JoyDivine Children Organization is a community based organization that was registered in the year 2000. The organization is situated in Matasia, Ngong Town. It was started by Pastor Mary N. Muroki who started the home with an aim of caring for children who were orphaned and from destitute families. The home houses 62 boys and 11 girls from different backgrounds such as orphaned, ailing parents and street children.
Out of her good will, Pastor Mary converted her business premises to a feeding center and informal learning would also take place for the destitute children. She hired two cooks and two teachers to help her. In 2003, her desire was realized on 31st July 2003 when Honorable Betty Tett of Local government, in conjunction with street family rehabilitation trust fund referred over 55 street children to Joy Divine children’s organization. She has continued to serve the community by serving the less fortunate children. In February 4th 2004, our multipurpose hall burned down leaving the children with little space for having their meals and studying joy divine was used as an IDPs camp in the year 2007\2008 post-election violence. Recently the home was relocated to Ngong’ after the facility in which we were living in was ear marked for demolition to pave way for construction of Outering Road. The center was moved to Ngong’ in Matasia where the center has rented a house and now acts as a center.
Joy divine children has 73 children In total, we have placed all our children in various schools both in the city and out of the city across the country. We have kids from nursery all the way to the university.
Joy divine activities include;
This is a primary need. The center endeavors to connect the children to good schools. The children are in primary level, secondary and university. The center is in need of fees, books, stationary, uniforms and shoes. The centers hope is that through education they will acquire knowledge and skills to sustain themselves in the near future and provide for themselves better quality life for themselves and the center. The center is proud of its children who have done well in school and performed well in final exams. We currently have four boys that have been enrolled in the university after performing well at the secondary level.
2. FEEDING PROGRAM
The center runs feeding programs in various locations in Kariobangi, Mathare and its environs to feed the streets children who are hungry and malnourished due to lack of food. These are children who are still in the streets and have not accepted to leave the streets and go back to school or be reintegrated. The feeding program is extended to the children in the home, the ones that have accepted to be rehabilitated and reformed. We give them hot porridge on daily basis and we serve about 120-160 of them, on Saturdays we do both porridge and lunch, on Saturdays we feed about 220-300 street kids.
Shelter is a basic need in life. One of the objectives of Joy Divine is to provide shelter and rehabilitation. The immediate need is sustainability of the rented premise as the center plans to build its own premise. Due to the number of children, the center required a big house to accommodate all the children and we managed to get one that is comfortable and equipped. However the center needs monthly support to pay for the home. The center urgently needs to start consolidating resources to construct its own center in Kajiado, on the land that was donated by a well-wisher. There is need for a water borehole, dormitories, kitchen, dining area and library. In-kind materials and financial resources are required.
CHALLENGES FACING JOY DIVINE
• Understaffed: due to lack of finance to service salaries, we’re greatly understaffed. This has led to overworking of the few available.
• School fees (5.3M annual budget): Not all the kids are under sponsorship. Most of our kids, including those in primary are in boarding schools and school fees is quite high.
• Medical i.e. emergencies, we don’t have money set aside to take care of medical emergencies e.g. when a child gets hurt in school or home, we have to really struggle to take him or her to the hospital.
• Daily food for the kids in the children's home and feeding programs. We depend on well-wishers who come to visit us here in Joy Divine. At times none come, we end up lacking food in our stores to feed the 73 energetic young adults.
• Our van maintenance and regular fueling.
• Back to school shopping: most of the times our kids go back to school without a complete back to school shopping. This lowers their self-esteem as in their schools they can see others with complete shopping.
• Empty promises: we’ve had so many visitors come to visit the children and give them very many promises, most of them end up not delivering them.