Bright Futures

Date posted: Thursday 28 September 2023

As schools have resumed classes in the U.S. this month, the BKB team in Tanzania has been working on resources to support scholarships for Tanzanian students in the coming year. Check out this video that congregations can use to promote the scholarship program:

Last week, student lists and account balances were sent to congregations along with pledge information for 2024. Pledges are due to cluster leaders by Nov. 1. Information is then shared with Iringa Diocese parishes, which select students for the new school year starting in January.


Parishes that have no Saint Paul Area Synod partner will each receive 1 million TSH from the Scholarship Equity Fund. Parishes are using those funds either for secondary students, or classes of student evangelists (TEE), or education for parish workers.


This week, the Post Secondary Scholarship Review Board is interviewing 60 applicants for college scholarships. Your gifts have enabled many capable students to become doctors, nurses, teachers, pastors, community development workers and business owners. The diocese is especially grateful for the opportunity to have staff at diocese institutions pursue advanced degrees.


When congregations here in the synod receive their student lists and financial reports, a common question I receive is, "Why is there still a balance in the account? Didn’t they need all the money we pledged?" There may be several reasons why funds remain unspent at this point in the year: rising exchange rates mean that our dollars are worth more shillings than at the start of the year; a few students who planned to attend school may have postponed their studies because of family or health reasons; a student waiting for national exam results didn’t score high enough to continue; and small balances left each year eventually add up.


When congregations have a balance remaining in the account, consider viewing the extra funds as an opportunity to share resources with one of the diocese-wide education projects. The parishes that receive Equity Funds would love to be able to send more than one student to school each year. Applications for post-secondary scholarship support increases every year. Another infrastructure project will be coming in the new year, with opportunities to improve the educational experience of students at an entire school. Continuing education for teachers through our Teacher Training Fund is another ongoing effort.


Whether your congregation supports five scholarships for your companions or 50, here are some best practices’ to consider.

  • Review your student lists and financial reports, ask questions when you have them.
  • Prioritize continuing students. A minimum fundraising goal would enable current students in Forms I-VI to continue at current rates.
  • Aiming above that minimum goal will allow new students to begin their studies.
  • Choosing a pledged amount that is sustainable from year to year is preferable for your companions than funding that varies each year.
  • Submit pledge information on time so your companions have the information they need to review applications and budget for new and continuing students.
  • When you send funds to the synod office, clearly indicate whether they are to be deposited in your church’s general or scholarship account.
  • If you have a balance at the end of a year, consider using it to support education projects beyond your companion parish.
  • Share success stories within your congregation and with the wider BKB community.

Thank you for your generous support! As one of the students said to us in July, “Through your support we can see our bright future because it is only education which will make us reach our dreams.”


Asante sana,


Kirsten Levorson

Director of Bega Kwa Bega