Bega Kwa Bega Program Coordinator - Tanzania

    • Job Tracking ID: 512830-718460
    • Job Location: Iringa, TZA
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: January 10, 2020
    • Years of Experience: Any
    • Starting Date: July 13, 2020
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Job Description:


  • Iringa, Tanzania

Assignment Includes: 

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.

Site Information:


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 neighbors harmoniously.

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.

Experience and Skills:

This position is designed as an entry-level volunteer position for globally aware, mission-minded individuals (or couples) interested in having a hands-on, immersive experience in a cross-cultural and cross-continental ministry setting. As such, it is open to a wide variety of candidates at different life stages. Successful candidates will have:

  • Demonstrated experience abroad (required)
  • College education or equivalent life experience (related field preferred)
  • Familiarity with ELCA, ELCT and the BKB/DIRA companion synod relationship (preferred)
  • Understanding of the theory and practice of accompaniment
  • Attention to detail and proven administrative, banking, and record keeping skills
  • Ability to drive a manual transmission, 4-wheel drive SUV in challenging conditions
  • Willingness to learn conversational Swahili
  • A relational personality - love of people and community
  • Commitment to serve an initial two year term in Tanzania with the possibility for extension


  • Christian faith and a commitment to the mission of the church
  • Openness to various expressions of Christian faith and respect for people of other faiths
  • Respect for beliefs, values and customs of church and culture where assigned
  • Well-developed inter-personal skills demonstrating understanding and compassion
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out the responsibilities and the ability to adapt to different standards and practices
  • Ability to work within the framework of a local administration
  • Adaptable and flexible - sense of humor - good physical and emotional health
  • Live and serve in a way which reflects the vision and expectations of the ELCA


This position is designated as partially-funded. Logistically, volunteers will receive in-kind compensation in the form of housing, utilities, transportation, and orientation/training. This is paired with a modest monthly living allowance that is in line with local norms. Personal support is provided through regular conversation with the director of BKB, other volunteers on the BKB program team, and the ELCA-GM East Africa Community. Specific support provisions include:

  • ELCA Global Mission Orientation & Summer Missionary Conference
  • Roundtrip airfare to/from Tanzania
  • Residency Permit in Tanzania
  • Use of BKB-SPAS apartment/office in Iringa. Utilities included.
  • Use of BKB-SPAS vehicle for work and local personal errands
  • Monthly living allowance in line with local standards
  • Basic volunteer-level health insurance through ELCA-GM
  • Assistance to seek student loan deferral through ELCA-GM
  • Financial Assistance for Swahili language studies as available/ needed
  • Connections with local resources and organizations for enhancement and development of professional skills and personal interests

Within the Saint Paul Area Synod this position largely is funded through Administrative Fees applied to BKB projects, Traveler Fees, and targeted donations. Beginning in 2020, volunteers are asked to assist in fundraising efforts for BKB personnel support.


Should the program coordinator be married both would be required to complete separate applications and submit them together. Spouses are welcome and encouraged to join in the tasks above. Additional opportunities for volunteering or employment (e.g. Iringa International School) may be available in Iringa Town, depending on interest/experience. Support provisions may vary depending on a couple’s circumstances. Contact the director of Bega Kwa Bega for more information.


Applications must include a one-page cover letter describing your interest in this work and a resume. For further information regarding this position, please email The Rev. Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega, at