In February 2006, Janine Maxwell and her husband, Ian, founded Heart for Africa, a faith-based humanitarian organization focusing on the areas of Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland.) The Maxwell’s are leading the organization as it develops a 2,500-acre large-scale sustainable farm called Project Canaan in Eswatini. It also is a permanent home for many of the children left as orphans and vulnerable in the wake of the AIDS pandemic. Khutsala Artisans Centre has expanded many times and today is one of the key sources of revenue to support the Project Canaan Children.
Before founding Heart for Africa, the Maxwells founded and operated ONYX Marketing Group, one of the largest marketing agencies in, Canada. Janine started the company when she was 24-years-old and grew it for 16 years, serving clients such as Kellogg Canada, Buena Vista Home Videos (Disney), Kraft, Coca-Cola and the Campbell’s Soup Company. She was with clients on 9/11 and found herself part of the thousands fleeing New York City. This life-changing event sent Janine into a period of deep introspection and a search for the true meaning of life. Her journey took her to Africa where she encountered the AIDS pandemic, hunger and disease. In response to what she had seen in Africa, Janine closed ONYX in May 2004 and made a commitment to serve the orphans of Africa.
Janine authored her first book, It’s Not Okay With Me, detailing her personal journey and depicting the tragedy and heartbreak in Africa, and released her second book, Is It Okay With You? in February 2010. Both serve to inspire and offer hope.
The Maxwells moved permanently to Eswatini to in May 2012 and their children Spencer and Chloe study abroad; Spencer in USA and Chloe in Canada. As of 2019 there are 230+ children who call Project Canaan home.