Back to Blog

How Your Purchases Help Joy Swala in Lake Tanganyika

03/01/2024 10:28

One of the people you are helping is Joy Swala in Lake Tanganyika, Zambia. This woman works with kids and vulnerable women and girls in a very poor part of Africa by Lake Tanganyika. She left a good home to do this, living in a very difficult area without enough money to really live on. Through the support from Africa Imports, people like Joy receive the help they need to keep doing their important work. This help is important for those in tough situations with few other options, showing the direct impact of your contributions on the lives of those committed to making a difference.

Joy’s Story, Mission and Challenges

Before moving to Lake Tanganyika, Joy helped at her local church. She had trained with an organization and felt a strong pull to do more for others. Despite warnings about the area being dangerous and far away, she was determined to go. People worried about "demon stuff" (which is a big concern for people in this area of Africa) and her safety. Her pastor and others wanted her to stay home and focus on a more traditional path like college for a secure future. But Joy had a different plan. She had been inspired by a visit in 2015 and knew right after high school that she was meant for this sort of “mission work”.

Joy's decision was tough for her family, especially her dad since she is the eldest. But her faith was strong. She wanted to follow what she believed was her calling from God, no matter what others said. Some people told her she needed to be self-sufficient first or to "become someone" before diving into such work. Despite these challenges, she had dreams of studying business one day to support her mission to work better.

But life in Lake Tanganyika has been hard. The heat slows her down, and she struggles with not being able to support her sister's schooling. Joy tries to make ends meet with the little support she gets from the National Workers Fund, but it's not steady. She even tried starting a cake business, but it didn't work out due to lack of ingredients and other challenges. All this while, Joy's faith and commitment to helping others have kept her going, inspired by her mother who once ran a small school for poor kids.

Healthcare in ZambiaRecently, Joy has had a serious medical problem. She needed to go to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, for treatment. She did not have money for this, so we covered her medical expenses. In Zambia, without money, you cannot receive medical help.

Joy visited a neurologist on Wednesday. The doctors are puzzled by her condition despite reviewing her MRI scans and the medication she has been on. They decided to refer her to another doctor she hopes to see soon. They suggested an injection that costs $666 to alleviate her pain for a year, but she couldn’t afford it, and it wouldn’t solve the underlying issue. A doctor friend advised her to try a different, though expensive, hospital. The cost is still unclear, but Joy's health is worsening. Some nights she fears she won't wake up, but she finds strength to keep going.

How You Are Helping

Every purchase you make at Africa Imports plays a big part in supporting individuals like Joy. About half of our profits go directly to helping people in need. We have close relationships with over 100 adults and help to feed almost 1,000 children. Our team does extra to make sure the funds reach those who need them most.

Last year, everything you ordered allowed us to donate $342,505 to help people like Joy in very challenging situations. This has made a significant impact, not just on the people who received help but also on our team. It's a reminder of the powerful good we can do together.

Since starting our charitable efforts in 2007, Africa Imports has given over $2 million to support people in Africa. We don't just send money. We build and maintain close relationships with some of the people we help, so your purchases contribute to this lasting change.

You can learn more about our work and see the impact of your support at How We Help Africa.