Uganda Orphans Fund began in 2002 when Duncan Hill felt God’s call to go to Uganda. In the early years, UOF partnered with other relief organizations to build over 30 orphan homes in various locations. A typical orphan home cost $40,000 and housed 50-60 children. UOF left the ongoing care of the orphans to local church leaders, and other ministries in the area.
In 2006, Uganda Orphans Fund obtained “non-governmental organization” (NGO) status with the Republic of Uganda. This designation allowed UOF to steward its own vision and build Kasozi Village in the Kamuli District. The Village has four dormitories, a primary school, staff housing, a church, dining hall, a soccer field and a large garden. The property has a capacity for 200 children and 30 staff members. This diverse community includes kids and staff from three different tribes and has become one loving and cohesive family.
In 2012, we began a Sponsorship Program to help older children obtain a high school education and vocational training. Over 120 kids are currently sponsored, and that number is growing.
We plan to launch a children’s medical clinic to serve the Kamuli District in 2018. Our mission is to successfully raise Ugandan children who can positively impact their country. First, they must survive childhood.
Duncan Hill grew up in Granville, Ohio and graduated from Western Reserve Academy. He went on to complete a college education at Ohio Wesleyan University and start a career in the financial industry. He married his wife, Susan, in 1978, and moved west in 1979. Together they raised three healthy kids and built a nice home. Duncan was thriving in business.
“I had it all…everything that movies, TV, society and Americans say you ought to have,” he says, recalling his 16 years as a successful financial consultant and stockbroker in Bozeman, Montana.
But it wasn’t enough. He felt empty inside and filled the void in his heart with alcohol and excess. The tipping point came after an affair was exposed. He quickly came to the end of himself, tired of living a lie. Completely broken, he gave his life to Jesus Christ.
Following much restoration, he began asking God about his own purpose and calling. “God, what did you make me to do?” After reading Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge, he knew he was made for adventure. In 2001, the Hills attended a conference in British Columbia where they heard missionaries Heidi and Rolland Baker speak about their work in Mozambique with the poorest of the poor. Hill was wrecked by their accounts and felt his own call stirring.
In 2002, Hill made his first trip to Uganda with only one contact. “Once I got over there,” he says, “my heart was completely broken for orphans.” Since that time, he’s been a man on a mission. He started Uganda Orphans Fund, a non-profit, faith-based organization dedicated to rescuing and caring for orphans and other vulnerable children. Over the years, he’s witnessed the transformation of hundreds of kids lives through the work of Uganda Orphans Fund.
In 2007, Hill won the Waring Prize, a coveted alumni award, from his alma mater, Western Reserve Academy, for his humanitarian work in Uganda.
Looking back, Hill makes it clear that the Lord has made all the difference in his life. He believes when a person is doing what they’re created to do, there’s nothing better than that. In fact, he says, “I’ve never felt more alive.”