As it celebrates its thirtieth year, our companion Diocese in Tabora is embarking on a campaign to further ensure the future health–quite literally–and flourishing of the Church in the diocese. Bishop Elias is launching a campaign to raise funds in order to provide health insurance at the diocesan level to the fifty clergy and their families who call the Diocese of Tabora home. Startup cost is 12,500,000 Tanzanian shillings, which is roughly $5,500. Once established, the program will cost around $500 a month to maintain.
The Diocese of Tabora lies in a mostly rural area in western Tanzania. Most of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, meaning they grow the food needed to feed themselves and their family with little surplus trade. While some cash crops are being developed, the area remains poor, with difficult harvest conditions due to extreme weather. The parishes within the diocese will be raising funds for their clergy’s healthcare costs, but the economic structure of the area creates a challenge to this effort.
Bishop Martins is inviting our diocese to contribute to this initiative. “I have visited the Diocese of Tabora twice and have seen firsthand the conditions under which their clergy labor. From our comfortable western perspective, we would call it nothing less than heroic. What really excites me about this opportunity is how we are able to leverage a relatively small amount of money into benefits that, in our society, would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Contributions to this effort can be made to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund by mailing checks to 821 S 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62704; simply indicate that it is for the Diocese of Tabora healthcare initiative. Funds will be collected through September 1.