Diaconia Department

The Diaconia Department is part of Karagwe Diocese, situated in Lukajange. The aim of the department is to serve the neediest people in Karagwe by following the example of Christ. Through local Diaconia Committees in the congregations, the Diaconia Department tries to support and ease the burden for the poorest of the poor. Rev.Enock Thobias is Head of the Department. Pastors, sisters, evangelists and volunteers in the congregations work locally.

History


In 1997 the Diaconia Department was established in corporation with Danmission. The first years the Department tried to take care of the individual beneficiaries’ needs. In 2007 an evaluation was made and it was recommended to delegate the work to the congregations.

If you want to read more about the history of the diaconia work in Karagwe, please download this file:


History of the Diaconia-Department
Karagwe Diocese – History of the Diaconia-Department


Activities


In October 2012 the Department developed a new Strategic Plan which has the following four goals:
1. To improve the KAD internal structure and communication system so that the church members and community may be able to understand and participate in the Diaconia work.
2. To establish cooperation and networking between the KAD Diaconia Department and other stakeholders.
3. To have committed church members doing diaconia in their congregations.
4. To empower and enable the community to utilize the available resources.

Building up a strong local structure


The Department conducts seminars in all parishes where representatives from each congregation are invited. During the seminars, the participants learn about the meaning of Diaconia, how to establish a Diaconia Committee, how to identify the needy, how to help the poorest of the poor and how to report and communicate with the Department,if they are not able to solve all the problems themselves.
The implementation of this goal is encouraging. For example, by the end of June 2013, 87 congregations had participated in the seminars and 29 of them had sent reports to the Department. These 29 Diaconia Committees contributed Tsh. 1,087,200 to support 90 identified beneficiaries.

Training of Trainers


One representative from each parish was invited to a seminar in Kayanga. These representatives are trained to support the local Diaconia Committees in establishing local Diaconia Committees, conducting diaconia seminars locally and supporting the local Diaconia Committees in their work.

Diaconia Days


Two times a year (July and December) the congregations are encouraged to have Diaconia Days. The congregants are invited to contribute some money and materials to support the poorest of the poor. In December 2012, 13 congregations contributed Tsh. 1,897,950/=. 188 beneficiaries were reached with these contributions. In Ngara Mission Area they contributed Tsh. 2,923,400/= in 2012. In July 2013, 64 congregations held a Diaconia Day. They contributed Tsh. 3,592,170/= and 236 beneficiaries got support through these contributions

Teachings


The future evangelists studying at Nkwenda Bible School are taught about Diaconia once every month. These are key persons in matters pertaining to diakonia in the congregations

Networking


19 NGOs and FBOs working to fight poverty in Karagwe have been invited to a Networking Meeting. The Department hopes that the exchange of knowledge and experiences with the other NGOs and FBOs will improve diakonia interventions for the poor. Our aim is to promote corporation among people and organisations working towards helping the poorest of the poor.

Help at the office


At the Department’s office beneficiaries can get a sick sheet, so they can be treated at Nyakahanga Hospital. In the first half of 2013, 59 people got the possibility to go to the hospital.
Furthermore, the Department is supporting beneficiaries with corrugated iron sheets for roofing their houses. In this regard, the congregation is responsible to help the beneficiary to build a house. 8 families or individuals have got iron sheet.

Plans


Following the new Strategic Plan (2012-2015) of the Department, the Diakonia Department has been working in seven of the eight districts of Karagwe Diocese . Therefore the above mentioned activities will be continued and completed in the remaining one district. Furthermore the Department has planned the following activities up till September 2015:
• To evaluate the conducted seminars and trainings.
• To conduct seminars on Income Generating Activities for the active Diaconia Committees in the congregations.
• To continue to build capacities of the trainers from the parishes.
• To continue doing a research on factors that lead to poverty and how to alleviate it.
In the Karagwe Diocese Strategic Plan 2014-2018, the Diaconia Department is responsible for implementing objective 2 in goal no. 2 saying: "Diaconia activities and services improved and delivered."

Challenges


More than 90% of Karagwe’s population depends on agriculture, and about 50% of them live on less than 1 USD a day. This means that more than half of the population in Karagwe only produce for their own subsistence without any surplus. For the poorest of the poor – the old and sick people, the orphans and widows, and other vulnerable families – this means that even their close relatives might not be able to assist them.
There is no social security system for the needy in Tanzania. That is why Diaconia work in congregations is of vital importance. This will be sustainable through the establishment of local Diakonia Committees in the congregations.


Further contact through:


diaconia@kad.or.tz
Rev.Enock Thobias, enctbs@live.com , +255 753 017 933