Life expectancy is 45-47 years old. In the U.S. it is 79 years old.
1 in 5 children will not live to turn 5 years of age.
Christ Centered Community Development of Africa
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Up to 20% of children are malnourished. Most deaths occur from easily preventable and treatable diseases.
“Congo represents the promise of Africa as much as its misery: Its fertile fields and tropical forests cover an area bigger than California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Texas combined. Its soils are packed with diamonds, gold, copper, tantalum (known locally as coltan and used in electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers) and uranium. The waters of its mighty river could one day power the continent. Yet because Congo is so rich in resources, its problems, when left to fester tend to suck its neighbors into a vortex of exploitation and chaos. And so fixing Congo is essential to fixing Africa. Can Congo be saved? Maybe, but it can’t save itself. If the country has any hope of escaping the cycle of violence, misrule and despair, it will need the mercy of governments and citizens all over the globe.”
Time Magazine - 2006
House of Joy has a heart and mission for the restoration of this beautiful land and people which was initiated as a collaborative community development project with Fellowship of Christ Church. The call to rebuild, raise up and repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations is a call to say “YES” to the question of whether Congo, thus Africa, can be transformed. To say ‘yes’ is a simple matter but the resolve of heart to work to change the stubborn ruts of their present condition will require many people to be willing to be “the one” that will be the catalyst for these changes. The “one” can be at an individual, family or community level. It can be a nurse, a teacher, a businessman, a pastor, a government official and even a man desiring to provide for his family.
Who will meet this challenge? Who will answer this call? The needs are alarming because they are at every level of life. The needs are acute and yet the answers have their roots in simple and basic steps, both physical and spiritual, of healthcare, education, economic development and community collaboration.
The restoration of Congo lies in the heart of her people and in the heart of those who come alongside her in this new day of rebuilding, repairing and restoring the ruins of many generations
House of Joy's approach to this Community Development Program is a common sense grass-roots method that includes the simple objectives of:
promoting the interests of the poor
protecting the environment
providing basic services
promoting local economy
These objectives are meant to assist in undertaking community development projects that address healthcare, water, environment, education, agriculture and economic growth through micro enterprise. We believe these are the key ingredients of rebuilding lives, one person at a time…one community at a time.
Three basic steps of our community development projects :
Careful placement of material resources
Teaching and training related to the proper use and maintenance of resources
Introduce a clear and actionable business structure that bring accountability and responsibility
Key Community Development Components
Healthcare – This objective is based on the belief that proper healthcare is the foundation upon which a healthy workforce is produced. The foundation of a healthy workforce enables people to participate in programs, training, skill development and other activities that help their community thrive. Improving the health of the people along with enlightening their way of life also provides for the wellbeing of the next generation. Therefore, adequate healthcare provides an interrelated support for the sustainability of all other projects.
Agriculture - This need is crucial in the rural areas; it not only takes care of hunger at the individual level, but also provides a means of empowering the community to become self-sustaining through the marketplace. With a solid agricultural base, the community will be able to plant, cultivate and distribute crops to its members as well as to neighboring markets and communities and eventually elsewhere.
Educational Trade - The core of this program is centered on adult education in the form of trades and occupational skills. Teaching parents and leaders a set of skills that can be passed down to future generations creates a sustainable cycle of learning and growth. There is an overwhelming need for trade education within the communities of Congo. The HOJ approach to achieve this objective is to pair trained individuals with the untrained in a one-on-one mentoring relationship. The goal is to create an educational program for each trade needed within a community and to use that program to provide the learning and skill development necessary to sustain a work force that will continue the growth and development of that trade
Water Purification - HOJ provides pure water while restoring the health and hope that pure water brings. The objective is to save lives, and then change lives as this hope grows for people and communities. A purification system can be assembled anywhere and be operational within hours. This program results in long-term, sustainable improvements for the community’s overall health, not just in the provision of drinking water.
Micro-Enterprise Opportunities (vocational) – The models developed for this project consist of bottoms-up activities supported by at least quasi-stable environments and the supply of adequate skill sets. Through interaction and collaboration, communities define areas of opportunity for goods and services; once identified, groups work together to provide the goods and services needed. HOJ volunteers help provide the infrastructure stability and the training required to successfully deploy the micro-enterprise model in DRC.
Radio and Television- House of Joy seeks to enhance our efforts of impacting lives in communities by establishing a stream of educational programs and enlightenment series of programming that would be made possible through radio and television. This program would be a collaborative effort for communities to share information and communicate more fully about solutions for their common good in the rebuilding of their nation.