Mama Jojo has big, bright eyes, an inviting smile, and strong hands that are a testament to the hard-worker that she is.
Several years ago, her husband passed away, leaving her with 4 children to raise. Being a single mother of 4 is exhausting, but when you become a mom, you have no choice but to press on for the sake of your kids.
However, Mama Jojo isn’t just a mother to 4, she’s also a mother to 6 beautiful girls in 1 of our 7 Cherish Homes for children with HIV.
Every other week she’s at Cherish’s Emmanuel House, caring for girls at Cherish Uganda, and every other week she’s home with her two youngest, twin girls who are in the 4th grade.
When asked what she likes about being a house mom, she gave an answer that you'll hear from many of the other Cherish moms, “When I’m feeling bad, feeling depressed, down, discouraged, tired or stressed…they can do something so small that will turn my spirits around. Something so small can make me smile and bring me joy.”
So what else motivates a mother who is a mother by choice? A mother by profession?
Mama Jojo views the roles she was given and the roles she stepped into both as divine dealings from the Creator.
“This is not only our work. This is our mission. These kids need us. God sent us here for a purpose.”
Before time, God knew Mama Jojo would be an extraordinary mom to many. He gave her those inviting eyes, a warm smile, the capacity to love beyond measure, and hands that would grow strong so she could labor in love for those she took in her care.
Instead of viewing her life as disjoint between the two places she calls home, she feels as though her families have merged into one. This mother of 10 says her girls at her Cherish home ask about her biological kids at home, and her kids at home love visiting her Cherish girls.
"The (Emmanuel) girls beg me to call my other children so that they can catch up. We'll gather around the kitchen table, crowding around the phone. We'll talk and we'll laugh."
Mama Jojo’s biological children probably feel like family to far more than just the Emmanuel girls. Her older children volunteer and serve at Cherish whenever we are in need of a helping hand. Our Cherish children love Mama Jojo's kids because their care is genuine and they show up consistently. They are a part of our talent shows, they rally their church groups to have clothes drives for our kids, and their band comes to entertain Cherish children during holidays.
You can see that the Love Mama Jojo knows is a Love that has no boundaries; it's a Love that gives hope, “Outside there, people see these kids (with HIV) as dying tomorrow, but here at Cherish, we see them as doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, whatever they want to be.”
Mama Jojo is an example to our other house moms. She’s an example to us all.