Alec Johnson, who died December 23, 2014, in a drowning accident, was always captivated by knowing God, following Jesus in his lifestyle, and in helping the poor, the disadvantaged, and the homeless. Educating poor children, especially orphans, was important to him. In working with the poor, he sought ways to “capitalize” them, to help them help themselves.
He was associated with The Servants of the Word, a modern monastic movement that shared his dedicated pursuit of a lifestyle that was selfless and devoted to developing community and to education, especially of children.
Through this association, he worked with and supported Cornerstone, who have schools of excellence for poor children in Michigan, USA. This led to work with Cornerstone Development Africa, which supports education and community development in equatorial Africa. He purchased land in Uganda for a tree nursery, to raise seedlings of crop trees – coffee, pine, and eucalyptus – to be distributed to poor farmers. Thousands of seedlings have been distributed.
His review of groups working in Africa led to cooperation with Farming God’s Way, which aims to teach farmers using traditional methods that exhaust the soils, techniques that enrich the soil and protect growing crops. These methods increase yields by 50-200% while improving soils. He sent several farmers from the Nebbi district of northwest Uganda to Kenya to the center established by Care of Creation.
Since his death, Alec’s family have sent more farmers to Kenya for this training, and have provided materials to build a training center in their community, to sustain this project.
Alec chose to focus his effort on a poor, remote county in Uganda, Nebbi, where he associated with a local non-government organization, the St. Augustine Community Love Programme, founded by Anywarach Joshua Carter in 2004.
He investigated the programme and its staff carefully, with visits in 2010 and 2013. He worked with many projects, especially a scholarship program for children from elementary school through college, and he devised a women’s micro-banking program that has grown rapidly.
Alec was interested in those who worked with orphans and impoverished children. His colleague, Tonghai Yang, had begun the Hometown Education Foundation, which was an example of how to identify and support them. His friends Pierre and Natalie Charlotin founded One Gift, One Child, and partner with Haitian orphanages to bring accountability to Haitian orphanages, which are not always a safe environment.