A CYNESA Tanzania team visited the Archdiocese of Songea, located in the Ruvuma region, southwestern part of Tanzania. CYNESA Tanzania primarily has its presence in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, and the visit to Songea provided the opportunity for the chapter to spread her wings to the south of the country. Songea city is also of great historical significance, as it draws its name from a great warrior of the Ngoni nation, who participated in the African resistance, during the Maji Maji rebellion in what was then German East Africa, between 1905 and 1907.
The CYNESA Tanzania team members, Ms. Yasinta Wandiba and Mr. Claude Achiula, were joined by the Executive Director for the 16-hour bus trip to Songea, where they were received and hosted by the Capuchins at Ruhuwiko parish, led by Fr. Stan Njiku. The trio were later joined by Ms. Lilian Samson, a CYNESA Tanzania member who is herself from Songea.
While the team’s 3-day itinerary was a busy one, it was also exciting. It included a meeting with the Archbishop’s secretary, who welcomed CYNESA Tanzania’s presence in the region, and a two-hour workshop with the students of local Catholic college, focusing on the role of young people in environmental conservation. Ruvuma regions forms part of the southern highlands in Tanzania, and generally enjoys a good climate and is considered the nation’s breadbasket. Participants, however, were quick to note that they too were experiencing changes, such as the drying up of rivers and reduced rainfall as compared to previous years. Similar sentiments were expressed when the CYNESA team met the youth leaders of the Archdiocese of Songea, accompanied by the youth chaplain, as they reflected on the main themes that Pope Francis presents in the encyclical Laudato Si’. The leaders pledged to prepare a Laudato Si’ outreach program, that would target young people in parishes all across the Archdiocese, in their bid to engage them in CYNESA Tanzania activities.
With very limited resources, but with great passion and zeal, CYNESA Tanzania continues to extend her horizons and mission, in a country that is vats boasting about 34 dioceses, spread out in over 886,000 square kilometres. Let us pray for their important mission!
Founder & Executive Director, CYNESA.