes all of our work possible.
This month, our founder Julius Achon visited the US. It was a productive, fun and exhausting two weeks of speaking events, fun runs, dinners and more. But after 3 years of no visits, the visit has reengerized Julius, our team and our supporters.
Our focus now is to secure reliable electricy to the clinic and purchasing an ultrasound machine. The latter requires the former.
Our current source of power is solar. While it is sustainable and relatively expensive, it is not reliable. The nearby community is bringing power lines closer to the clinic. But we need to invest to make the final connection to the clinic.
Also, we are purchasing an ultrasound machine and the required training to support the growing need of the Otuke District of Northern Uganda. It's a large investment that requires dedicated staff to support. But the benefit to the families is so significant that it's worth the money.
Thank you for your help to make this all possible!
While healthcare is our primary area of focus, we also work to support food security and employment opportunities for women in the community that we serve.
Our partners at sister organization Love Mercy shared this very helpful information about Cents For Seeds, a program that we support together. We wanted to pass it along to the AUCF community.
Cents for Seeds is a micro-finance project in northern Uganda. The land there is some of the most fertile in the world, but after years of war, most communities lacked the essential capital and know-how to make use of this land.
A $30 gift provides a 30kg (about 66 lbs.) seed loan to a woman, usually a mother, along with a gardening tool and training. She plants the seeds, and the harvest feeds her family, typically leaving enough to sell to others.
A portion of harvest is also returned to be given to another woman joining the project next year. And the cycle continues…
This year Cents for Seeds will reach 19,000 households, empowering families to be lifted out of poverty.
At Achon Uganda Children's Fund and Kristina Health Clinic, we continue to exand our healthcare services for the community we serve in Northern Uganda. We have added more maternity services, including the recent installation of an incubator--the only one in the area. We've added staff to meet the growing demand for basic health and family planning services.
However, Malaria has continued to be a challenge for us. It has remained the #1 health issue we face since we started this program in 2008. We're very excited to hear that we may have an effective vaccine coming in the near future. But we expect the distribution to be expensive and logistically challenging. We are starting our fundraising and logistics planning now, so that as soon as the vaccine is available, we can get to work distributing it to everyone in our community.
Thanks to your support, we can finally reduce the spread of malaria in our community.
Each year, a team from the US travels to the village of Awake, where Kristina Health Clinic is based, to host youth sporting events. The "big event" is a cross country meet for all of the children from the surrounding schools. Over 5,000 people attend, and over 1,000 children compete. We use the event as an opportunity to promote health, sport and community for the region. Our Clinic staff is on site to provide education, first aid, and promote our clinic.
We were not able to host the event in 2020. We hope to return later in 2021. But we continue to support youth sport participation by sponsoring community soccer and running programs. The cost is modest, but the benefit is large. Our founder, Julius Achon, knows this first hand. It was sport that allowed him to earn a college degree in the US, and retutn to Uganda to support his community. He wants children today to have this same opportunity.
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