We’re thrilled to announce that HOPE International is launching a new savings group program in Tanzania.
“The reason behind every expansion at HOPE is to invest in the dreams of even more families,” says Peter Greer, HOPE’s president and CEO. “It’s an incredible honor to link arms with the Tanzanian Church as it ministers to families there.”
Following months of feasibility studies, due diligence assessments, and conversations with local leaders, HOPE hired Anna Makundi in August to serve as country director and help launch the new program. She says,
What excites me most is the spiritual integration: giving people the way of God through savings groups and helping people to know God better than they do now.
As Anna builds the HOPE Tanzania team, continues to dialogue with potential church partners, and prepares to launch a savings group program, we remain inspired by the Tanzanian people and excited to expand HOPE’s work to serve them. Here are three reasons why:
1. We’ve already seen HOPE’s model work in Tanzania.
For the last three years, we’ve worked with two partners—Compassion International Tanzania and the Anglican Diocese of Mt. Kilimanjaro—to integrate church-based savings groups into their ministries in Tanzania. Since then, these organizations have formed 174 saving groups to serve more than 3,800 people—an enthusiastic reception, especially during a pandemic! We can’t wait to build on this momentum as we formally establish a HOPE program in Tanzania.
2. Many families in Tanzania remain underserved.
While Tanzania has seen encouraging economic progress over the last 20 years, 30.8 million people—almost half of the country’s population—still live on $1.90 (U.S.) a day, according to the World Poverty Clock. And in a 2021 World Bank survey, 15% of Tanzanian respondents said that they couldn’t come up with the funds to cover an emergency within a month at all. Of those who said they could come up with the funds, only 7% of respondents said that they’d turn first to savings. (Most would sell an asset, rely on work, ask others for help, take a loan, or find some other means.) This tells us there’s an opportunity to support families as they build a sustainable means of responding to shocks.
By deepening HOPE’s presence in Tanzania, we’ll be able to focus on reaching families who’ve been left out of the country’s economic gains over the last two decades, especially those living in rural areas. We also pray that our future church partners will be able to reach communities resistant to the Gospel, as well as those who are part of the country’s 120 tribal and ethnic groups.
3. The Tanzanian Church is ready to be equipped for holistic poverty alleviation.
Local churches are indispensable partners in HOPE’s savings group program, and they’ve invited us to work with them to serve their communities. A Tanzanian church leader recently shared this passion and commitment with us:
The level of poverty and the need for service are deep in our community—and the Church needs to be a frontline worker.
Along with this keen sense of calling, the Church in Tanzania is also mobilized and well networked. For instance, Tanzanian churches are uniquely situated to serve people in urban contexts, as well as in rural regions that have historically been hardest to reach.
We’re excited for this new opportunity, to join church partners in bringing the material and spiritual impact of the savings group model to more people in underserved communities.
To learn more about HOPE Tanzania and ways you can be praying for its launch, check out this Q&A with HOPE Tanzania’s country director, Anna Makundi.