The history of Mission Tanzania
The program of Mission Tanzania was started by the Father Jean-Pascal LOMBART, Spiritan missionary. After he completed his training as a spiritan father in Tanzania with the Masaïs in the nineties, he was sent as missionary to Taiwan. From there, he lead groups of Taiwanese students in Tanzania, which resulted in the installation of computers in schools, as well as electrification of bush schools, training of traditional midwives in Masai communities, and construction of a dispensary on Masai territory. Comprised of ‘Taiwan Africa International Service Association’, Taiwanese teams kept on doing their actions in Tanzania after Father Jean-Pascal went back in France, totally independently.
After he came back in Paris in 2014, Jean-Pascal decided to start the same movement with French volunteers within the Association of international volunteering Opération Amos. For the past four years, he has been gathering up and preparing teams of French, to take them in Masai communities so that they can help with disability. As he is now busy in other tasks, such as coordinator of the spiritan gospel study for the young and president of the association Operation Amos, Jean-Pascal left the position of coordinator. Lucie MOISSONNIER, specialized educator and former volunteer with the team 2018, with Father Calvin MASSAWE, Tanzanian spiritan missionary in France at Apprentis d’Auteuil, took over as coordinators of the mission.
- Investigation of christian communities, villages and institutions in the service of disabled people
- Created a parish committee for the disabled, and created a club of students that aims at promoting problems related to the handicap in the area
- Census of 250 disabled people in Masaï areas
- Awareness campaigns with pupils in primary and secondary schools (introduction of ourselves and themselves, meals together, games, common workshops…)
- Funding to finish the construction of a gathering place in the visited Masaï area
- Medical examinations in the visited Masaï area, physiotherapist evaluation and advice for helping children with a motor disability
- Connecting the local dispensary with health and education institutions
- Micro-project of trees planting and cookers with low consumption
- Workshops and games of awareness about handicap and hygiene
- Creation of sponsorships
- Fundings of sanitaries in Engaruka primary school
- Helped looking for a funding for the construction of a dormitory, and obtained a 10,000€ funding from “Kilomètres du Soleil” children
- In the Masai area of Engaruka: Continued medical examinations and diagnosis of disabled people in isolated areas, with Doctor Massawe’s help (paediatrician, well known through all the country). A lot of blindness issues were reported, mostly because of dust, along with foot deformation due to semi-nomadic lifestyle.
Continued the prevention program in schools, religious communities, and at the market (travelling exhibition, conferences, workshops).
Continued the collaboration with clubs of students involved with handicap (workshops, fundings). First aid courses in schools. Creation of a follow-up committee with members of the 4 local institutions / authorities (church, physicians, teachers, village government).
Check-up on the construction of washbasins for the bathrooms in Engaruka primary school and check-up the use of an energy-saving oven.
- In Nainokanoka Masai communities: field survey on the situation of the region and its inhabitants (with interviews with the members of the four previously mentioned institutions) / Creation of a club of students about handicap in Nainokanoka secondary school / Started medical examinations with Dr Massawe to diagnose disabilities of inhabitants (many ears infections due to the humid and cold climate, numerous respiratory problems due to habitations confinement, and epilepsies, disorder extremely present) / Started awareness campaigns in religious communities.
- In Moshi and Arusha regions: visits and interviews with the leaders of specialized institutions. They were working either in professionnalization of disabled people (VTC Imani, VTC USA river, VTC Olkokola), either in rehabilitation, surgery and recovery of mentally or physically disabled people (Plaster House, Huduma Munduli, Sibusiso). Doing so, they welcome Masai people who have been diagnosed a disability, and who are seeking special care.
Spiritans, Congregation of the Holy Spirit, history of the Congregation around the world, in France, their activities in Europe.
The Holy Spirit Congregation was founded in 1703 in Paris, and revitalized in 1848, with its fusion with the Sacred Heart of Mary. The spiritans stand as a missionary congregation especially present in Africa.
However, proclaiming the Gospel implies an important social role today. The spiritans endeavour to raise a great mind-openness, sharing and respect, a fight for justice and against poverty while committing on a local scale to agriculture, education and healthcare. They supplement therefore to certain boundaries of public structures, and mobilise the communities towards a reasonable and sustainable development of the most isolated places in the world.
Missions in Tanzania adhere to these principles of dialogue, meeting the neighbor and carefulness. This is why the project was not meant for exclusively catholic communities or volunteers, but also for persons of any religion or non-religious.