About Us
The Carpenter’s Kids is an orphan support program operating in the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika (DCT). The Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika is based in the capital city of Dodoma in the central region of Tanzania, East Africa. It has approximately 550,000 members spread across 200 parishes. Since 1989, the Right Reverend Mdimi Mhogolo has been the Presiding Bishop of DCT.

Surveys suggest that there are at least 200 HIV/AIDS Orphans and other vulnerable children in a typical parish in DCT. An HIV/AIDS orphan is defined as a child that has lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Other vulnerable children may have been abandoned by their parents or orphaned due to other illnesses.

It is estimated that that there are 40,000 or more HIV/AIDS Orphans and other vulnerable children within the diocese. This problem extends throughout Tanzania, where the total number of HIV/AIDS orphans is estimated at 1.2 million. Without parental support, these children are unable to afford the uniforms and supplies necessary to attend school. They may be ostracized from their peers and end up on the street.

Mission Statement

Partners engaged in God’s mission; transforming the lives of children, communities and the world.

Vision Statement

To ensure that each child in the program who has been adversely affected by the loss of one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS or other serious illness has access to education.

How We Began

In 2005 Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo visited the Episcopal Diocese of New York where he discussed the plight of orphans and vulnerable children in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika with Bishop Catherine Roskam.  A partnership between the two dioceses was established to provide support for these children, the goal being to establish links for all 200 parishes in DCT. This program became known as The Carpenter’s Kids. The first DCT parish joined the program in May 2006, and the following years brought a steady increase in growth and support. As of September 2011, The Carpenter's Kids program has been implemented in 116 parishes, supporting a total of 6,625 children.                                          

What We Are 

The Carpenter’s Kids is a partnership program which links parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika with supporting parishes or organizations in the United States and around the world. Carpenter’s Kids are HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children who are selected after interviews and screening by both a Carpenter’s Kids Screening Committee and by appointed DCT parish committees. The goal of the program is to support 50 children in each of 200 parishes by the end of 2011.                                           

What We Do 

The program ensures that each child in the program who has been adversely affected by the loss of one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS or other serious illness has access to education. Each Carpenter’s Kid receives a school uniform, a pair of shoes, and school supplies each year. The children are also given breakfast on school days.

Thanks to outside donations, each child is also provided with two mosquito nets for their family. Outside funding also provides access to emergency healthcare and the opportunity for secondary education or vocational training.                                                               

Each parish or organization that chooses to support a link parish in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika makes a commitment to do so for five years. Through this support, at least 50 Carpenter’s Kids in each parish are given the opportunity to attend primary school. Supporting parishes and organizations may choose to sponsor a DCT parish on their own or join with others to share the commitment.

What Does It Cost? 

$80 per child per year provides each child with:    

- a school uniform                                                 

- a pair of shoes 

- socks & soap                                                               

- school supplies                                                   

- breakfast each school day

- access to the program’s urgent healthcare fund

$65 goes directly to the care of the children, while the remaining $15 is used to cover distribution and transportation expenses.

Our Goals

1. To provide 7,000 Carpenter’s Kids with access to primary education at $65 per child per year, plus operational costs, by the end of 2011.

2. To commit to support each Carpenter’s Kid who gains entrance to secondary school or vocational training. Outside funding currently makes this possible, and in 2011 The Carpenter’s Kids had 611 children enrolled in secondary and 141 vocational training schools.

3. To implement Carpenter’s Kids Saturday Clubs that provide organized games, love, and support in every parish by December 2012.

4. To provide two mosquito nets to each Carpenter’s Kid, and to develop a healthcare package by December 2011. Mosquito nets and emergency healthcare are currently provided for each child thanks to outside funding. It is hoped that a formal healthcare plan will be developed in the near future.

Number of Implemented Parishes by Year

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Number of Carpenter’s Kids by Year

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Communication

The Carpenter’s Kids program aims to foster the development of a special relationship between DCT parishes and their supporters. To aid in this endeavor, the program utilizes a forum-based website, VBulletin (www.thecarpenterskids.org). At least one communication coordinator is selected from each DCT parish to send messages to their link through the website. Though the condition of the roads often makes transport difficult, the communication coordinators attempt to travel to the Dodoma office about once per month to send messages. Many of these volunteers have never before used a computer, so they must undergo detailed training before communication is possible. Each DCT and supporting parish or organization has their own forum through which they can exchange messages. This communication allows for the development of a special cross-cultural relationship and is a vital part of The Carpenter’s Kids partnership.

News and stories about The Carpenter’s Kids are made available through the publication of monthly, quarterly, and annual newsletters and reports. These are posted on our website and keep our supporters informed about current and upcoming events within the program.

In addition to our newsletters, each of our supporters is also provided with periodic information specific to their link parish. Following the first distribution of uniforms, school materials, shoes, and mosquito nets, the supporting parish or organization is sent a Welcome Pack. This document includes general information about the program, information about their link parish, and instructions to use our forum website. The supporters are also provided with a photo journal which includes pictures of their Kids at the first distribution. After six months, an update of the parish’s progress will be provided. These updates and reviews continue subsequently on a yearly basis.

Some of our link parishes’ supporters have taken the opportunity to travel to Dodoma to visit their Carpenter’s Kids. These trips inevitably turned out to be a remarkable experience for everyone involved, and our visitors usually leave feeling transformed by their visit. DCT parishes are always excited to welcome their friends, and these visits are a wonderful way to foster the development of a partnership based on grace, hope, and love.