Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Young People in Tanzania Make a Difference in Their Community

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Fr. Fidelis Damana, a Missionary of Africa priest who is living and working in the city of Mbeya in southwest Tanzania. There, he is working with young people — mostly college-age students — in an effort to guide them into living as adults who will be more sensitive to the needs of those who are poor and suffering. In doing this, Fr. Fidelis is hopeful that these young people will begin to see that in caring for one another, human beings are making the world a better place for all.


“Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.”

Proverbs 22:6-7

Students attending a faith formation class.

As we continue to celebrate the season of Easter, I want to take time to thank you for all that you continue to do for the Missionaries of Africa as well as for the men, women, and children we serve throughout the African continent. Your kindness and generosity make it possible for us to provide food, clothing, shelter, clean water, education, and pastoral care as well as medicine and medical care. Each year, your generosity helps improve the lives of tens of thousands of poor and needy families. For this, we cannot thank you enough!

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Fr. Fidelis Damana, a Missionary of Africa priest who is living and working in the city of Mbeya in southwest Tanzania. There, he is working with young people — mostly college-age students — in an effort to guide them into living as adults who will be more sensitive to the needs of those who are poor and suffering. In doing this, Fr. Fidelis is hopeful that these young people will begin to see that in caring for one another, human beings are making the world a better place for all.

Youth choir performance

“We created a program to help young people begin to be aware of the needs of those around them,” Fr. Fidelis writes. “We especially want them to see those most marginalized in our society.”

“We are trying to get them to understand the need for — as St. Paul writes — a “preferential option for the poor.” In other words, those who are poor and on the fringe of society often need our help and care more so than others might. In making the care of the poor a priority in our lives and in our communities, we ultimately become better human beings ourselves and make our world a better place.”

This is no small task,” Fr. Fidelis continues. “While many parts of Africa are modernizing and changing technologically, just like the rest of the world, there is a need for young people to grow in human and psychological maturity and to become good leaders in their communities. We are trying to teach them the Gospel values of championing human rights and caring for the sick and needy.”

Fr. Fidelis, M.Afr., enjoying free time with a youth group.

“Many of the young people who are now involved in this movement often do not have a background of understanding that we are all called to care for one another — not just ourselves. So as incredible as it may seem, it will take months of study and practical work to train them in the work of caring for the less fortunate. To do this, we need financial support — for Bibles, writing materials, meals during training, and transportation. I am praying that you can help us!

In reading Fr. Fidelis’ letter, I realize how universal his message is — and how each of us can do something to help make the world a better place. In our own community, we can take donations of canned goods and non-perishables to our local food pantry. We can also offer to help with the transportation needs of those who have medical appointments but may be unable to drive themselves. Every seemingly little thing we do changes the bigger picture!

I am also hoping that you will help Fr. Fidelis in his work of teaching young people how to best improve their own communities and to be sensitive to the needs of the poor. While I hope that we can raise at least $32,700 for this and other projects for the poor in East Africa, please know that every donation you send helps our Missionaries and those we serve in some way. For all that you continue to do, thank you!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development