In 2005, after spending 6 weeks as a solo-backpacker across East Africa, Joshua Johnston’s life was to forever change.
He was struck, not only by the lack of resources available to so many and the weight of poverty, especially affecting children, but also, as in the words of a Tanzanian pastor he met along the way, a “mental-slavery” which left people without a vision to be able to create positive change within their environment. This left a burden upon his heart and he felt God’s calling to serve in Tanzania. Joshua hoped that by living in the community and working together with the people, he could be a living witness and challenge them to see themselves in the light of Lord, rather than by the sight of a broken world, which devalued them.
In 2007, under the auspices of EAPE, the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, Joshua began a one-year mission in Babati, Tanzania working alongside volunteers in the community to begin an outreach to street children. They opened a small day center and safe haven where young children could receive a daily meal, clothing, medical care and access washing facilities. This small project was also to serve as a model within the community of how it was possible to affect positive change if people worked together and focused on what they could give, rather than what they would receive.
With the EAPE commitment over in 2008, Joshua and a small group of friends joined together to form the Harambee Foundation in order to continue the groundbreaking work he had started a year and a half earlier.
The Harambee Foundation was founded on the basis of the following Biblical principles
Advocacy & Justice
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the
destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy”
Equality of all in Christ
Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave nor free, there is no longer male
nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 2:6-8 “who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with
God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being
born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and
became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.”
1 John 2:6 “whoever say’s ‘I abide in Him’ ought to walk just as he walked.”
Caring for the Needs of Others
Matthew 25:35-36 “for when I was hungry you gave me food, I was thirsty and you
gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and
you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care
for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”