DG Loretta Butts told us about how she met Julius and learned about his goal to help the children of Uganda. She also told us about Jim Fee, the American who joined Julius to create the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund. Jim, unfortunately, was killed on a cycling accident in 2013. His wife, Angela Fee has continued working on the fund and joined us today. Loretta also introduced John Brant, author of The Boy Who Runs.

Julius Achon grew up in a small village, Awake, 40 miles northeast of Lira in northern
Uganda. At age 12, he was kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant coalition
that rebelled against the Uganda government, and was forced to become a child soldier. Three months later, He escaped and a year later entered and won his first official race, which earned him a place at the district championships in Lira. To get to the stadium 42 miles away, he had to run for six hours, barefoot, because he didn't own a pair of shoes. The following day he won the 800m, 1500m and 3000m.

Shortly thereafter, Julius returned to school and began running. His talents landed him a scholarship in 1990 to attend school at Makerere High School in the capital city of Kampala. At age 17, having attracted the attention of several Ugandan sports officials, he was entered in the 1994 World Junior Championships in Portugal, and ran the 1,500. He won the race, wearing shoes for the first time in competition and bringing Uganda its first World Junior gold medal. His performance caught the eye of John Cook, an American track coach who brought him to George Mason University in Virginia on a scholarship.

Julius went on to compete for Uganda in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, both times serving as captain of the Ugandan Olympic team. While training near his village in 2003, he encountered a
group of orphans and couldn’t help but take them into his home. He created the
Achon Uganda Children’s Fund to help the many children orphaned in northern

Uganda. A year later he found out his mother had been shot. Because there were no medical facilities nearby, his mother bled to death four days after being shot. Julius realized that if there had been a hospital she could have reached, she might still be alive. So, he built the Kristina Health Center, named after his mother. The fund has since raised enough money to add a full-blown maternity ward to the center.

We were proud to present Julius and Angela Fee, CEO of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, with a check for $1,750 for the Kristina Health Center. The club also collected $1,000 towards the purchase of an ultrasound machine for the maternity department he is adding to the hospital.