Southwood has been in a sister church relationship with the Uswaa Lutheran Parish since 2002. Uswaa is a parish within the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. It is located on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in north-central Tanzania, East Africa. Uswaa and Southwood recently partnered to build a second church, Nkira Avaanga (construction from 2005-2015), to serve people of varying ages and abilities in this large geographic area.

photo: Tanzania 2015

Connect with Neighbors in Tanzania:

Partnership Projects

Education past the 6th grade is not free in Tanzania. Many students who complete elementary school do not have the opportunity to go to high school or even dream about going to college because it is too expensive. Southwood partners with the ELCT to support students at Lutheran High Schools and local colleges/universities.

Learn more about how you can become a sponsor!

Tanzania, like many countries of the developing world, is faced with the challenge of providing adequate healthcare. In partnership with our sister church, we have built a Pharmacy (drug store) where over the counter medications and basic medical supplies can be purchased.  Our sister church has dreams to expand the Pharmacy to a Dispensary that would be similar to a doctor's office in the U.S.  We hope to know more about the plans for this expansion in 2018-2019.

The typical diet in Tanzania is beans and Ugali (stiff porridge made with corn flour and water). The Chicken Cooperative was started at a local Lutheran High School called Uroki Secondary School. The Chicken Cooperative raises chickens to provide protein in the high school students' diets and sells eggs and chickens to the surrounding community.   The project also teaches the students about poultry production as well as operating a small business. 

A second chicken project is being developed near the church, Nkira Avaanga.  This location will raise chickens and will have a mixer/grinder for production of chicken feed.  Plus, a farm manager will be employed to manage the project and provide educational seminars for the community.  Their hope is to have this second site open by 2019!

A majority of the local elementary schools are taught in Swahili. When a student graduates to high school, they are taught and tested in English. Many students struggle with the transition to the English language in High School. The goal of an English Medium School is to teach elementary students in English so they have a smoother transition to high school. More information on this partnership project will be coming in 2019.

The purpose of the SACCOS is to empower the group members to save and manage their own funds. The first group was started by women (mostly widows) that were not able to access a bank loan to start their own business or fund creative ways to support themselves. This first group is called the “Ruth” group and makes hand crafts to sell at local markets. A new men’s group has also started that focuses on raising agricultural products.

Southwood has partnered with Opportunity Education to implement their Quest Forward Learning Tablet Program at Uroki High School in Tanzania.  Uroki High School is one of the schools in the Northern Dioceses that Southwood’s Scholarship Students attend.  The school is also under the governance of the Uswaa Lutheran Parish (Southwood’s Sister Church).

Opportunity Education is offering digital learning materials for Form 1 and Form 2 (9th and 10th grade) to Tanzanian secondary schools, teachers and students. These materials cover the required 9 subjects of the Tanzania National Syllabus, and were developed by Tanzanian secondary school teachers and university lecturers, using the Quest Forward methodology and publishing platform.

In the Quest Forward Learning methodology, teachers shift into the role of mentors, guiding students not to simply seek the right answer, but instead to work at their own pace and individual path on creating their own conclusions. This helps the students develop the knowledge and skills they need to flourish now and into adulthood.

Learn more about Opportunity Education


Trip Opportunities


Southwood partners with the Northern Diocese to support students in Diocese high schools.  Teams have the opportunity to meet sponsored students at their individual schools or the all school gathering.

Learn more about how you can become a sponsor!

A trip to visit our sister church in Tanzania always involves teaching Sunday School on Sunday mornings. Trip members will be divided into small groups and given the curriculum and props to present a story and involve the children in a craft. Tanzania Sunday School Teachers are there to participate and support.

Sunday School Teachers in Tanzania are devoted to creatively present Biblical stories with very few supplies. You can be part of planning and presenting a half day seminar where we offer ideas and encouragement to the Sunday School Teachers.

Uroki Secondary School is a Lutheran High School in the Uswaa Parish. You can be part of planning, presenting and supporting teachers in a 1-2 day Teacher Workshop at the school. A variety of topics have been presented including Formative Assessment, Cooperative Learning, Computer Skills and Quantum Brain Research.

Visit homes of elders in the Uswaa community that may not be able to regularly attend worship due to medical conditions that make walking to church difficult. During the home visit, you will learn about their lives, share encouragement and pray together. You will also have the opportunity to deliver a Piecemaker Quilt or Prayer Shawl made with love by a Southwood volunteer.

Meet with the leaders of the Uswaa and Nkira Avaanga churches to learn about what gives them joy, the struggles/barriers they are facing in their lives and their dreams and hopes for the future. Then work together with the leaders to brainstorm plans to address some of the struggles to help them accomplish their dreams!

Machame Lutheran Hospital is a Rural Mission Hospital owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, Northern Diocese. It is not far from our sister church. Visitors will receive a tour of the hospital plus get to visit the nursing and clinical officer training campus.

Neema means “grace” in Swahili. The orphanage is operated by Lutheran Sisters and is located close to our sister church. The orphanage helps children from the ages of newborn to preschool who have lost one or both parents. Volunteers will have the opportunity to visit the orphanage and interact with the children.

Visit Tanzania!

Whether you want to meet your Tanzania scholarship student, experience Sunday school or teacher training, visit elders in their homes, see the hospital/nursing school or Neema orphanage, or help leaders in the church with strategic planning there is a place for your gifts. Come experience the Neema (which means grace in Swahili) of living life alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ in Tanzania.

*Estimated total trip cost is $3,500 - 4,000 which includes a visa, safari, airfare, room and board, and transportation.  All trip participants need to have a passport. 

Scheduled Tanzania Trips

Interested in serving? Contact Malissa Pauling.