nurturing creative, critical thinkers

Local Leaders

Partnering with local leaders opens the door to a deeper level of holistic care. Local leaders know their communities and can best serve their needs through appropriate cultural and relational interventions. Each of these leaders has been in the Just One Africa family for over a decade and is committed to seeing through the mission and vision of the organization. We know you will be inspired by their story just as we are.

Grain of Rice Academy is a primary (elementary school) that currently serves 70 students ranging in age from preschool to grade 8.

Grain of Rice Academy

Grain of Rice Academy is a primary (elementary school) that currently serves 130 students ranging in age from preschool to grade 8. Just under half of our students were formerly part of Grain of Rice Kids Program, which was based in Kibera for 7 years. These students transitioned to the new location and now board on site and return home on school breaks. Grain of Rice Academy seeks to provide high-quality, literacy-based education that is hands-on and infused with the arts.

They are integrating these principles in conjunction with the new Competency Based Curriculum that is being implemented in Kenya. On a typical week, you can find students participating in STEM activities, playing the recorder, creating paintings and sculptures, reading in the classroom libraries, and participating in guided reading groups. Their goal is to help children become problem solvers and leaders in their communities.

John & Leah Njoroge

Valley Light founders

Valley Light Home is carefully constructed as a home rather than an institution for up to 36 children (infants to 18 years of age). John & Leah Njoroge founded Valley Light Home in 2011, and they are committed to doing whatever they can to rescue orphaned and abandoned children. From the beginning, they decided only to take in children with no known relatives to care for them.

The home is managed by local staff, including a full-time social worker. Family life includes providing professional care and guidance for physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs. As some of the children placed here are HIV+, caregivers are trained to administer medication, monitor nutrition, and care for individual health needs.

The town of Maai Mahiu lies at the bottom of the beautiful Rift Valley along a major route that connects the coast of Kenya (by the Indian Ocean) with many countries in Eastern and Central Africa. It is approximately an hour and a half northwest of Nairobi. Over time, Maai Mahiu has developed into a popular trading center that is a prominent stopping place for truckers and other weary travelers; the population continues to increase almost daily.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons for the town’s popularity with truckers is the high rate of prostitution. Prostitution, which continues to increase, is the most significant contributor to the high number of orphaned and abandoned children in the area. lt is one of the reasons why moving Valley Light from the center of Maai Mahiu to a much safer location was a crucial objective. They are determined to prevent these children from repeating the cycle of prostitution and poverty that made them orphans in the first place.

update 2023

Valley Light Home now has a US-based nonprofit to help with daily operational needs going forward.  Valley Light Programs (US) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  All operational donations will be processed through them going forward.  They are operating in partnership with John and Leah, and ALL funds through them will be used to fund the operational expenses of VLH.  You can learn more about this organization by clicking the button below.

In the past, Just One Africa has provided emergency operational support while their US board was being set up.  Just One Africa will continue our water filter distributions in partnership with Valley Light Home.  

building project update 2023

The building is finished, and the children are thriving in their new home!  We recently completed our most significant building project which is located a few miles outside of Maai Mahiu, Kenya. This purpose-built home will provide a much more peaceful environment, a space for learning, playing, and building brighter futures!

This new home will provide a safe place where children can grow and thrive.