Is It Okay With You?

Janine Maxwell has returned with a second acclaimed book, Is It Okay with You?, which candidly describes true humanitarian experiences in Africa and emotional stories of children that Janine has personally helped through her work with the non-profit organization Heart for Africa.

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Her new book takes up where her first book It’s Not Okay With Me left off. The popular book was endorsed by President Bill Clinton in his book Giving, and provided a heartbreaking glimpse of the lives of African children. Is It Okay with You? is raw in style and truth, and delves deeper into the disturbing realities of the AIDS pandemic which continues to leave millions of orphans in its wake. Through heartfelt personal stories, the severity of the issue becomes real.

In the book we are introduced to, and grow to love, 14-year-old Sabina, a girl with a passion for soccer, family and education. The life she knew was suddenly and violently torn apart when a gang brutally raped her after killing her neighbors, leaving her to die. We learn of her strength and resolve to endure and make a better life for herself and her son, a son that was the result of the gang rape. Through her own determination and a providential meeting with Janine Maxwell, she and her son are now thriving at the Tumaini Children’s Home in Kenya, a Heart for Africa supported children’s home.

“After chronicling her own call to action in It’s Not Okay With Me, Janine Maxwell turns the question to us. Is It Okay With You? forces us to ask ourselves: do we each have a responsibility to act upon vast inequality and suffering? In this interdependent world, where our fates are inextricably bound together, we can’t afford to say no,” said President Bill Clinton. “It shouldn’t be okay with us, because we all have the ability to make a remarkable difference in the future of humanity.”

On her first trip to Zambia, Janine was exposed to unspeakable tragedy: helpless, orphaned youth—hungry, naked, raped and beaten by other orphans barely older than themselves.

The numbers are astounding:

  • Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
  • Every three seconds a child dies of hunger or malnutrition
  • Seventy-five percent of African girls, ages 15-24, don’t know AIDS is sexually transmitted
  • It is expected that more than 18 million children will be orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Africa by 2010

“While it is hard to read about children living in abject poverty and abuse,” explains Maxwell, “I’d like to challenge readers to not wallow in the sadness and apathy, but rather to be moved to action and do something to evoke change and in the end, make someone’s life better.”

Janine Maxwell is the founder of Heart for Africa, a non-profit organization aimed at providing self-sustainable homes for orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. They have taken more than 4,500 people on service trips to Kenya and Swaziland.

Heart for Africa has also purchased a 2,500-acre tract of land in Swaziland called Project Canaan, which will be home to a very large farm providing food and income necessary to sustain partner homes and bring in orphans who have no one to care for them. The HIV/AIDS rate in Swaziland is 42.6%, leaving 200,000 orphans on land the size of New Jersey with 8,000 new Swazi children becoming orphaned each month. Maxwell’s book brings hope and solutions to their plight.

“Janine’s book speaks to your inner you. If you have been cold towards the plight of children, this book should make you hot, you can’t be lukewarm, and if you can’t jump to any action, then you are in a bad state of denial to reality,” said the Deputy Prime Minister, The Kingdom of Swaziland.

Janine found her way to Africa through an unlikely route: the terrorist attacks of 9/11, subsequent depression, and an old friend. But it was there, in the streets of Zambia, that she discovered her purpose and a greater meaning for her life. Janine transitioned from a grand existence as a successful businesswoman running the largest marketing agency in Canada and “having it all” she says—to asking herself, “What am I doing here?”

Is It Okay With You? will be available for purchase at www.amazon.com or www.isitokaywithyou.com.

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