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Diocese of Masasi impresses Canadian government

August 1, 2018

By Janice Biehn

For 20 years The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has partnered with the Diocese of Masasi in Tanzania on several projects. The most recent program is All Mothers and Children Count, which has the goal of improving maternal, newborn and child health. This program is supported by Global Affairs Canada with a 6:1 funding match.

In February, as the program finished its second of four years, PWRDF’s External Funding Program Manager Richard Librock and Development Program Coordinator Jeanine Cudmore travelled with the Rev. Geoffrey Monjesa, Program Coordinator at the Diocese of Masasi, to the Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The purpose was to provide an update on progress achieved to date for the AMCC Project in Tanzania.

PWRDF also shared the results of a needs assessment conducted in July 2017 that looked at what areas were lacking, specifically in the area of adolescent health. The needs assessment illustrated Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights challenges and opportunities in Nanyumbu district in southern Tanzania.

Four Canadian High Commission staff attended the meeting: Minister-Counsellor Development Susan Steffen, Deputy Director Brian Allemekinders (then Counsellor Development-Senior Analyst), Tommie Roberts, First Secretary, Development, Health and Michael Dalali, Senior Development Program Officer-Analyst.

Steffen noted it was rare for the High Commission to receive a person on the front line of development such as Rev. Monjesa. They were impressed at the results achieved to-date in the AMCC Project.

Read more about PWRDF’s work with the Diocese of Masasi, or watch our video.

Rev. Monjesa provided an overview of the relationship between PWRDF and the Diocese of Masasi, including the projects that have been implemented with funding from Global Affairs Canada, before speaking specifically about AMCC. Rev. Monjesa discussed three expected outcomes of the project and highlighted impacts thus far:

  1. Improved delivery of gender-equitable health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five (health service provision)
    • Community health workers and safe motherhood promoters have received training, are improving service delivery and supporting community members especially women, children and infants;
    • Installed solar panels are benefiting the health providers and patients.
  1. Improved utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, and children under five (demand from community members for MNCH, especially women and children)
    • Women of reproductive age and children under five years are receiving required vaccinations, improving health and wellbeing within the communities;
    • Family planning education has encouraged couples to take up modern methods of contraception, and couples and/or women receive counselling when they attend family planning sessions.
  1. Improved access to gender equitable, nutritious foods produced in an environmentally sustainable way for mothers, pregnant women, and children under five (improving family food security and nutrition)
    • Providing families with livestock and training improves their food security, nutrition and overall health;
    • Drilling borehole wells for improved access to clean and safe water, thereby reducing the time and distance it takes to collect water, the incidence of waterborne diseases and improving the quality of life for women and girls.

This visit from PWRDF and the Diocese of Masasi made a positive impression on the staff at the Canadian High Commission. The PWRDF delegation who travelled to Tanzania in May 2017 also visited the Canadian High Commission after they visited the project.

–With files from Jeanine Cudmore