Community Improvement, Capacity Building

The Small Things

  • East Haven, CT
  • www.thesmallthings.org

Mission Statement

The mission of The Small Things, is to provide comprehensive assistance for orphaned or vulnerable children, and their families, in Nkoaranga Orphanage and Hospital/Usa River, Tanzania, not only in moments of crisis, but with thoughtful and long-term plans. Working with the local community, we aim to educate and assist our clients, primarily women and children, in becoming contributing, healthy, active citizens impacting their country and our world.

Main Programs

  1. Nkoaranga Orphanage
  2. Happy Family Children's Village
  3. Outreach - Family Support
  4. Outreach - No More Orphans

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Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We are a nonprofit providing support, education, and care for the incredible children, staff and volunteers of Nkoaranga Orphanage, Tanzania, through direct project support as well as investments in the infrastructure of the orphanage and its parent hospital.

ruling year

2012

Executive Director

Self-reported

Rebecca Ross Russell

Board Chair

Self-reported

Kristina Alexander

Keywords

Self-reported

Tanzania, Nkoaranga, Orphanage, Orphaned and vulnerable children, OVCs,

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EIN

45-2466306

 Number

6829726148

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (R12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

We have already created a:
Well for the orphanage and hospital
Water filtration system
Solar lighting for the orphanage and maternity ward
New dryer
Rewired the orphanage after a fire
Chicken coop and garden
Re-built the playground
Sent head mama to a management training program
Hired one new mama and a cook
One-to-one care program for premature babies
Seven children sponsored to start school at USA River Academy with The Foundation for Tomorrow
Formula for infants up to six months 
Vitamin regimens for all the children.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Nkoaranga Orphanage

Since 2012, we have run the orphanage’s volunteer system, implementing a shift system, background checks, a formal application process, an orientation and Swahili classes, and shifted housing to an off-property volunteer compound. We supplement the mama’s salaries through an overtime system, directly employ several staff at the orphanage, including a dedicated cook and cleaner, and hire extra mamas for one-to-one care when children are ill. We have also completed numerous infrastructure projects, including a clean water system, rewiring the orphanage after a fire several years ago, and installing solar lighting in the orphanage and maternity ward.

Nkoaranga can house up to 30 children and consists of three children’s dormitories, ; a babies’ dormitory, a hallway with several shelves of shared clothing (nothing is individually owned), a changing area, kitchen, bathroom, washing room, and the central room that serves as the classroom, feeding center, playroom and everything else. There is also a small office for the staff where documents, journals and spare clothes etc. are kept. There is a small freestanding one-room schoolhouse for the older children.

New babies come in frequently, often directly from the hospital where their mothers have passed away, and on occasion brought in by extended family that have taken care of them for a few weeks or months but have reached their limits in different ways. There are also cases where the mothers are mentally ill and either very seriously ill or unable to receive the type of treatment that would allow them to care for their children. Occasionally we are also asked to take in older children, who have either aged out of other nearby orphanages or whose relatives have passed away or become incapacitated at an older age.

Nkoaranga Orphanage runs through the constant work of between two and four mamas at any given time. Martha Ayo, known as Mama Pendo, who has been running the orphanage for almost 25 years, is the head mama and the heart and soul of the place. All the mamas’ attention is generally consumed by the incredible amount of work it takes to do the laundry, the cooking, changing diapers, washing and cleaning, etc – and their ability to interact with the kids is consequently often limited. For social and emotional interaction, it makes a huge difference to have volunteers available. Volunteers ease the burden on the mamas’ day-to-day chores and free them up to spend quality time with the kids.

The true difference at Nkoaranga Orphanage is love – between the staff, children, and volunteers. These kids have been through a lot, but at heart they are happy, healthy, mischievous, sassy, silly, wonderful children – just like your family. Please help us give them the opportunities and care that they so richly deserve!

Category

International Children's Relief

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

None

Budget

Program 2

Happy Family Children's Village

The Small Things is delighted to announce a partnership with the Visram family to construct Phase One of our children’s village! The first phase of construction will be underwritten by a major grant from Shazi Visram and her family, as well as from her New York City-based company, Happy Family Brands. The village will be named in honor of Shazi’s father, Amir Visram, a Tanzanian native who brought his family to America for a chance at a better life, in memory of his dedication to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Tanzania. Thanks to their incredible vision and kindness, we will soon be able to begin work on HFCV. Now, the children leaving Nkoaranga Orphanage will soon have a permanent home. Family is what we are all about – keeping biological ones together when possible, and creating the closest substitute we can, when it's not. We are thrilled that the Nkoaranga family is expanding!

The HFCV project aims to provide a safe, nurturing environment for orphaned and vulnerable children as they age out of local orphanages. More details to come as plans develop!

Category

International Children's Relief

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Outreach - Family Support

Our outreach program aims to keep children in families or reunite them with relatives whenever possible. Over time this will comprise a day care center, preschool, income-generating projects, and in-home support. We currently support several outreach families through our program, and in extenuating circumstances, provide outreach services to young adults in need.

Category

Family Preservation

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Outreach - No More Orphans

No More Orphans is an outreach program aimed at reducing maternal mortality in Tanzania in partnership with Nkoaranga Hospital.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We are a nonprofit providing support, education, and care for the incredible children, staff and volunteers of Nkoaranga Orphanage, Tanzania, through direct project support as well as investments in the infrastructure of the orphanage and its parent hospital.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Small Things

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Rebecca Ross Russell

Board Chair

Kristina Alexander

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Kristina Alexander

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?