of the population live on less than £1.45 a day – the UN measure of ‘extreme poverty’


is Tanzania’s position in the Human Development Index (out of 188 countries)


of people in rural areas live in poverty


of children are chronically malnourished

About Tanzania

Tanzania gained independence in 1961 and has remained a fairly peaceful and stable nation for the past 57 years. The nation contributes peacekeepers to UN missions, engages in trade with other countries in the region, has vast natural resources and upholds democratic institutions.

Poverty and low economic growth cause inequalities among people and households within communities. Even the national economic growth of seven per cent has not translated into meaningful improvements to household income.

Lack of access to basic services, particularly in rural areas, poor infrastructure and epidemics such as HIV, have also stalled expected development in the country. Some 32 per cent of the population – more than 17 million – still live in extreme poverty.

Tackling corruption and misuse of public funds is a critical issue that Tanzania needs to address to allow successful development and progress.

The church’s work in Tanzania is widely respected and utilised, as it provides public services, particularly health, education and other development initiatives. It has an extensive presence and well-established networks at both national and local levels.

Meet Justin, our country representative

How we do it

Church & Community Transformation

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Self-help Groups

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Our Work in Tanzania

Tearfund has supported local Christian partners in Tanzania since 1969. We are partnering three church dioceses directly and a further three through Tearfund-initiated partnerships between UK and Tanzanian churches.

All six diocese partners focus on mobilising the church through the process known as church and community transformation (CCT). This is about working with local churches to empower the community to escape poverty. The church is also planting large numbers of self-help groups – small scale community savings schemes which also offer broader mutual support to members. These groups (known as Pamoja in Tanzania) increase people’s resilience to hardship and disaster, particularly for the poorest and most marginalised.

In some areas, partners are focusing on advocacy work. In particularly they are speaking out over female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), HIV, environmental issues or government transparency. In many places this advocacy work happens through through Pamoja self-help groups.

The Christian Council of Tanzania is a strategic partner for Tearfund. As a church membership body, the Council has national coverage and works with 15 denominations there. Churches in Tanzania embrace their calling to address both material and spiritual poverty along with issues of injustice.

Tearfund in Tanzania also works with Msalato Theological College. The college trains church leaders to see the gospel as something that touches on every area of people’s lives – encouraging the healing of people’s relationships with God, each other and creation.

More and more, church leaders have the capacity and the willingness to speak out on issues of injustice. Communities are learning how to defend their rights through the Pamoja process. And unjust policies, practices and structures are being changed at both local and national levels – all this benefits the very poorest people.

OUR PARTNERS IN TANZANIA: African Inland Church Tanzania Mara and Ukerewe Diocese, African Inland Church Geita, Christian Council of Tanzania, Anglican Church of Tanzania Diocese of Mpwapwa, Anglican Church of Tanzania Diocese of Rift Valley & Msalato Theological College



of Pamoja self-help groups established.


churches trained in the church and community transformation process.


people have improved health and wellbeing due to churches mobilising their communities to be agents of change.


churches involved in advocacy work – influencing powerful decision makers in Tanzania and challenging injustice.

Pray for our work

  • Pray for our partners and for help with the many demands on their time and resources. Ask God to give them strength, creativity and compassion as they continue their work.
  • Pray for strategic partnerships and relationships within the country that can assist our work in the country.
  • Pray for favourable conditions for our work to flourish, particularly when advocating for policy change in areas of harmful cultural practices, environmental sustainability and good governance.
  • Lift up local church leaders who are calling their fellow leaders and congregations to a more holistic form of ministry.

Where we're working