Frequently Asked Questions
Mary Hinde answers some questions that have cropped up.
Why are there so many orphans?
Because AIDS kills young parents, there are 2 million orphans in Kenya
What is the government doing to help the situation of orphans and vulnerable young children?
It has strengthened the Children’s Department and gives Kenya 1500/- (shillings)- about £7.50p or $12- per month to those taking care of orphans.
Is Double Joy a Catholic mission?
No the children are encouraged to follow which ever denomination they are brought up in.
How did the old people come to need the support of Double Joy?
The young parents who die of AIDS are the sons and daughters of the elderly. They leave the elderly without support.
How is Double Joy coping with things like the increases in the cost of living and the devaluing of the currencies that donors give to support it?
By economising we laid off 25% of our staff at the end of 2007.
What kind of life can the children expect after they leave Double Joy?
Well above average, because the boys have skills to start businesses and we have many successful examples and girls, because of their skills of sewing machines, marry into responsible families. Only 2 of our former children have died since leaving, which is far below average. In the general population the death rate (people of all ages) is twice the birth rate.
What would life be like if the children hadn’t come to Double Joy?
About half of them would have died. Each year a child or two dies on the waiting list. Most of the others would have grown up illiterate and would have died of AIDS due to ignorance and desperate risk taking because of hunger, eg street kids.
What measures are being taken, and what progress is being made, to address HIV/Aids?
At first the rich and the educated died of AIDS. Now it is mainly the poor and the desperate e.g a girl doing anything to get a husband. Now a person who has understanding and follows medical advice and the general health provisions can add 20 years to the life after becoming HIV positive.
What sort of improvements have you noticed since Double Joy started? Who for and how much?
When I was headmistress, half our young teachers died of AIDS. Now a member of staff dies of AIDS only if he refuses to follow medical advice.
Where does most of the money to support Double Joy come from?
From our supporters who donate to Friends of Double Joy.
How is Double Joy connected to its local community and how do you think they perceive it?
It is managed by a locally selected Board of management and local trustees. They see it as a heaven sent and people think that being employed in Double Joy is a dream come true.
How do people manage to survive on such low incomes?
Because money plays little part in the real economy. All our staff are farmers and hope to grow enough food for their dependants each year. Animals are reared to cover emergencies. Their salaries simply oil the machines of life, they do not fuel it.
Thank you Mary for giving these honest and frank answers to help us understand the need for orphanages and an assessment of the AIDS scourge.
The biggest thank you, however, goes to you for helping us achieve what we have and to assure you that we can keep up these efforts only with your support now and in the future.
Erekamano uru. (thankyou every one).
If you have further questions please don't hesitate to contact us