Our Founder


“All the children are the children of all,
Remember the children, they belong to all of us.”


Author unknown
Our Founder, Joanne Baker (seen above), was born in Durban, South Africa in 1952. “I struggled with the politics of apartheid all the years I was growing up, eventually expatriating to the US at the age of 21. I trained as a nurse in South Africa and practiced nursing in the United States until my retirement.”


During a visit to her homeland in 2001, Joanne found that it was ground zero for the AIDS epidemic. After visiting townships and clinics, and having conversations with the medical community and existing help groups, the severity of the situation became dramatically apparent. One in four people were infected with AIDS, leaving thousands upon thousands of children orphaned and abandoned. “I returned from that trip vowing to do something to help. I used my 50th birthday party as the first fundraiser and, through that, friends stepped forward to help form a non-profit. TIAS ARMS was born.”


TIAS ARMS has lovingly grown with the dedication of an all-volunteer Board. TIAS ARMS has raised more than one million dollars to ensure that vulnerable children living in the impoverished areas of South Africa have food, shelter, education, and access to healthcare through our grassroots partners. As Joanne says, “it’s for the the children.”
Our Mission


TIAS ARMS is a non-profit, non-denominational organization that believes in providing a dignified, nurturing, and compassionate environment for orphaned or abandoned children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.