The Socio-Economic ContextThe Diocese is located in an area that is a national hotspot, with enormous spiritual, socio-political and socio-economic challenges. Though there are only a handful of Christians in Tarime, yet one of the opportunities for mission is the wider population itself, as well as the climate of the place. A good number of people are hard-working retailers and small-scale farmers who keep cattle and grow a variety of crops and vegetables. Some of these crops include banana, maize (corn), round and sweet potatoes, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, carrot, avocado, among others. Small scale farming is possible because Tarime enjoys good rain and the soil is fertile. The harvest is twice a year. The landscape of Tarime is attractive too, divided largely between the highland and lowland areas. Mission and Development PrioritiesOur main work in the past year or so was to establish the basic administrative and financial structures. We have also set our mission priorities for three 3 years until Dec 2013. This process was participatory and involved the main key stakeholders in the Diocese including parish priests and vestry members (church elders) of each parish, and youth and women's organizations.We want to engage in programs that will assist the communities to experience the love of God through the ministry of the Word, discipleship, and community development programs. Some of the key community program areas include health, education, food security, sustainability and economic empowerment of communities esp. the poor women and young people. Our main mission and development priorities and challenges are: Evangelism and Discipleship, Strengthening the Ministry; Resource Mobilization; and Community Development. We are already addressing or planning to address certain aspects of these priorities. The following details show our plans and strategies for each of the above priorities.A. Evangelism and Discipleship1. Tarime has a population of over 360,000 of which only 10% or less are Christians.
Plan:(i) start empowerment and discipleship programs for members of our congregations, and enable them to share the Good News. (ii) plant new churches;(iii) support catechists who look after the newly planted churches.2. Many children in Tarime are growing up within families and communities that have no access to the love of God, do not have love for the neighbours – the neighbour being the person next door, members of a neighbouring clan or the person affiliated to a different political party. Plan: (i) strengthen child ministry in each parish by increasing mid-week activities for children. (ii) construct kindergarten/nursery classrooms in every village where there is a parish.(iii) provide pre-school education with Christian values. 3. Young people in Church have the potential to become a bridge that connects the Church with many young unbelievers in the villages. It is essential to build the bridges. Plan:(i) start regular youth events involving two or three parishes that form an ecclesiastical district (deanery).(ii) strengthen youth choirs by helping them to acquire basic music instruments such as keyboard, amplifier, and loudspeakers. (iii) provide soccer balls to each parish for soccer evangelism.B. Strengthening the Ministry1. Over half of the clergy have only acquired basic two-three week training for the catechists prior to ordination. Some catechists have not attended any Bible course.Plan:(i) provide semi-residential and extension theological education for existing and new catechists. (ii) offer refresher courses for the clergy through extension theological programs and short semi-residential programs.(iii) provide residential theological education for some of the clergy who received Bible training for catechists prior to their ordination. 2. Many parishes are without permanent places of worship, and clergy houses (bungalows). A church building attracts attention and enhances the visibility of the Church in the village. It is a community centre for village meetings and gatherings. Rain water harvested through the roof is a source of clean drinking water for the surrounding communities. Plan: (i) start diocese-parish partnership schemes.(ii) encourage each parish to erect the wall for their church building and the pastor’s house. (iii) raise money locally (within the Diocese and elsewhere in Tanzania) as well as overseas for the roofing material (corrugated iron sheets, timber, and nails). C. Resource Mobilization1. The Diocese has young Christians with very limited ability to fund mission in the diocese. Sunday collections in most of the parishes range between $2-5. Many clergy are without stipend, or get $3-4 a month. Resource mobilization is therefore one of the priorities in our work. Plan: (i) encourage congregations to increase their regular giving, tithing, and improve harvest thanksgiving. (ii) each parish church to have a small income generating project such as growing banana and vegetables.(iii) start small and medium size investment projects to help the diocese become financially sustainable.2. Being only a year or so old, the Diocese has no direct support staff for Bishop’s office. Also due to the lack of adequate resources the Diocese is yet to afford the cost of hiring full time staff for the diocesan development office to engage in rigorous community development programs at diocesan level. This may be the case until December 2011, or a little beyond. Plan:(i) hire competent staff to support the Bishop’s office especially in the areas of administration and communication.(ii) hire competent staff with relevant expertise in development work to design and run health, education and other community development programs.C. Community Development1. Tarime has gold. Indeed one of the largest gold mines in Tanzania, operated by the African Barrick Gold (ABG) is located in Tarime. ABG is a company created by Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation – the world’s largest gold producer – to manage the gold mines that it previously held in Africa. The world is in Tarime, but with huge challenges and negative consequences! The land has been taken away from the rural communities that are deeply unhappy with the compensation scheme used. There are frequent clashes between the security organs and many unemployed young people who live in the villages surrounding the mining area. The police often use live bullets to shoot and kill. Tanzanian and Canadian media often cover the dramatic stories from Tarime. In the recent past months, The Globe and Mail (a Canadian national newspaper) and the Toronto Star have reported the incidents at the gold mine. Occasionally the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) gives special reports on the operations of the Canadian mining companies overseas and how that affects Canada’s reputation abroad. Positive steps need to be taken quickly to avert further tragedies and damage to Barrick’s image. Plan(i) create alternative economic opportunities for young people.(ii) diversify the local economic activities for the local people in the area. NB: The Diocese is currently implementing food security and income generating projects in the villages surrounding the gold mine. Over 2500 people benefit under the program. (iii) provide vocational education where practical skills can be taught with a view to enabling the youth to find jobs or become self-employed as carpenters, automobile mechanics, hairdressers, tailors, electricians, etc. (iv) engage in constructive relationship and responsibility programs. 2. The convergence of so many people in the villages and trade centres surrounding the mining area poses risks that are hard to ignore. The obvious one is spread of HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases due to rape, commercial sex, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse, especially the use unsafe needles and syringes, among other causes.Plan: (i) start HIV/Aids prevention education programs at community level. (ii) start anti-stigma programs in the church and society.(iii) establish and run HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centres (VCTs).(iv) start women empowerment programs through microfinance.
3. Tarime is one of the few places in Tanzania where large scale female genital mutilation occurs once every two years. For girls, finishing school at an early age and having nothing to do leads to early marriages. Women’s rights are abused. Plan: (i) start health education and awareness program in elementary & secondary schools.(ii) start sensitization and prevention programs focusing on the rights of young girls and women. (iii) construct a boarding secondary/high school especially for girls so that they can spend more time at school and avoid early marriages that often follow soon after circumcision. 4. Tarime is one of the opposition strongholds. It has an acute and highly sensitized young electorate. There is often the tendency for the young people to be stereotyped as ‘unruly’ and be neglected after the general election. Plan: (i) start regular civic education programs to reduce and eliminate tensions during and after general or civic elections.(ii) start advocacy programs that will empower the voters to know their rights and hold the local politicians accountable. 5. Tarime experiences occasional land disputes and frequent cattle theft especially around the border areas, resulting in the loss of peace and lives. Plan: (i) start peace-building programs in the schools. (ii) start community peace-building programs and work with traditional leaders to seek long term solutions.
Address: PO Box 410 , Tarime , TanzaniaOffice / FAX: +255 (0)28 2690 153Contact us via e-mail