Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome! Friends of Tanzania: Tanga


The Friends of Tanzania was initiated by the parishes of All Saints Brookline, Grace, North Attleborough, and Trinity Melrose in 2008. 

Support has also come from others in the diocese, and from Episcopalians in the dioceses of Texas and Fort Worth—as well as those of other faiths and no faith.   The group has been in a companion relationships with the parish of St. Alban’s, Mgombezi for five years and is currently developing relationships with two other parishes in Tanga: Holy Cross, Magila and St Francis Xavier, Kizara.  


  Since 2008, members of the group have participated in 5 mission trips to Tanga and raised over $130,000 for projects in Tanga including the building of a health center in the village of Kizara, a remote community in the Usambara mountains; a leprosy care center in Misufini; a home for seniors in Mapinduzi; support for various projects in the parish of St. Alban’s, Mgombezi including support for orphan children; a swing set for the nursery school and six sewing machines for mothers enrolled in a tailoring school at Holy Cross parish in Magila. 


 

Join us in our pilgrimage of faith and solidarity!



The text from these pages was largely written by Colin Johnstone, with photos and blog set up by Sara Irwin

About Tanzania


Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in April, 1964 from the union of two sovereign states – the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar.
Fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found in Tanzania that date back over 2 million years, making the area one of the oldest-known inhabited areas on earth.  Colonized by Germany during World War 1 and later granted to Britan udner the ensuing peace accords, it finally became independent in 1961 (at that time part of the British Commonwealth). According to UNICEF, the life expectancy is 56.  In a country of almost 46 million people there is only one fully qualified doctor per 33,000 people, one assistant medical officer per 31,000 people and 2.4 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people, according to the Touch Foundation and the World Bank.

Holy Cross Magila



Holy Cross has long been an important spiritual center in the Anglican Church of Tanzania. During the tenure of Frank Weston as Bishop of Zanzibar and Tanga (1908-1924), Holy Cross was probably the most important center for Anglicanism in colonial East Africa.  The present Bishop, Maimbo Mndolwa  has produced a vision for the future of his diocese that includes the restoration of Holy Cross as a spiritual, education and retreat center. 

Fr  Joel 
Canon Joel Makame moved to Holy Cross in January 2012 to serve as parish priest and Archdeacon of Magila. He has been charged with leading the restoration and reinvigoration of Holy Cross Parish. Already, Canon Makame has begun to make improvements to parish life by starting a nursery school for parish children (pictured below). He has plans to start a tailoring school for women of the parish. All Saints Parish in Brookline has recently donated $1,000 to assist Canon Makame in implementing these plans. The funds will be used to provide a swing set for the children and 5 sewing machines for the newly established tailoring school.

Canon Makame is well known to us in the Diocese of Massachusetts. Bishop Shaw and brothers from SSJE met Canon Makame in 2006 when they visited the diocese of Tanga and he was priest at the parish of St. Alban’s in Mgombezi.  He has become a good friend of several members of the Friends of Tanzania. During his tenure at St Alban’s, Canon Makame developed and ran a program to support children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and other diseases and other low income/vulnerable children.  Over the past 5 years Canon Makame has fostered and supported 6 children – Yohana, Vincent, George, David, Rogers, Helen and Esther. Episcopalians from this diocese and the Diocese of Texas have provided funds to Canon Makame on a regular basis to pay tuition and other school expenses, general living expenses for him and the children, laptop computers for school, as well as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. 

The generosity of Bishop Shaw and two members of All Saints Parish, Brookline enabled us to sponsor Canon Makame’s visit to London and Massachusetts in September 2011. He was met in London by Dr Colin Johnstone and they spent 5 days visiting religious and historical sites, and later 9 days in Massachusetts. Canon Joel has a calling to the religious life. With the support of his bishop he plans to incorporate a community of men at Magila. Brother Mosuoe from the Society of the Sacred Mission in South Africa is currently spending 3 months at Magila helping Joel develop a Rule of Life and a plan for this proposed new community. The community will be named after Saint Anthony of Padua.
Fr Joel helps Rev. Sara vest for blessing the nursery school


