The Bega Kwa Bega (BKB) Program Coordinator is a long-term (two year)
volunteer position based in Iringa, Tanzania that includes a living
allowance and in-kind support. The position is a shared placement
between the Saint Paul Area Synod (SPAS) and ELCA Global Mission of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Reporting to the Director of Bega Kwa Bega and working in cooperation
with a team of volunteers, the BKB Program Coordinator ensures
year-round representation of SPAS with our companions in the Iringa
Diocese (DIRA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT)
and provides support to the core work of our relationship in four key areas:
ADMINISTRATION - Provide consistent coverage for
BKB-SPAS operations in Iringa including, but not limited to,
banking, financial reporting, and maintaining SPAS assets.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDING - Fully participate in the
life of the Iringa Diocese, building a strong network of
relationships with leaders at their head office and in
congregations. Work with the BKB-DIRA liaison to improve
communication and strengthen relationships between companion
congregations in Iringa and Saint Paul
HOSPITALITY - Host visiting delegations and
providing orientation and training to visiting delegations as
needed. Work in conjunction with BKB travel coordinator, BKB-DIRA
liaison, and vendors, on scheduling visits and related logistics.
PROJECT MONITORING - Work with the director of Bega
Kwa Bega and BKB-DIRA liaison to visit and provide oversight,
documentation, and reports about select companion congregation and
affiliated projects. This includes the BKB scholarship program,
construction projects, and capacity building/training programs.
ABOUT BEGA KWA BEGA
Bega Kwa Bega is the name of the companion synod relationship between
the Iringa Diocese (ELCT) and the Saint Paul Area Synod (ELCA). With a
history that stretches back to the formation of the Iringa Diocese and
organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, this is a
program that unites nearly seventy congregational pairings and
thousands of individuals across cultural and continental lines. It is
also one of the largest and most complex companion synod relationships
in the ELCA, with hundreds of travelers and hundreds of thousands of
dollars flowing between Saint Paul and Iringa. Rooted in the theory
and practice of accompaniment, this is a relationship that is
strengthened and sustained through the shared practices of prayer,
presence, and projects
The Bega Kwa Bega Program Coordinator will serve in the geographic
context of the Iringa Diocese. Living a quarter-mile away from the
Iringa Diocese head office, the coordinator will work in concert with
the 40+ staff members of the head office and gain familiarity with the
educational, medical, and development institutions of the Diocese.
There will be regular opportunities for the coordinator to visit rural
congregations and villages across the Diocese to preach or teach and
to see first-hand the phenomenal growth of the ELCT.
A ten-hour drive inland from Dar es Salaam, the Iringa region is
located in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania — one of the nation’s
agricultural heartlands. The territory of the Diocese stretches from
rolling hills and mountains in the south/east to the rift valley in
the north/west where it runs into Ruaha national park.
The Hehe people are the dominant ethnic group with significant
populations of Maasai, Barabaig, and Bena. Christianity is the
prevalent religion in the Iringa region with strong Catholic,
Lutheran, Anglican, and Pentecostal/Charismatic communities. Followers
of Islam and traditional/indigenous beliefs are also present.
Religious tensions are minimal and most people get along with their
Iringa town itself is located on top of a ridge along the TanZam
highway and is a bustling center of commerce and trade. Built as an
administrative center for German colonial efforts, it is rapidly
becoming a hub of learning with several colleges and universities
opening campuses in town, including the University of Iringa (formerly
Tumaini University). Several non-governmental organizations and
development agencies have also based their operations here. With a
growing community of European and North Americans, Iringa Town also
boasts a variety of Western restaurants and shops for a taste of home.