Stichting Josephat Torner Foundation Europe

Sukuma Festival

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Sukuma Festival is the largest tribe festival held annually in Tanzania. Sukuma people are the largest tribe that takes up almost 20% of Tanzanian population. This festival is celebrated to preserve and honor the culture and traditions of Sukuma people. One of JTFE’s strategies is to utilize existing structures and resources available in the community to advance our mission. Sometimes we make use of sports, drama, and such tribe festival to change the mind-set of the local population. By utilizing the already-existing resources, it is very cost-effective as well. Local cultural festivals and other social gatherings that are deeply rooted in the communities are the most effective and efficient platforms to get a message across to broader public. Sukuma Festival is joined by very influential people such as parliament members, religious leaders, and heads of traditional healers. It is a great opportunity to work closely with them to re-define the social and cultural grounds. In order to dismantle harmful rituals and beliefs, one needs to dive into local structure to creat an open dialogue and persuade the local leaders who shape younger generation’s mind-set. This mechanism brings about changes from within. Last year’s heated debate between religious leaders and traditional healers has resulted in a movement to set up a common front against illegal witchcraft activities. Local traditional healers have even set up an office for information exchange with community members. Those officially-certified traditional healers who function as local herb specialists wish to eliminate illegal witch doctors. Our efforts are bearing fruits!

 

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