About us!

The Small Things
a nonprofit working to support the children and 
staff of Nkoaranga Orphanage, Tanzania
and its parent hospital

Simoni and Zawadi
Peace with his mohawk and James Bond look!
Vicky, who also has a fantastic scowl when grumpy
Isaac being held by Loveness
Gracie and Eman
A quick refresher on what we do, for those who’ve joined us more recently! 

The Small Things was founded in June, 2011 and since then we have completed several projects aimed to improve, aid and support these beautiful children and the incredible women who care for them…

Project Maji (water)

One of our first projects was installing a well at the orphanage and hospital, since they were without water as much as one day out of three! Since then, we also installed sustainable water filters into the taps in the orphanage kitchen and maternity ward at the hospital, relieving the need to constantly boil water and wait for it to cool.  Clean drinking water is now readily available, meaning the children no longer need to go without when they are thirsty. 

 – Read more about Project Maji here – 

Light Up the Night

The electrical system at the orphanage was old and dangerous – we decided to raise the money rewire the whole orphanage, to prevent a repeat of the short circuit which caused a fire on Valentines Day, 2009, and would have claimed the lives of seven babies had it not been for the heroic efforts of Mama Cantate, one of the women who looks after the children.  In addition, installing solar panels means no more changing nappies by the light of gasoline lamps or candles.

– Read more about Light Up the Night here

Project Education

Nkoaranga Orphanage only cares for children up until the age of 5.  If they did not have the option to attend school, there future would consist of being shuffled from orphanage to orphanage, and at best, becoming house servants.  The chance to attend school and receive an education really will change their lives! Project Education works with a fantastic sponsorship organisation called The Foundation for Tomorrow which facilitates the children to attend a high quality boarding school, as well as receiving medical care, pastoral support and extracurricular activities.  So far we have helped 7 children to start school!

– Read more about Project Education here – 


We have a few different projects that support and enrich our staff. We have directly hired four staff members – Mama Linda, who works with the children, Mama Kevin, a cook, and Mamas Agness and Brenda, who keep the orphanage and grounds clean. We’ve also started paying overtime for extra mamas to come in on the weekends, when there are rarely enough volunteers, and begun a one-to-one care program for premature infants, where an extra mama is hired to work explicitly with a premature infant until they have caught up in weight and health. We additionally provide English courses and run monthly staff-volunteer lunches to encourage communication. We have also provided management training to Mama Pendo, our incredible head mama. We love our staff! 

– Read more about one-to-one care here – 

Community Outreach

It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s the rationale behind this project. In the summer of 2012, we ran a pilot business education and microgrants program, aimed at helping struggling families in the community providing care for orphaned and vulnerable children. All families in this project were living in dire poverty; in many families one parent had passed away, and in several others the family are caring for orphaned children in addition to their own. It was an amazing experience, and we learned a lot, while helping 14 incredible families. We are currently evaluating our options for future years, as to whether we should continue to run this type of project alone, or whether we would do better to team up with organizations that specialize in this type of work. 

– Read more about the program here – 

We hope you have enjoyed reading about who The Small Things are and some of the things that we do (or at least looking at the pictures!) To get involved, click here, and donate, volunteer, or just help spread the word!

Please join (or like!) us on facebook – HERE!

And if you would like to learn more, we would love to hear from you at [email protected] or (firstname)@thesmallthings.org to contact one of us directly.

From all of us at The Small Things…

Thank you!

P.S. Here’s a picture of Vicky wearing that scowl I mentioned earlier!

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