Meet the Team

Christina Joy


Christina Joy is the founder and the face of Joy Moja.  She was inspired to start the organization after traveling abroad to Tanzania in 2012.  Christina personally travels to Tanzania to purchase products directly from the markets and artisans and to work directly with the schools and students that are the very heart of Joy Moja.  She has a BA in International Studies from the University of North Florida where she focused her studies on African countries and post-colonial development.  She also has an AS in paralegal studies.  When Christina isn’t working on Joy Moja or traveling to Tanzania, she works as a paralegal and a bartender, and she enjoys spending time with her pets, camping, and empowering people to pursue their dreams.

  • Location: Saint Augustine, Florida

    Gideon Phanuel


    “I know how it feels when you go to school with no food in the stomach, go to school with no desks to sit on, go to school with no pens [and] no books, go to school with no shoes, walk more than ten kilometers to reach the school…”

    As a Tanzanian native, Gideon grew up in the Tanzanian education system. With perseverance and a lot of family support, he was able to complete secondary school – unlike the majority of his peers. Gideon currently resides in Arusha, Tanzania and is the Senior Expedition Leader and Wilderness First Aid Responder for Kilibound Adventures, a company that leads climbing expeditions for Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Gideon met Joy Moja Founder Christina Joy when he led her Kilimanjaro climbing excursion in 2012. Having experienced the pain and struggle that Tanzanian children go through to get an education, Gideon was overjoyed at the opportunity to help Christina Joy establish Joy Moja.

    Since 2012 Gideon has created partnerships with local Tanzanian schools. He has established connections with Tanzanian artisans in order to purchase inventory. He has volunteered as a local guide for Joy Moja founders and volunteers. Most of all he has offered invaluable advice. Gideon sees the lack of education as an endemic due to generations of families who have been unable to give their children educational opportunities due to poverty and are consequently unaware of the impact and importance of an education. In 2015 Gideon became a Joy Moja board member.

    “Together we can help reduce poverty by making children feel like the school is [a] good place for them.” –Gideon Phanuel

    • Location: Arusha, Tanzania

      Patrick Barry


      Patrick Barry was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. He moved to St. Augustine in 2003 where he attended Flagler College.  A traveler at heart, he has since traveled around the United States and took up residence in New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville, where he currently resides. After a serendipitous meeting with Christina Joy, he decided to join her on her return trip to Tanzania, and has proudly continued to work for Joy Moja ever since.


      • Location: Nashville, Tennessee

        Daniel Mowrey


        Daniel has an outstanding legal mind and uses his vast experience to aid JoyMoja in the nonprofit legal realm. He has been a huge help in making sure the legal status of JoyMoja is in good standing and that any legal issues in the future are taken care of ahead of time.

        • Location: Saint Augustine, Florida

          Jeff Strait


          Jeff Strait has over 30 years of experience in many areas of Management Accounting including Retail, Construction, Manufacturing and Tax Preparation.

          He holds a Masters degree in Accounting and Finance and has held positions as Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Treasurer and Controller of several mid-sized companies. His contributions to JoyMoja are invaluable as he volunteers to keep the financial books in order.

          • Location: Saint Augustine, Florida