The site for a new library to be constructed


A friend from Massachusetts tries out the swing set after Bishop Mark
Hollingsworth of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio offered a blessing


The Health Center at Kizara








The village of Kizara is located in the Eastern Usambara mountains at the edge of the Nilo Nature Reserve. This reserve was established in 2007 as a haven for almost 800 species of plants (including 8 species of African Violets) and 100 species of birds. This mountainous rain forest has been a traditional source of firewood and food for the local inhabitants and plays a critically important role as a water catchment area. Bishop Weston was a frequent visitor to these mountains and the village of Kizara. Three Kilometers from Kizara village is the site of a Holy Water Point. Local legend has it that water first began to flow from the point after a thirsty bishop (Frank Weston) blessed the area.

The original Kizara clinic, a dispensary, was established over 100 years ago near the site of the Kizara Anglican Mission. It served the area well until 2002 when the villagers realized that they needed a new building to serve the health needs of the growing population of Kizara and surrounding villages and, in view of their remote location, to provide better health care for pregnant women, women in childbirth, children and people with HIV/AIDS. The plan that was developed envisioned a modern village health center with three buildings: a main building housing examination rooms, a surgery, laboratory and pharmacy; a maternity unit to provide prenatal care and a delivery ward; and an in-patient building with wards for women, children and men.

The Anglican Diocese of Tanga provided the land and the government of Japan provided an initial grant of $36,000. In February 2008, following a mission pilgrimage led by brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, members of the mission group, along with others, decided to adopt the Kizara Health Center as a fund-raising project. In 2010 this group founded the Friends of Tanzania that, in turn, adopted the Heatth Center as its primary project going forward. Since March, 2008, almost $96,000 has been raised for construction, equipment and supplies.

Donations have come from a variety of sources including the three founding parishes of the Friends of Tanzania, friends from Texas, Massachusetts Jubilee Ministry, and United Thank Offering of the national Episcopal Church. The UTO and Jubilee grants supported the installation of solar power and water at Kizara while the remaining funds were used to complete the building phase, to buy medical equipment and supplies and to reimburse expenses incurred by our local project manager (Father William Mbuji).


In December, 2012 Bishop Tom Shaw of the Diocese of Massachusetts led a mission pilgrimage to Tanga. One of the highlights of the trip was the blessing and dedication of the Kizara Health Center by Bishops Shaw and Mndolwa on Friday, December 7th. Bishop Shaw preached at a High Mass celebrated by Bishop Mndolwa in Saint Francis Xavier parish church followed by the blessing service and lunch in the parish church. The group returned to Korogwe via the Nilo rain forest conservation area with spectacular views of the plains below as far as the city of Tanga and the Indian Ocean.




Photos: Colin Johnstone, Heidi Marcotte, Sara Irwin

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Anglican Diocese of Tanga


The Anglican Diocese of Tanga
Weston's Grave

Rev. Frank Weston
Missionaries from the Church of England evangelized East Africa beginning in 1848. The most famous of these missionaries was Frank Weston, who arrived in Zanzibar in 1898 and was consecrated Bishop of Zanzibar in 1903. Bishop Weston had a vision of a vigorous African Church with her own theology. He trained African priests, was fluent in Swahili and became renowned as a missionary scholar-bishop, administrator and preacher and was much beloved by the people of his diocese. Bishop Weston died in Hegongo in November, 1924 at the age of 53 and is buried in Holy Cross Church, Magila.

The Diocese of Tanga was formed in 2000 when the mother diocese of Zanzibar (established in 1882) was divided into the Dioceses of Zanzibar and Tanga. The diocese covers an area of approximately 253,110 square kilometers in the northeastern part of Tanzania and includes the Tanga administrative region plus the Same district of the Kilimanjaro region. Diocesan headquarters and the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels are located in Korogwe. The diocese consists of approximately 100,000 people in 61 parishes. These parishes are clustered into 21 deaneries and 5 archdeaconries. The current, and second, bishop of Tanga, the Right Reverend Maimbo W. F. Mndolwa, was elected in September 2011.