Joy to the world

Last Updated: December 16, 2016 This post was written by Clive Price

For the cost of a cup of coffee, bucketfuls of hope have been poured out for hundreds of children in Kenya – thanks to Joy Murphy’s family. But the road to Africa has been a rocky one for them.

Joy was evacuated to Blackpool during World War II

Joy lives in a Housing Society property at Aylesbury. It’s a big, beautiful bungalow with a generous, landscaped garden. It became home for her and her now late husband in 2011. ‘I just love living here,’ said Joy.

Born in Hull, Joy was evacuated to Blackpool during World War II. She grew up by the Golden Mile from age two. At 17, she went to Manchester to start nursing.

‘My mum – who was a single parent – and my younger brother and sister, emigrated to Australia,’ Joy recalled. ‘I wouldn’t go because I wanted to finish my training.’

She finished her training, was a staff nurse for a year and then went out to Australia. ‘But in the meantime, I’d met Bill,’ Joy remembered.

Bill was training to become a Methodist minister. After Joy’s move to Australia, they communicated by airmail – and one phone call. Finally, they married in England on 14th September 1963.

Joy carried on nursing, part-time. Soon they started a family. Their first home was in Basingstoke, where their first two children were born.

A huge off-road vehicle smashed into their car

Years – and several different church appointments – later, a huge off-road vehicle smashed into their car. Joy had whiplash and bruised ribs, Bill had concussion and rib fractures, but their daughter Corinne suffered a severe head injury.

Recovery was extremely gradual. Corinne never returned to her legal secretary career. ‘She’s very focused,’ said Joy. ‘If she sets her mind to something, that’s what she’s going to do. It was a bit like that with starting the charity.’

Compelled by a ‘vision’ of Kenyan children calling for help, 23-year-old Corinne went to a local bank with just £2.56. She told the bank manager her story. With that modest amount, he opened a charity account for her. That was in 1995.

Today, Karibuni Children raises £200,000 a year to support 14 projects for children in poverty. ‘We didn’t go looking for projects, they came looking for us,’ said Joy. (Read the full article in the Winter 2016 edition of ‘Roof “N” Roots’)