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Tanzania: Lutheran and Episcopal leaders embrace grassroots organizing.

At the invitation of Anglican Bishop Godfrey Mbelwa, forty clergy and lay leaders gathered for a third training session on community organizing. Participants reported on one to ones they had done and all agreed to go back to local villages to form leadership teams and expand the listening process. A lot of issues raised relate to water, schools, and medical clinics.

A second convening took place in the same region of Tanzania at the invitation of Lutheran Pastor Oscar Samwel, who leads 22 parishes in the northern district of Ngara. Twenty-five clergy and evangelists explored Faith in Action’s organizing approach and how it could help them bring jobs and investment to their region. They agreed to build local teams that include people from multiple faiths. In Western Tanzania, along the border with Rwanda and Burundi, small subsistence farmers have fertile land but lack access to capital, good prices for their crops, and agronomists to improve their productivity. They are also concerned that the Government has given a concession for a huge nickel mine that it will hurt their communities and undermine their farming, and that the benefits of mining will not reach their communities.

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