We are pleased to introduce the TOS in Tanzania. Service opportunities are numberless in Africa and we would love to give you the chance to support our activities. As everyone knows, Africa is a continent of great beauty and diversity yet one that desperately requires wise help. Here is some basic information about our land that will assist you to understand its needs.
The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 out of the union of two sovereign states namely Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar. It is the biggest land area among the East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) and has the largest concentration of wild animals on the continent. It is home to Africa’s highest mountain, snow-capped Kilimanjaro, and to world famous national parks such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
Politically speaking, it is one of the more stable African democratic states and it has vast natural resources. For better or for worse we are trying to build a dynamic, capitalist economy in order to feed, clothe and house our population of over 40 million but as you can imagine this is fraught with danger. The current President of our Pan-African Theosophical Federation, Mr Tom Davis, speaks untiringly about the need for prudence if we wish to avoid the traps of excessive liberalism, industrialisation, exploitation of human and natural resources, pollution, etc.
At the Theosophical Society Branch in Dar es Salaam (the commercial capital and principal port of Tanzania), we feel that the theosophical teachings bring a valuable long term perspective to the development of our country. The TOS provides an opportunity to put those teachings into action in wise ways. Our small TOS group is very modest in its undertakings but we are full of energy and enthusiasm!
Our principal achievement during the TOS’s centennial year of 2008 was to collect what is a large sum of money for us: 1.2 million shillings (approx. US$1000). Within the scope of these limited funds, we made donations to a school for the visually impaired, one for the physically handicapped, a cancer hospital, an orphanage and the Salvation Army. We visited most of these establishments personally, meeting the beneficiaries and making friends. In our centenary year, we also donated many blankets to the homeless.
Since 2008, we have continued to support most of these friends and have undertaken several new initiatives. For example, we have had the pleasure of distributing hundreds of teddy bears knitted by members and friends of the TOS in Italy to heart surgery babies, children with leprosy and the mentally handicapped. Thanks to greatly appreciated support from TOS members within Tanzania, from neighbouring Kenya, from Australia, New Zealand, Italy and England, we have also been able to contribute toward the incidental expenses of children flown to India for heart surgery under the aegis of Dr Kanabar of the Lions Club.
Since 2010, a second generation of Theosophists has become involved in service work within the Dar es Salaam community. A group of committed and enthusiastic youngsters started an African branch of World Care Way, a charitable organisation for youth whose international base is in Chennai, India. The group is dedicated to showing the relevance of theosophical ideals to various social causes and environmental issues.
They have been focusing their energies on a range of activities:
Between 2010 and 2012, the World Care Way team also collected close to ten million Tanzanian shillings (approx. US$6,600) in support of projects such as flood victim relief, cancer hospital lunches and blankets for a leprosy home. This represents a substantial sum for us and we are very proud of our young members.
Let us conclude this summary of our activities by a quote from the famous poet, Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely dark and deep