A labor of love

What I’m doing is answering the call. What God is saying is not to be a stumbling block to the children, because He really loves them. — Happiness Wambura

In the 1990s, Happiness Wambura was like many Tanzanian mothers. Though her husband had a job, it was sometimes a struggle to feed her five children. One day, as she shopped for food in downtown Arusha, Happiness saw children of beggars running in the streets. “There were two girls, twins,” she said. “They were about the same age of as my own children.” God spoke to her, exhorting her to help. She began bringing food to the street children whenever she could.

In 1998, Mama Wambura’s ministry became LOHADA. She gathered children of disabled parents under a large tree in the town center. She played and sang with them while their parents begged.

LOHADA founder Happiness Wambura in the 1990s.

LOHADA was officially registered in October 2000. Donations allowed operations to move to a row of rented rooms, then to a house. Now, LOHADA runs a school, a secondary school boarding center, a medical clinic, girls empowerment program and a working farm.

Camp Joshua Christian School opened in 2005; it is a primary school for 200 children, mostly from Unga Limited and other nearby slums. Camp Moses, built in Arusha in 2004, is home to 40 secondary school students who have graduated from Camp Joshua School. Golden Grace Medical Center (formally Camp Patmos), in rural Shinyanga, provides much needed medical services to the region as well as providing food and shelter to destitute elderly people who have been chased from their homes after being accused of witchcraft. Beauty for Ashes helps empower destitute girls to regain their footing and Mount Horeb Farm grows crops to feed all the children under LOHADA’s care as well as providing vocational training for young adults who are not focused on attending university.

LOHADA receives most of its funding from Kesho, a U.S. 501(c)(3) umbrella organization dedicated to educating and caring for children in East Africa. Contact Kesho at 397 Piedmont Rd., Columbus OH 43214