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About us

Children of Hope and Faith


We provide education for needy children and orphans and hope for communities in Tanzania, East Africa. Children may either be fully sponsored or receive a scholarship to attend a Catholic grade school or high school. The students receive everything they need for the academic year, including board - which is particularly beneficial for orphans. The schools teach in English.

Children of Hope and Faith also:

  • supports Angel Home Orphanage in the Catholic Diocese of Rulenge-Ngara
  • helps with special projects

Our start

Children of Hope and Faith began in 2004 in Champaign, Illinois, with the sponsorship of three children at the St. Peter Claver grade school in Tanzania, East Africa. Father Johndamaseni Zilimu, a diocesan priest from Tanzania, and Jane Walsh, a parishioner at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Champaign, Illinois, began to work together with a desire to help orphans.

At the time, Fr. John was studying mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and doing pastoral care work at St. John Catholic Newman Center on campus. Meanwhile, Jane had been sponsoring children for 20 years and felt that God wanted her to do more to help orphans. Before he came to the University to study, Fr. John had brought six orphaned children to live with his father in Tanzania, promising to take care of their education, with faith in God’s Providence.

In November 2005, they met with the Bishop of the Rulenge-Ngara Diocese, Severine Niwemugizi, (Fr. John's Bishop) and established Children of Hope and Faith.

Three years later, Pope Benedict XVI split the Rulenge Diocese in two to form both the Rulenge-Ngara and Kayanga Dioceses. Bishop Almachius Vincent Rweyongeza is the Bishop of the Kayanga Diocese. We now work with both diocesan  offices to coordinate our activities.

Catholic World Mission and St. John Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign both provided invaluable support as we grew and eventually became what we are today, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization.



Today, Children of Hope and Faith sponsors more than 90 children at schools across the area. We provided funding for  construction and continue to support the Angel Home Orphanage, where the Franciscan Sisters of St. Bernadette provide care for up to 60 young children until school age, with the hope of a sponsorship to attend a Catholic grade school. Orphans return home to the orphanage during school vacations.

We have helped St. Peter Claver School purchase a generator to provide electricity during power outages, funded the purchase of dairy  cows to provide a steady source of milk, supported the creation of a kiosk at the school to provide teachers, staff, and members of the local community with a reliable source of basic necessities, and enabled the purchase of two corn husking and grinding mills. We have ambitious plans to provide additional support for a number of projects that will enhance the vitality of the schools and communities that surround them.

Please consider helping us to continue our work by sponsoring a child or supporting one of our special projects. 

Board of Directors and Officers

Fr. Johndamaseni Zilimu
Jane Walsh

Board of Directors:
Tracy Duchinsky
Cindy Flottmann
Janel Telthorst
Jane Walsh

Jane Walsh, President
Tracy Duchinsky, Vice President
Cindy Flottmann, Treasurer
Melissa Edwards, Vice President of Communications
Paula Gottemoller, Vice President of Fundraising
Michael Walsh, Vice President of Administration


Donate Today

Checks may be made payable to Children of Hope and Faith and mailed to 903 Bluegrass Lane, Champaign, IL 61822. Contact us at 217-352-6673 or by e-mail: