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About Dixon-Hightower

Who We Serve

We direct and support humanitarian projects in marginalized communities, improvement in nutrient in intake and education, toward self-sustainability.


The Dixon-Hightower Foundation

began in 1993 with Dr. Joyce Dixon Hightower’s charitable activities and contributions in the East African region. It became a formalized effort in 2001 with a dedication to continue on the path she began in providing public assistance and humanitarian aid. In 2009 she convinced supporters that major resources be focused on a project in DR Congo where the increasing population of street children directly relates to the lack of support for orphans and widows with young children. Through the support of family and friends in 2012, Dr. Hightower created the Dixon-Hightower Foundation (DHF) an organization uniquely focused on the charitable and educational purposes of marginalized people worldwide. An organization developed to specifically center on providing ongoing support for orphans and widows. 

Dr. Hightower, sits listening to a welcome to the complex presentation, given by the school's teachers and students during her 2018 visit to DR Congo .

Where We Carry Out Foundation Efforts

The DHF works by assisting countries at their community level. We assist those in need by working directly with communities and community service advocates. The majority of our work in providing assistance to communities has centered on coordinating the construction of children’s homes, schools, and training centers, as well as their funding and resource operations. In the projects we take on, our efforts incorporate our vision to promote self-sustainable education equality, the inclusion of orphans, girls, and the poor, and job training opportunities for widowed mothers of young children. 

The school was created to educate the young children of the widows who came to training at Muriel's Place. The mother’s receive training towards a profession and their children receive a free education. Other projects were soon completed and opened, specifically Evelyn’s Arms Children's Home, through our sponsorship. New projects are continually being developed within the SRYC, as the needs of orphan residents, students, teachers and staff, and the surrounding community continue to change. 

Dr. Hightower, stands in front of Evelyn's Arms ( Solid Rock Youth Complex's chilildren's home ) surrounded by the Complex's full staff and first and at that time only orphan, they recieved as a baby (2015). 


To provide communities with a self-sustainability to improve their quality of life by: 

  • Assuring capacity building educational institution access for all school aged children. 

  • Assuring widows with young children are trained with skills enabling them to earn an income to be productive responsible members of their communities.

  • Assuring homes for orphaned and abandoned children.


Through collaboration with communities and community organizations we encourage marginalized community members to work for sustainable incomes, access to education for school aged children and systems of support for their poorest members with dignity and hope.

DHF also partners with USA based organizations, to expand our reach. We received support through the North Stockton Rotary Club in Stockton, CA, and others. They collected and shipped by container medical equipment and supplies, for six clinics throughout the DR Congo. The shipped collections also contained youth educational material and material that was shipped to be donated to ten schools and the DR Congo National Library. 

What We Have and Continue to Do

The DHF received in 2009 a donation of several adjacent plots for use of private DR Congo land and began initial activities to develop its first sole sponsored project, the Solid Rock Youth Complex (SRYC).The SRYC was organized and developed to stop DR Congo’s growing population of street children. Working onsite Dr. Hightower personally served as the driving force in each aspect of the SRYC project’s activities. On behalf of our mission she worked to assure SRYC’s future self-sustainability and continual service to its surrounding community.

DHF received official status in 2012 as a USA federal 501(c)(3) California based charitable organization. The Vocational Training Center Muriel's Place became the first complete DHF sponsored SRYC project in 2013 and opened its doors. Following the completion and implementation of Muriel’s Place, we sponsored the development and opening of the Faith Johnson Preschool and Kindergarten.

DHF also partners with USA based organizations, to expand our reach. We received support through the Rotary Club in Stockton, CA, and others. They collected and shipped by container medical equipment and supplies, for six clinics throughout the DR Congo. The shipped collections also contained youth educational material and material that was shipped to be donated to ten schools and the DR Congo National Library. 

