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Story of Double Joy - our founder, Mary Hinde

'Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow' Swedish proverb....

In the latter phase of her teaching career in Kenya, Mary Hinde became head of a new school which had yet to be built.


Over the next years she oversaw the building and development from a bare plot of land to fully functioning secondary school for girls.


The whole area had poorly developed infrastructure with poor roads, no electricity or piped water.


Mary helped pioneer rainwater harvesting to meet the needs of institutions such as schools.


On retiring, Lancaster-born Mary Hinde, who had been living and working in the Bondo Area of western Kenya since 1979, decided to stay in Kenya and do something about the suffering of local orphans. She decided to build a childrens home despite being told by many people that this was a crazy idea and couldn’t possibly succeed due to the enormous resources it would require.


In 1994, using skills gained from her school building project and money left in a legacy from her father, Mary bought land and built 'from scratch' Double Joy Children's Farm. When building the she received financial support from SHARE Africa, a US organisation after a visit by SHARE founder Dr 'Bobby McGuffie


As well as the 95 children actually living at Double Joy there are a further 34 part funded by Double Joy or sponsors as they complete education at technical college or secondary school, after leaving Double Joy at 15.


In 2006 electricity arrived at Double Joy which required some extra fundraising by FoDJ donors.


Piped, treated mains water supply reached Double Joy in 2011, again paid for by special extra donations from FoDJ. However this system is vulnerable to drought and we sometimes have to buy water in by the tanker load which strains the budget.


In 2008, Mary asked FoDJ, to change its objectives to support some very vulnerable older local people who needed real support to keep them alive, resulting in Double Joy now also housing 7 older people in a house in a corner of land adjacent to the main compound. The project to support older people finished in 2015 as government welfare became more available.

In 2020 we benefited from a Quakers of Britain grant to install a modern solar lighting system. This year saw the majority children attend local primary schools for the first time since about 1998.

Money has been donated via regular subscriptions and from fundraising events in the UK and US. 


All the money raised goes directly to the project in monthly instalments of about £7000 ($9000).


Our UK expenses amount to about about £400 ($500) per year to pay administration costs of stationery, postage, bank charges and accountancy fees..


Mary Hinde, who is self-funded, lives on site at Double Joy and has done from the very beginning.

Double Joy is majority funded by FoDJ, UK registered charity no. 1087172. We also receive varying support from ​US agencies, SHARE Africa and Unbound.

Double Joy Childrens Farm, now in its 25th year, continues to give fresh hope to vulnerable children and all those who visit describe it as a place of great joy and inspiration.

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