Foto Matteo Perini

Children of the Joyful House

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Joel came to the House and was not alone.

"Hello, my name is Joel. My grandmother says that my mother was beautiful, but I do not know. She also says that her eyes were big and she was young, but I do not even know because she died when I was born. My father and I were left alone, but then he escaped, my grandmother said that the men here are like that, they are the bosses and then they slip away without leaving anything to mothers and children. I do not care what he does, because I only need milk and he does not have any. I’m always very hungry. It is not bad on the floor, but there are mice that always come to my face and then I cry to my grandmother, but sometimes she does not realize because she is tired and sleeps deeply. Then, I cry to wake her up.

Since the mice gnawed my ear, I and my grandmother never stop crying. I try to resist, but I’m always hungry and I can not help myself. My grandmother must have understood it because she strapped me to her back and leads me to an orphanage where she says they can feed me. But they couldn’t. The lady of the veil, as my grandmother called the sister, said there was nothing to eat, not even for those who were already there, so we returned home. I think every day of milk.

I recently went again to the city, two days walk, we came to a lady, my grandmother gave me a kiss and then she was crying. I have not seen her and I miss her a bit. “The Lady is good, but has three other children who are hungry, she wants me to call her mom, when I learn to speak, she is as sweet as my grandmother, but I was expecting more to eat and yet there is nothing, but at least there are not mice.

Today, my new mother took the four of us to a beautiful house, called The Joyful House, filled with children laughing and, in my opinion, they eat every day. While watching the game, has reached another lady who has caught me in his arms and has started to mourn too. When it stopped we were all loaded on a machine with wheels that took us to a place called the clinic. I had a lot of pain with injections I got on my arm, but then I got a lot of milk to eat. I think milk is the best thing in the world.

Meanwhile, the lady has picked up the phone and hear her speaking in a language I do not understand. When he told my mother that a new man named Flavio, who lives far beyond my grandmother, had helped. My mother began to mourn over again. How strange mothers, they cry when they are sad, but I’m happy.
They said we could begin to grow big and strong, Flavio and volunteers would help us.

I have promised to be good, I just want to hear the stories, because I think they are beautiful, almost like milk."


Thanks to our volunteers and the three brothers Joel received emergency medical attention and was welcomed into the family of the Mansion of Happiness. Now we need the support of the once that are far away.

Today not all the children who live in Joy House are aided by remote support. To contribute, make a donation or request information contact us and we will respond.

Our donations are managed by our NPO (non-profit organisation)
INSIEME PER CRESCERE, Via Laderchi, 3 - 48018 Faenza (RA)
If you are interested, you can download the pdf form here: modulo-adozioni-maison-de-la-joie.pdf

Ongoing projects

aiuti e sostegno a donne e bambini

We can divide our projects into two categories: those that are part of the House created to welcome and assist women and children and those involving construction of buildings, wells, windmills and irrigation that occasionally are initiated and implemented.
Speaking of the “priorities” in Africa is almost absurd, but we believe that the only way to accomplish something is to take small steps and never stop. with projects that we know we can start and finish, make promises that we know we can keep, nourish hopes that can become certainties. A well, a mill, the gate for a school that no one cares for.
Because that is how our journey began, one child at a time, one after another, and step by step we are ready to continue without fear of getting lost in the dark.


Medicines for Tanguito hospital and Papegou dispensary

medicine per l’ospedale di Tanguità e per il dispensario di Papegou

We personally deliver medicines collected by our volunteers in Italy to Tanguito hospital in the north of Benin. The hospital’s head physician is Father Fiorenzo who has been working in Benin since 1969. Periodically, since December 2007, we have been delivering medicines and offers to nuns who run the dispensary.


School support in Taneka villages

sostegno scuola dei villaggi Taneka

Taneka villages are located in the mountains of north-east of Benin. The Tangba, that is to say the inhabitants of these villages are considered by traditional culture “magic people” because they lived so far according to ancient rites and traditions.
The state has built a primary school of three classrooms for more than 1,000 children without providing either the teachers or instruments for learning.
The two teachers are held directly by the villagers and the House periodically provides educational material to allow at least a basic literacy of children.
The delivery of the material occurs during responsible tourism’s travels led by Flavio.

Project of vaccination of all children.

We believe all children in the House should be vaccinated at least for the most serious and widespread diseases such as tetanus and yellow fever.
Thanks to the help of some benefactors, during the spring 2010, we succeeded in contacting a paediatrician in Cotonou and we’ve been able to start the first series of vaccinations.

No medical expenses are covered by a public health service in Benin.

Support of the Lokossa orphanage

Lokossa is a small town on the road which from Ouidah leads to Abomey. A city of passage, where tourists usually do not stop, but not for sure the tourists and volunteers of the Maison de la Joie! Here for us and our friends it started a collaboration with the local orphanage.
For those who know some orphanages in Benin, they know what we mean: crumbling premises where dozens of  malnourished and sometimes sick children are precariously kept without hope for the future.
La Maison de la Joie, as well as having received a majority of these children, does its best for sending clothing, medicines and food stocks.
A volunteer of the Maison has taken to heart the situation of Eugenie, a small orphanage guest with serious problems in the limbs. Eugenie, after a first surgical operation, is waiting for the second intervention solver.

The costs are high and those who want to contribute to the support of this micro-project can contact Angela (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )



Support for Afataranga community

Afataranga is a small village in the bush near Djougou (northern Benin), in one of the poorest areas of the country.
Until a few years ago people here did not even have clean water to drink.
Thanks to a responsible tourist and with the support of other Italian associations we were able to finally give them a well with drinking water. Then, in agreement with the community, it followed the gift of a mill for grinding grain.
Last year it was finally given a windmill for processing the precious karaté butter, the true “treasure of Africa”, as well as solidarity.



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