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Protecting the vulnerable

In much of Africa, violence is traditionally part of the way of solving problems, with bloodshed and loss of life common. Children are not respected, polygamy is common, and women are treated as second class citizens and are commonly abused by their husbands. The coming of the gospel has changed much of this, but there is still a great need for church workers to understand their professional obligations and how they conduct themselves.

In Tanzania, corporal punishment and beating of children, although illegal, is common in schools. Staff and parents, even in Christian schools, commonly claim that children will not learn if children are not beaten. The development of this Code arose from evidence to the Bishop of Mara that corporal punishment was still used by teachers, and his subsequent directive that it cease immediately. The diocese undertook behavioural training for staff while it developed its own Faithfulness in Service policy. Three years of policy development will be culminated by the Code being presented to the Diocesan Synod in June 2021 for adoption.

Training throughout all 72 parishes

The project began in 2018, when the Diocese began reviewing and contextualizing the Australian Faithfulness in Service for Tanzania. Facilitators have been equipped to carry out the Code of Conduct training, and workshops have occurred for clergy in each deanery. Workshops for lay leaders often took place on Sundays after church services.

Outcomes of the Code of Conduct training include:

  • Teachers and ministry leaders learn appropriate methods of disciplining children through student welfare programs, instead of beating children
  • Orphans and vulnerable children are better cared for
  • Children are respected and protected
  • Corporal punishment is banned
  • Financial integrity is respected
  • Immoral behaviour by church workers is not tolerated
  • Issues relevant to the local Tanzanian culture are covered (such as polygamy, female genital mutilation – FGM, child marriage, and wife-beating)
  • A reporting system will ensure people can safely make their complaints and concerns known

The long-term goal is that other Dioceses in Tanzania will adopt this training, so that vulnerable people are protected and church workers carry out their ministry and personal lives with integrity and godliness.

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Praise God, this project is already fully funded.

In the case that a fundraising appeal has received sufficient donations, any surplus funds will be used for a similar activity or an activity in the same country.

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