Leeds/Tanzania Diocesan Link

There has been a link between our Diocese and the three Dioceses in North West Tanzania for almost 32 years. Since 1990, St John’s Rastrick has been linked to a village called Nyakiswa in Mara Diocese. Mara Region is one of the poorest and most under-developed areas in East Africa, with many villages having no electricity or running water. The strength of the Link has been through the development of parish to parish links through prayer, friendship, fellowship and visits by people in both directions.

As part of its annual Missions and Charities giving, St. John’s sends £40 monthly to support the church in Nyakiswa. Much of this money has been spent in building and furnishing a new, much bigger church and putting water harvesting and collection facilities on the church. Recently the vicarage has been extended and refurbished. A water pump has also been provided by the Water for Life project.

There are 3 schools in Nyakiswa – 2 Primary and a Secondary – all of which have been in receipt of donations from Rastrick. These donations have provided mosquito nets, desks, stationery, sports kit and even a generator to support the education of young people.

During a recent visit to Mara Diocese, 2 parishioners from St. John’s were able to see first hand the developments in infrastructure, particularly roads and rubbish disposal.

Various projects were visited including the new Shalom Diocesan Primary School in Bunda, the Bunda Girls Secondary School and Bunda Bible College where clergy training takes place. The Safe House in the Serengeti area of Mara Diocese is protecting and educating girls escaping FGM, and training them to make clothes and other items so that they can earn a living. Issenye Secondary School, a Diocesan boarding school, continues to get excellent exam results with many of its former students having prestigious jobs throughout Tanzania.

For more information contact Oriel Kelly  email: graham.oriel@btinternet.com.