One month later… Joy Maund

Well we’ve been back a month now and things are just wonderful.

It’s a blessing to come back and see how Hoj has moved on in our absence.

Being self sustainable isn’t just about money but also having people with like vision and minds who can carry the project forward.

We are grateful to all our staff for having remained faithful especially David our manager and Agnus our Head teacher.

Being here again has reminded is why we fell in love with this place in the beginning.

Of course not forgetting the children.
Looking so well and happy because of the generous donations of our friends and family who support the work nd enables us to provide good health meals for our children.

We can’t forget our farmers who are growing more and more food each year as their experience is growing.
We are now living on site in our own house built from some savings and generous gifts from family and some friends.

Everyone asks if it was a good idea building on site.
Truthfully we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but in the centre of all that God is doing here.

Seed time and Harvest Time… Heading back to House of Joy

Good afternoon.

Seed time and harvest time.

Just as the farmers in Uganda have prepared the ground ready for the new crops.
Ron and I have been here in the UK resting, getting ready for the new season ahead.

It’s been wonderful catching up with family and friends, we’ve both been working which has been a blessing.

But just as the seasons change so does the season of our lives.

It’s time for the new season

Ron has waited years to be able to bring pumped water to House of Joy.
It’s been his passion after achieving the borehole.

As you’ll know from our newsletter We now have funding.

Ron and I will return and work on the next level of development at HOJ.

This will really transform our community.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us and love us.

I love the seasons of our lives 🍁

A message from Joy

JoyA message from Joy…

I have the greatest gift of being the Executive Director for House of Joy Uganda.

Whenever I meet people, one of the first questions they ask is…”Is House of Joy named after you?” The direct answer is no it is not. But I like being asked that question, it takes me back to where it all began.

House of Joy began as a dream with my Mam, Dad, Ron and I sitting drinking tea and dreaming of a way we could help the children in Uganda. Once we  grasped the idea of a school we shared with our friends. Of course we would need a name suggested one of our friends.   I remember how we chatted about good names,  funny names, cute names.  Then my Dad simply said, even though this is a school I want children to feel at home, happy,  like children are suppose to feel a place of Joy for everyone.

That was it, in that moment House of Joy was born.

Is it a House of Joy?  Why not  read about Steve’s visit and decide for yourself.

Joy Maund

Opticians Visit House of Joy

In October 2016 Steve Jones, and Sarah Walker accompanied Optician Ruth Easton to conduct and Eye Clinic at House of Joy. Below you can read about Steve’s impressions of his time there.

It is not difficult to find a smile at House of Joy. Bright teeth on dark skin makes every smile radiant and they are everywhere in abundance. Teachers, children, cooks, farmers, wherever you turn a fresh smile appears. Real smiles. A stark contrast to the places we live where we have more but smile less, where we’re too busy to smile, where we think we can buy smiles.

A few months ago I was blessed with two weeks at House of Joy, testing the eyes of those at the school and in the community and giving glasses to people who needed them. It feels good now, on a cold wet February in Wales, to reflect on my time there, remembering the warmth of the sun outmatched by the warmth of the people and the welcome we received there.

Our time went like this:

In the morning we arrive at House of Joy, order our clinic in the spare room we’ve been given, rehearse the little Lugandan we have learnt and open the door to our first patients of the day. The children crowd to the door, excited and curious, happy to be relieved of class for the next hour or so, laughing at our terrible attempts to speak Lugandan, laughing as their classmates have go through the test, laughing as we blow up balloons and hand out stickers.

Not all the children are happy straight away to see us. Shy and unsure what exactly these mzungus are doing with these strange tests and uncomfortable contraptions, they hang to the back of queue until their name is called and then come slowly forward, dragging their feet. A few moments later and they are released with a balloon ruthhojand a sticker, their joy restored as they go laughing, running and skipping back into the sunshine. We break for lunch and I go down to the kitchen where it’s more laughter as the cooks tut and shake their heads at me, gently concerned by how little posho I’m eating, heaping more onto my plate. I sit with the farmers as they rest out of the midday sun and they tell me about the work they do as I eat the food they’ve grown. In the afternoon we see locals from the community and now it’s our turn to laugh as old Joseph cracks us up with practical jokes and his wild, exaggerated character. We give him some reading glasses and his eyes light up as the words on the page come into clear focus for the first time in years. In the evening the sun sets, casting long shadows and giving a golden glow to the dust in the air. We sit and listen to the stories of the teachers as they show us how to eat jackfruit, picked fresh from the trees. The atmosphere is one of deep and abiding peace and joy.

Of course it’s not perfect. Many of the children have been through experiences no human should have to deal with, let alone a child. There are deeply ingrained cultural patterns which make it strange for some people to associate together because of their social status or tribal roots. These hidden darknesses can sometimes be seen bubbling to the surface in playground scuffles, tears, arguments. They can be seen in the reluctance of some to sit with others at lunchtime. But I sat in a room full of people from every walk of life where something like 17 languages were spoken and all were laughing and singing together. On the last day we attended a graduation ceremony and students offered different tokens of appreciation to the outgoing class. Some sang, some read poems, some handed out cards. A young girl danced. I had heard her story a few days before and to see someone dancing after being through total brutality takes my words away. What can I say? It’s not perfect but it is incredible. At House of Joy, the strongest current in the river of life is that of joy. The place wears its name well. Worship there is powerful.

It is not difficult to find a smile at House of Joy, but it’s not from happiness. Happiness does not change people’s lives. Joy is transformation power and walks hand in hand with resurrection.

Steve Jones   (Visitor to House of Joy October 2016)

Fundraising Legend – About to go on TV!

An 8 year old school girl from South Wales, called Gwenan has been making cards for special occasions and selling them to raise funds for House of Joy… BRILLIANT!

So far she has raised £336.54!!! AMAZING!

She has been invited to appear on TV this Wednesday to talk about what she has been up to. Prynhawn Da on S4C at 2pm this Wednesday. Why not tune in and see what she has been doing!

Thank You Gwenan – from all at House of Joy!

Eversfield School – THANK YOU!!!

Eversfield School – A Huge THANK YOU

Everyone at House of Joy is amazed the huge gift of £13,467 that has been sent from Eversfield School to support the work in Uganda. Throughout this year House of Joy has been Eversfield’s Charity, and they have donated all proceeds from their fundraising activities to support our work.

We are SO grateful, and humbled by such fantastic support! Please thank all of your Parents, Friends, Staff, Governors, and most importantly the children at Eversfield who have made this happen!