Currently 11 children aged 8 to 14 years live in the “Village of Joy” of Changing Live Ministries (CLM) in Lanseria, close to Johannesburg in South Africa. This village has been founded in 1999 by Milly Jarvis and provides a home for kids whose families suffer from AIDS and related consequences and cannot take care of their children themselves.
The children in the Village of Joy had sad childhoods so far. Many were abused, neglected, unwanted. Usually children like these would end up roaming the streets, experiencing crime and violence. The goal of CLM is to provide a safe home and successful schooling to interrupt this vicious cycle.
In the past the village lot had been leased. However, the landlord needed to sell the 17 hectares und CLM would love to buy the land. The plan is to develop and reshape it in such a way that it can be used as a permanent environment to raise the children. The land is sufficient to provide a home for 42 children. The asking price is roughly EUR 325,000. CLM was able to raise some funds already, however, every penny counts to ensure a permanent home for the children and to contribute to their schooling.
Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa and is a multiethnic society. The average life expectancy is with 49,4 years of age one of the lowest globally. Childhood mortality is rated 6,1%. Major problems are crime, AIDS and access to education.
In the village of joy children experience that they do have a chance to change their lives and to live it in a desired way. The mission is to create a self-sustaining organization that educates children which – as adults – later help other children and interrupt the circle of unwanted and neglected children. We want to be part of a program that helps developing personalities who like to take up challenges and create opportunities for others.
In 1999, after Milly Jarvis started her own tourism business, she volunteered in Diepsloot, a poor neighborhood north of Johannesburg. This was the founding of CLM, which was registered officially in 2002. In 2008 Milly’s son Shane took over the tourism business. Milly was now able to concentrate fully on the Village of Joy and her work with the children.
She started by helping mothers in her little tin shacks. Later these mothers moved into proper brick houses, supported by the government and Milly and the mothers used this house to found a Kindergarten. Within 5 years and with the support of a Dutch organization the necessary financial funds have been raised to improve living conditions significantly.
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