Tanzania Scholarship Program Progress Report
The academic year in Tanzania begins in the month of January; with it, the revamped Bega Kwa Bega secondary scholarship program is now up and running. Our colleagues in Iringa have been working overtime, meeting with pastors and partnership committee leaders, and entering more than one thousand names into the scholarship database. With biographical data entered and double-checked, we anticipate making the first set of scholarship payments later this week.
All of this information is then sent back to Saint Paul where a handful of volunteers will format it for reports that Cluster Leaders can easily and regularly share with
companion congregations in Saint Paul. We hope to have initial student lists to congregations by the end of February. These certainly are busy and exciting days.
Beyond those procedural details, what excites me the most is the way that these revisions to the program let us live out our core value of empowerment. BKB-DIRA Coordinator, Pastor Msigwa, reports that congregations feel 'encouraged' by the new system because they are given 'greater ownership and responsibility.' Frank Mkocha, the new BKB Scholarship Clerk, is settling into his role and says that he 'appreciates (our) cooperation as we move into this new era.' By shifting some of the programmatic burden to our companions' shoulders, they are finding a greater ability to act, a young leader has found a place to serve, and we are all learning new ways to relate with one another, bega kwa bega. If you ask me, this is what it’s all about.