Kabula Masanja is an Albino girl, who was brutally attacked by paid bandits and permanently mutilated a few years ago. They cut off her right arm with a machete, because there was a demand for an arm of an Albino child from a ‘SHAMAN’. She is one of many Albino people who in recent years have experienced violence against them, just because they have been born like that. With the financial support of people of good will, we try to help her, and hopefully in the future also a few more Albino children, to get a better tomorrow by providing good education and safe and homely shelter.
These are very important and necessary steps, but apart from dealing with the consequences of the violence, what is also very much needed here now is the transformation, reconciliation and building of a peaceful and harmonious society. The Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR) in the neighbouring Kenya, in recent years has been doing that with great success, mainly by researching and attending to the root causes of conflicts and violence, promoting interreligious dialogue leading to the empowerment of joint action plans fostering sustained development and true peace; truly walking the walk not just talking the talk. This professional expertise in these domains is very much needed here in Tanzania as well.
There is no shortage of tension between pastoralist herders, more recently crisis situations between arable and pastoral farmers, and with a rising population the increasing problems in large cities especially for youth. I would like to extend an urgent invitation and a request to Shalom, to establish and register its branch in Tanzania. A stitch in time saves nine! These are all critical issues needing professional transformation skills in order to help social and religious values take deep root for a variety of reasons, not underestimating the need to help people like Kabula and others who are endangered by physical, psychological and cultural violence and ignorance, to live in a secure and a flourishing society.
Having witnessed a fantastic response of so many people of my home country Poland, to the cause of Kabula’s education and building of her bright future, I have been touched by a huge potential and good will of the Polish people to contribute towards justice, peace and reconciliation in the continent of Africa. However, this potential has to be still fully activated, rightly guided and channeled. I am convinced that Shalom, with the collaboration of the Polish Unit of the Society of African Missions (SMA), could take the lead and play a key role in that process. It is another of my dreams that Shalom takes its roots also in my homeland, so that we can walk this walk together.
Fr. Janus Machota, SMA
Regional Superior, Tanzania