Susan Carpenter

Year Joined MKLM: 2014
Country: Tanzania
City: Mwanza
Focus: Education and Pastoral ministries
Ministry: Susana is the director and lead teacher of the Shaloom Kindergarten in Mwanza, Tanzania.


Susan (or Susana) was a primary grades teacher in her hometown of San Francisco for 20 years. She taught mostly in Catholic schools which served low income and immigrant African-American, Asian-American and Latino families. She enjoyed creating a Christian community spirit within her classroom, and offered many opportunities for creative leaning and service. She sought opportunities to introduce enrichment programs into the schools where she taught, and enjoyed serving as religious education director.

Susan received an M.A. In theology shortly after her university education in Humanities, and enjoyed a variety of volunteer experiences throughout her life. She was a founding member of a lay community, and worked with several Sisters’ communities as well. She participated in ministry experiences in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nepal.

Susana was grateful also for seven years of experience in seminary education. Her work included serving as Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Her responsibilities were varied and interesting; writing was always an important component, as well as working to foster growth and creativity in the program.


Susana is the director and lead teacher of Shalom Kindergarten within the Shalom Care Center, which is a Roman Catholic ministry of the Archdiocese of Mwanza, Tanzania.

The goal of the Shalom Kindergarten is to provide a loving environment and strong academic and creative learning program for children from impoverished families in Mwanza. Due to severe poverty, these children might not otherwise have an opportunity to attend school. Many are referred by the Counselors of the Shalom Care Center.

The Shalom Kindergarten is now a two-year program comprised of two groups of children. The total number of students is 18. Given small group learning and individual care, the children grow and thrive. Almost always, they then succeed well in their school life to follow. Susana employs two Tanzanian women to work with her as a team: one as a Teacher’s Aide, and the other as Cook/Janitor. Susana and her team also work closely with the parents of the kindergarten children.