|Progress on the Kristina Clinic|
Achon Uganda Children’s Fund Board Member- Jim Fee with the Community Board members for the Kristina Clinic
An update from Jim:
Julius and I returned home on Sept. 21st from an eventful and successful trip to Uganda. We departed on September 10th and spent 10 days in Northern Uganda. I am writing to provide you trip highlights.
From Sept. 14th through the 19th we alternated days in Lira and Julius’ village Awake which is 42 miles NNE. Recent heavy rains prior to and while we were in Northern Uganda made the road from Lira to the village very difficult to navigate so the normal 1½ hour trip became a 2+ hour journey each way.
|The road to Awake|
Kristina Clinic construction in Awake village is progressing very well since our May clinic visit. Under the leadership of construction manager Patrick Ebyau and Julius’ brother Jimmy Okullo the living quarters are virtually complete save windows, doors, painting and a 10 meter paver patio surrounding the building. Since the May trip, clinic construction has progressed to completion of the walls and roofing; in addition Lifewater Int’l has installed the clinic bore-hole well and cool, clear water is flowing for future clinic patients and staff – a huge asset and accomplishment. Patrick and Jimmy expect clinic construction to be complete by the end of November – and we have adequate funds, just barely, to pay for it thanks in no small part to our partners Love Mercy in Australia (thank you Love Mercy!)
Other Kristina Clinic highlights included clinic manager, Sam being identified. Sam is 29 years of age, born in the village, high school team soccer captain, secondary educated in Kampala at Mulago Hospital in a two year college sanitation and hygiene program, returned to the village “where he wants to live, grow and contribute to the community”, recommended by several board members, and always smiling; it appears we have a winner; the board will make a final decision at the next board meeting. Assuming Sam is hired, he will spend time in training at Engeye Clinic under the tutelage of John Kalule, Engeye clinic manager – thanks to the support of Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke, Engeye co-founder and a recent addition to the AUCF board
· Julius spoke to 450 students at his former primary school in Orum where he announced a Nov. 5th fun run sponsored by Nike at which 20 schools and 1,200 students will participate; Julius will be supported by Nike manager Chris Cook and four other Nike employees; when told each of the kids would receive a Nike shirt, they went bananas.
The rest of the time in Lira was spent planning clinic furnishings, solar power, equipment, staff hiring and about 100 other various items In addition Julius and I spent considerable time visiting the orphan kids and Julius’ family. At the conclusion of our trip, Julius, Jimmy and I assessed the clinic opening date which had been targeted at Jan. 1, 2012. Given the magnitude of work yet to be done (staff hiring, furnishings, equipment, supplies, medications, soar power, policies/procedures, clinic manager training) and the like we decided to push the opening date to April 1, 2012.
On the trip home, Julius and I reflected on the tremendous progress made during 2011 thanks in great part to you the Love Mercy Team.