Tanzania Partnership: Companionship with Experts at the Ready

Congregation to congregation companionship has been the core of our synod’s relationship with the parishes of the Iringa Diocese since the turn of the century, with almost 70 congregations like Shepherd of the Valley walking alongside Tanzanian parishes.

In addition to this network of congregational relationships, a number of development groups are also working as part of the Saint Paul Area Synod’s Bega Kwa Bega (BKB) companionship. We call these organizations our Affiliate Partners. Some of them are fully independent nonprofit organizations with their own 501(c)(3) status, while others operate under the umbrella of the synod and the BKB organization. Here are some of our Affiliate Partners:

  • Day of Grace hosts annual wellness retreats for Iringa Diocese pastors, evangelists, and their spouses, providing health screening and teaching wellness and stress management seminars.
  • Friends of Huruma supports the diocese owned orphanage, providing care, support, and educational opportunities for children in the region.
  • Iringa Hope is a microfinance organization dedicated to raising the standard of living in rural Tanzania, loaning small amounts of money to farmers and shopkeepers by way of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and Agriculture Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOs).
  • Millions of Trees is a reforestation organization dedicated to replacing barren hillsides with a renewable resource that, when harvested, will support the economic wellbeing of partners for years to come.
  • Radio Furaha is a self supporting FM station broadcasting round the clock. Owned and operated by the Iringa Diocese and with funding and technical support from US partners, it programs music, education, and evangelism.
  • Saint Paul Partners has installed more than 100 fresh water wells across the Iringa region, improving the health and livelihoods of thousands. With an eye to sustainability, recipients receive training in the fundamentals of sanitation and hygiene.
  • Shoulder to Shoulder supports the development of the Ilula Lutheran Hospital, a nursing school, and rural clinics like the one at Tungamalenga. Working together with local medical teams, they provide continuing medical education for diocese health workers.

While each organization has its own developmental focus, they also provide resources and expertise for congregational partnerships like ours.

Our travel groups have delivered tree seedlings for planting at the dedication of a new chapel, and we’ve contributed initial capital funding for the Tungamalenga SACCOs. Radio Furaha was present and broadcasting from the dedication of the Mpalapande Primary School. Saint Paul Partners provided planning and oversight for water projects at Mpalapande and Ikwavila. Shoulder to Shoulder has advised us on medical equipment and supplies needed at the Tungamalenga Dispensary. Pastor Paulo Massinga attended a Day of Grace retreat a few months after his wife had experienced a difficult birthing. And it has been our joy to deliver food gifts from our partner parishes to the children of Huruma Center each year.

For the resources and expertise of our affiliate partners, we are grateful.

Learn more about our affiliate partners at spas-elca.org/affiliate-central.