St. Joseph's African Aid (SJAA) is a small charity, founded in 2001 and based in the United Kingdom. Although founded by members of the Congregation of Josephites, a Roman Catholic teaching congregation with its origins in Belgium, and having several Josephites as Trustees, SJAA is completely independent of the congregation and relies on donations from its supporters to fund its projects.
The Trust was founded to offer support to small and manageable projects in Africa, principally in those countries where the Josephites have a presence: DR Congo, Cameroon and Gabon. Inevitably many of the projects which SJAA supports are connected with parishes and schools where Josephites are present; however SJAA is open to supporting other projects where there is a real need. The projects are aimed at the relief of poverty, sickness and distress and the advancement of education.
Our efforts have thus far been concentrated in two areas: the Kasai, a remote and impoverished area of DR Congo with little infrastructure and poor transport links, and the extreme north of Cameroon, another remote area with an impoverished population and which is currently threatened by Boko Haram incursions. Gabon is a more stable country than these two: nevertheless there are considerable needs. We have been able to offer support to educational projects there.
Apart from specific projects, SJAA provides an annual subsidy to supplement the very meagre salaries of teachers in a number of schools in the Kasai and to allocate to each school a subsidy to meet basic running costs.
The following is a link to a podcast from St George's Weybridge containing an interview with Fr Robert Hamilton (previous Chairman and current SJAA Ambassador) about conditions in DR Congo, Cameroon and Gabon