Local mom bringing her children to Africa on humanitarian trip

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Joy Martin: As a teenager, Martin spent 3.5 months crossing the Sahara, where she saw the old slave forts on the West African coast. She camped as she went.

By Brooke Curley


SAFFORD – The tickets have been purchased, the supplies have been bought, and now local mom Joy Martin will be headed to Africa on Jan. 14 – and she’s taking her children with her.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Joy Martin: The Martin family has been collecting funds and supplies since August 2017 for their humanitarian trip to Africa.

Heading out on a medical trip lasting three weeks, Martin’s husband will remain home but her father will be traveling with her. Martin works with Dr. Scott Smith in the Emergency Department in San Carlos and will be accompanying him and several other medical students. Their end destination is a small village on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Upon arrival, Martin, along with the small group of doctors, nurses, and students, as well as her three children, will set up a medical clinic. The entire group is working through an organization called Dreamweaver911.org. Martin gave Gila Valley Central her basic itinerary once their plane touches down.

“Dr. Smith will be picking us up in a land cruiser and we will load it up with our luggage ‘Kenya’ style. We will get to Kimana Kenya, our home base on the 17th and will start our bush medical services on the 18th,” Martin said. “For the next eight days, we will drive out to a new village every day and set up (a) clinic to provide whatever they need.”

In a previous interview, Martin told Gila Valley Central that she had backpacked through Africa as a teen, fell in love with the continent and always wanted to return. However, she also wanted to bring her children. Now, the opportunity has arisen, and she and her family cannot be more excited.

“We are all super excited. It’s been kind of crazy arranging everything while working full time and going to school, so I’m a little nervous that I’ll forget something,” Martin said. “The kids are really excited. My youngest is staying home, so I’ll miss her like crazy.”

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Joy Martin: Joy Martin’s daughter, Paige Martin, holds up one of the multiple soccer balls that will be flown to Africa in the Martin family’s luggage.

While on site, Martin and the group of students, as well as Dr. Smith, will be administering vaccines, performing minor procedures, health screenings, and giving out nutritional supplements.

Since August 2017, Martin has been collecting funds as well as items specifically for the locals of the small villages the group will be visiting. So far, Martin and her family will be bringing two suitcases full of supplies, such as band-aids, gauze, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, crayons, markers, pencils, erasers, clothing, and games.

Although the trip is requiring an immense amount of effort and planning, Martin said it is well worth it.

“I would encourage everyone to do something like this. I think we all need to get out of our bubble and see the world through someone else’s eyes,” Martin said. “It just takes some planning and research.”

With the family’s departure to Africa less than a week away, Martin told Gila Valley Central that she anticipates her return to the land that stole her heart as a teen. Also, Martin said she cannot wait to bring her family to the area and provide medical care to those who need it.

“As funny as it sounds, I feel like I’m going home. Africa stole my heart 20 years ago, and I can’t wait to go back and help a people that have such limited access to medical care,” Martin said. “I’m so excited to share this experience with my children.”


Although Martin has filled her bags and no longer needs anything that she can physically bring to Africa, she would gladly accept the community’s monetary donations to the cause. Anyone interested in donating to help buy supplies, and aid in Martin’s living expenses while in Africa, may do so through the following:
Paypal – paypal.me/joyafton or by phone through Google Wallet – joyafton@gmail.com or 928-322-2589

About Mount Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital

Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital (KMS) will be one of the most modern and fully equipped hospitals in the Kimana Rift Valley.

The Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital will serve patients for 250 square miles and will serve more than half a million people who are in dire need of proper medical care.

Funds are still needed to execute our dream of providing this hospital to the many patients who will benefit.

Your generous contributions are welcome.

Mission Statement

Mount Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital is dedicated to continuing the healing ministry of Christ.

Vision Statement

Mount Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital is committed to:

• Providing quality health care to the community regardless of economic status, tribe, or religion.

• Providing excellent medical care in a safe environment, free of corruption and discrimination.

• Participating in the education of community healthcare workers.

• Expansion of services to meet the medical needs of the growing community.