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Tunduru (Tanzania)

Renovation of a training centre

Project 3465 - Renovation of a training house

Benedictine Congregation of Saint Agnes of Chipole (Tunduru-Masasi, Tanzania)

The Native Congregation of St. Agnes began in 1912, when some indigenous girls from East Africa began living a religious life; in 1923 they were helped with the formation and organization of their lives by the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of Tutzing. Canonically erected in 1938 by Bishop Gallus Steiger, the Congregation has grown to include over 600 sisters, including 130 young sisters in temporary vows and around fifty novices and candidates. The sisters are grouped in two priories, Chipole (Songea) and Imiliwaha (Njombe), to which all the missions are attached.

The sisters are involved in a wide range of care services for the local population: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. The dispensaries provide clinical services to the local population and are fully integrated into Tanzania’s national health system, so that insurance card holders can access the medicines they need free of charge.

The sisters have founded eight schools, from nursery to secondary level. The latest school, to be founded in 2021 in Mbenga, already has around forty children. They have also founded an orphanage for seventy children whose parents have died of AIDS.

The sisters are involved in a number of development programmes: ongoing IT training, accommodation, a bakery, hydroelectric power stations, one of which supplies electricity to the municipality of Songea, maize mills capable of grinding around twenty tonnes of maize a day, enabling several regions and villages to grind their produce, a sixteen-room hostel on the shore of Lake Nyasa...

The sisters make liturgical vestments and candles, have a sewing room, a bakery and other workshops which, together with the hostel and the electricity sold to the state electricity company, partly finance the sisters’ various commitments.


The convent of St Steven, in Tunduru, in the diocese of Masasi, is a house of formation where aspirants, novices, temporary professed sistersand formators are housed. The sisters are all involved in caring for populations, some are teachers and others work in social justice centres.

The building is old and very run-down: there are leaks in the roof, cracks in the walls, and the water and electricity systems are obsolete. The whole building needs to be renovated as a matter of urgency.

Financial assistance requested: 18,000 euros

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The damaged Tunduru building

A ceiling of the Tunduru building

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