Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Pengo stresses the need to help the poor
THE head of Catholic Church in Tanzania Cardinal Polycarp Pengo has called upon members of the Catholic Church in the country to maintain cordial relationships among themselves and continue helping the poor whenever approached. Cardinal Pengo issued a directive on last Saturday when he conducted a holy mass of thanksgiving which was prepared by the church as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th Jubilee Anniversary of the Msimbazi centre in Dar es Salaam. The centre which is the biggest and first ever established in the country belongs to a Catholic church in the country, and has become a well-known place of helping the poor and the needy people since its establishment in 1962 few months after the independence of the then Tanganyika state. It was established by the late Archbishop of the Catholic church of the Dar es Salaam diocese by then Father Edgar Maranta with a view to help the poor to cater for their social and economic needs. In his speech, the head of the Catholic Church in the country has also directed the management of the centre to keep abreast with the relevant activities aimed to promote the people, and they should also note that, it is for the development of the poor people regardless of their religious affiliations. However, he has appreciated their commitments and plans ahead of establishing in future another centre like this in order to expound the activities as part of help to leverage the lives of the needy people located in far flung areas in order to obtain their basic rights.
“This centre was not established for the sake of making people become rich, but rather it’s an NGO like other non profit making organizations which strives to promote people economically” he said adding that the centre should be compared like other NGOs which benefit people like Jesus who came in the world to redeem people. He has also thanked the government of Switzerland for their financial support which to a greater extent has helped the centre to grow and enable it to accomplish most of its dire needs to the general public since its establishment 50 years ago. Elaborating what the centre has been providing to accomplish its mission to the poor people in the country, the Director of the Msimbazi centre Padre Novatus Mbaula said in an exclusive interview after the celebrations that, the centre has been providing education to people of all walks of life at more affordable costs. On education they target accounts, business trainings and secretarial services that are aimed to develop employees’ skills and their career. These he said enroll for part time studies at the centre from various institutions. He said and added that, about 350 students are enrolled at a period of not less than one year. He said they also provide hostels to students and guests at a cheaper rate to enable the poor to afford. Currently the centre has 5 hostels which have been sponsored by the government of Switzerland and German, he affirmed. The centre also provides free seminars to couples who prepares for marriage, he said adding that about 700 couples are given seminars on marriages at a certain period. Apart from these, also he noted that, the centre has conference halls and social halls which are hired for various functions at a cheaper cost. The 50th Jubilee celebration was attended by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner who was represented by Ilala District Commissioner Raymond Mushi. Others dignitary was the diplomat Switzerland government accredited in the country.