To make a difference you need George

Some aid agencies like to show you all kinds of images and tell you stories to make you feel pity for others. Other agencies, and I like to think Canadian Lutheran World Relief is among them, prefer to tell you the stories of how people are being helped and about the outcomes.

George Mkanze overseas a staff of 88 persons delivering community development programming for the LWF in Mozambique

Well there wouldn’t be outcomes to report if it were not for people like LWF/World Service – Mozambique representative George Mkanza. George manages a staff of 88 persons delivering life giving programs throughout Mozambique on behalf of the world’s LWF affiliated Lutheran churches. Among those programs are the CLWR supported projects in the Tete region.

Don’t think for a second that George is a desk jockey.  He is in the field most of the time drawing on his experience and caring heart to deliver hope to those who need hope the most.

George has been in Mozambique for about 10 months after five years LWF service in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Before that he had extensive experience with other NGOs. His commitment comes from years of teaching in a Lutheran School and outreach work for the Lutheran Church in his native Tanzania.

He was reluctant to answer my question about what has bothered him the most about his work. You can be certain he has been places and seen things we would rather not see. But he did say that the plight of those affected by HIV/AIDs is one of his greatest challenges.

What really lights his world is describing the variety of community work led by the people themselves. When people work together to protect and secure water and food sources, build their own schools, engage in micro-finance with their own money and so many similar community-based activities using their own organizations and structures combined with LWF resources; for George that’s when the stars are in full alignment!

This kind of dedication and concern for others does not come without a cost. George’s wife lives in their home in Arusha, Tanzania and his boys attend school in Kenya. He is able to get home for a week every three months and sometimes they will visit him in Maputo.

It is George and all those like him that make sure you make a difference and change the lives people around the world.

Tom Brook

Community Relations Director

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