What We Plan to Accomplish

The faithful services Dr. Hightower initially began more than 20 years ago making up the mission and vision of the Dixon-Hightower Foundation. From its founding numerous orphans have been housed, reducing the population of street children. We have increased the number of girls and widows being educated and trained from marginalized communities, which also helps to reduce the flow of children populating the streets and overall childhood malnutrition. In addition, the overall education of the poor in the surrounding community has improved as we gradually add advancing grade levels through to 6th grade. This will continue providing education to accommodate 400 students who chose to either advance through the 12th grade or through vocational education.

We plan to continue our work enhancing the ability for community education and training, extending our assistance to new communities in our current countries and to new countries. In continuing to expand as with all of our projects we aim to leave each community with regained hope through our vision and mission.

Dr. Joyce Hightower, Founder of the Dixon-Hightower Foundation

is a US born and trained medical doctor, with over 20 years of experience living and working throughout Africa. She was first introduced to the African continent, when as a university student she participated in an exchange student program to Tunisia and France. While completing her studies, together with other program students she went on numerous adventures, during school holidays. 

These trips included travel throughout Europe,which included a visit to the Berlin Wall, and passing through Checkpoint Charlie, during the Cold War. As students, they were traveling on a low budget, but eager to participate in many once in a lifetime experiences. At times, this put them unknowingly in life threatening situations. It also meant experiencing the true daily lives of people in Europe, beyond tourists; paying for seats in the third-class train car, exhausted from the day’s activities, and finding standing room only. 

Later in the program they continued their exploration southward, and journeyed throughout the African continent. Following graduation, Joyce returned to live in Kenya, where she had been asked to help implement a community run and funded, Harambee, school. Joyce had already been welcomed to become a part of their community, by becoming a daughter in a community leader’s family. Having also felt compelled to develop a project to support orphans, she accepted. 

​Joyce's assistance in implementation and teaching provided surprising national success, which brought to the community recognition from the Kenyan government. With the government's attention, funding and government standard quality teachers were also provided for the community’s school. 


A visit to a Masi Village, in Kenya, the women with children old enough to have been weaned, line up to sing. (1996)


Joyce Hightower, now Dr. Joyce Hightower, stands with her long time friend, Pastor Steve Rutledge, following her UC Davis Medical School Graduation. (1988)

​Unfortunate circumstances required Joyce to return to live in the United States (California). There she continued teaching, until she began medical school, following her acceptance to the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. After graduation and a residency in Family Practice, Dr. Hightower (Joyce) practiced Family Medicine in California for the next 12 years. 

While practicing medicine in California Joyce took the opportunity to give back on an international scale. She began organizing and leading annual medical missions to the community that had welcomed her when she first arrived in Kenya. Every year a small group of medical colleagues and family members journeyed to Kenya. For two weeks, they traveled to various preplanned locations throughout rural Kenya, where they were met by long lines of people of all ages. During daylight hours and sometimes into the night, group members helped in providing free health care to Kenya’s poorest and most marginalized citizens. Based on her experiences she was asked to do a similar mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). 

Joyce believed in the work taking place in DR Congo, to be crucial to the future of the country, and African continent. Following several trips to DR Congo, and observing how she would be able to assist in the work being accomplished, she decided to return to Africa, and live in DR Congo. Before she had made her finale decision, she met the head of the largest African founded Christian church. During their meeting, Joyce’s calling as a teacher and healer within the DR Congo community were confirmed.

Upon her arrival a new chapter in her life began, allowing her to use the knowledge, skills, and abilities she acquired as a teacher and physician in unimagined ways and situations. For the next five years Joyce worked with numerous local nongovernmental organizations, to support the underserved. She completed the institution of Kinshasa’s first Congolese community-based healthcare insurance system. She also taught the importance of using impregnated mosquito netting to protect new babies and young children, through street theater. She worked with organization programs supporting orphans providing food, an education, and subsidizing the ability to live with relatives. She also worked with organizations that ministered to street children by clean clothes, warm meals, and boarding education. Working part-time for the US Embassy and later full-time as the first Hospital Administrator of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital helped supplement the funding of her other projects. 

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