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Iringa Hope is a ‘BKB Affiliate’ focused on economic development and the elimination of poverty in the Iringa Region. BKB Affiliates are a group of organizations focused on specific development projects and programs. They help us to faithfully accompany the Iringa Diocese in its mission to ‘transform communities spiritually, mentally, and physically with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’
Over the past few years, Iringa Hope has received many visitors. They come to see our unique, highly successful approach to ending extreme poverty among our members. There have been in-country TV documentaries, numerous articles, Tanzanian national radio shows, and visits by delegations from neighboring companies, regions and Dioceses.
Most recently, we were visited by Chargé d’Affaires Inmi Patterson of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, who wanted to learn more about successful development programs where U.S. citizens partnered with Tanzanians. She contacted the Tanzanian President’s office and they, in turn, suggested that she visit Iringa Hope and the University of Iringa. Both are examples of of the successful partnership between the ELCT Iringa Diocese, Saint Paul Area Synod, and other partners in the United States.
On July 10th, Patterson and her entourage arrived in Iringa to learn about these partnerships. The meeting was held in Iringa Hope’s headquarters building – the Peter J King Family Foundation Development building. The embassy representative remarked on what an attractive building it was. She was also impressed by the closeness of the three main components of the program – the micro lending SACCOS, the farmer’s co-ops or AMCOS, and the service organization that worked with them, the Iringa Hope MFI Limited.
Our Director, Enock Ugulumu, and the MFI manager, Itiweni Luhwago gave a briefing and then presented the Ambassador with the 2019 Iringa Hope calendar. Leafing through the calendar, Patterson remarked on how impressed she was with our members’ stories. She told them that she has a very strong interest in programs that empower women and youth, as well as being interested in micro finance and agriculture... all of which Iringa Hope addresses. She asked Enock and Itiweni if they would come to the embassy and tell her more.
As the day progressed, Patterson heard about the many unique programs at the University and that this partnership has made possible. She complimented Vice Chancellor Urio on the programs and repeated her invitation to Enock and Itiweni to visit the embassy and tell her more. They will certainly be going there soon!
Dr. Tom Hendrickson
President of Iringa Hope USA