Tracing the History of Just Children Foundation
THE Just Children Foundation (JCF) is an enterprising faith–based ministry under whose broad wings thousands of children have had their broken lives mended, having been given a future that would otherwise have been shattered over the past 10 years..
It was born out of a burden that God placed in the late Apostle Moosa Moses Kasimonje’s spirit, leading him to defy convention and do the un–sensible when he sold a flourishing take–away business concern to become a father to fatherless children roaming the streets.
“I was in business then, take–away business. I later sold the business and relocated. In the process, I was also trying other business ventures but I believed I had a call from God to work with children,” he was quoted saying by a local daily way back in 2002.
Jeremiah 29:11 was to become the baseline of his life and, by extension, the bedrock of the work that today is made up of three homes – Faith and Hope Centre, Come Unto Me Centre and Rudo Centre – besides many other children in co–foster homes whose lives had been given a meaning through this ministry.
‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’
Today, the leaps and bounds that have manifested in the work fit in perfectly with this vision.
Back in 1996, Mr. Kas – as the apostle was affectionately known – worked as a volunteer with the Harare Street Children Organisation, which provided food and shelter to children living in the street through its Drop–in–Shelter. At that time, he was still to understand the finer details of the call that God had placed on his life.
“The vision I had was to work with the children, go back to my business and come back to feed the children. But as the vision got clearer and clearer, I understood that I had to start my own organisation from St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Greendale,” he recalled.
Then on July 9, 1998, Mr. Kas established the Just Children Foundation (JCF), whose registration as a Social Welfare Organisation began at the end of 1998, and was wrapped up in January 2000. The new organisation was anchored on a multi–pronged, all–encompassing strategy to offer Christian counseling and teaching, provide care and shelter, address societal and family cancers that pushed children into the streets and endeavour to change societal attitudes towards children in the streets, among others.
When Mr. Kas established the JCF two years later, it superseded the Drop–in–Shelter. The major difference between the two was that the JCF was a Christian organisation run by a board of Christian leaders chaired by Reverend Tim Neil.
God confirmed the progress of the work through a prophetic message that clarified Mr. Kas’ vision. The prophecy was spoken over Mrs. Noma Kasimonje’s life at the Eternal Life Church where Brother Carol predicted that Mr. Kas’ work was going to expand, and God would bless it abundantly, and he was described as “a man of faith – faith like Abraham”.
From then onwards, doors started opening everyday and each time he wanted something, he appealed to God, after which people started coming in to join and support the foundation.
There is a saying that while every man (or most) can father a child, not every man can be a father. But Mr. Kas was a father figure in every sense of the word, such that all the children the organization was to take in, and even the staff, called him Baba.
Although at the beginning, the foundation had a capacity of accommodating 15–20 children, it has since grown phenomenally, running three residential centres and an ambitious education and co–fostering programme.
Most of the children at the foundation are referred there by the police and Department of Social Welfare. When they take in the children, they also trace the children’s backgrounds to establish the roots of their problems. They also try to find alternative homes for the children in line with their trio –pronged Mission Statement:
- The righteous shall live by faith (Romans 1:17)
- God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)
- Off the streets onto a better future
For all the successes that the foundation has recorded since the beginning, it was the hand of God that made it possible. God has been so faithful in this work. Over the years, he has opened many doors and brought in friends and partners who have since become strong pillars of this ministry.
His life permeated that of JCF intricately. As a man of faith, he gave honour to God on all occasions. He loved to share the joys of life with all the children under the care of the foundation, having lunch with them every Friday afternoon and taking them out to leisure resorts such as Sanganayi Creek and Christmas celebrations at the Rainbow Towers (then Sheraton Hotel).
Since then, the work of JCF has expanded enormously in response to the increasingly desperate situation in Zimbabwe. Over 40 staff now care for children in five centres around Zimbabwe. Some of the team are former children from the streets who have returned as qualified social workers to help a new generation. JCF provides accommodation, food, medical care, education and life skills. Crucially, JCF is a place to belong - a family in which children can feel safe and secure and in which they can grow and develop.
With the continuing AIDS pandemic, the current economic crisis, unemployment and political uncertainty, the number of children needing support rises daily. Children on the streets suffer abuse and degradation. JCF provides a vital sanctuary and a source of hope.
We need your help to enable ‘The Just Children Foundation’ to continue its work with vulnerable children, to help them escape a life of neglect, abuse and poverty. Please will you join us in partnership and give whatever you can. They are just children and need your support. Help us to take them off the streets and on to a better future!
By the grace of God, the foundation continues to grow, faithfully following in the footsteps of its founder 10 years down the road.