CCT is an ecumenical Christian Body in Tanzania whose members are churches and church related organizations with a vision of being a committed, faithful, transparent and accountable instrument. It has been operational since 1934. It serves as a unifying body for its members with the aim of serving the people spiritually, mentally and physically through advocacy, capacity building, facilitation and coordination. Currently there are 12 member churches and 12 Para-Church organizations.In implementing its programs CCT collaborates with other stakeholders including the central government of Tanzania, local government authorities, CBO, NGOs, Communities members and development partners.The organization enjoys its presence all over the country and is influential and trusted by stakeholders. On top of that CCT’s performance has been boosted through established interfaith relations and professional networks
At the moment CCT has recorded several achievements including: being the major agent for interfaith relations, fighting FGM and Gender Based Violence, together with economic empowerment through village community banks (VICOBA) worth 3 billion Shillings as members’ savings.Despite the success CCT has got so far, there are number of challenges within and without the organization. At the moment CCT depends on donor funding for more than 80% for running its programs due to insufficient internal resource mobilization. On top of that CCT is challenged by growing Islamic fanaticism, technological gap between the secretariat and member churches and the influence of harmful traditions.However there are a number of opportunities for CCT to both, expand its activities and improve the current ones. These include peace and stability in the country, use of professional networking; partner CSOs and FBOs, and demographic profile of Tanzania which has 42% of population below 14 years. Currently CCT is implementing its mission with the following programs
• Climate Environment and Food Security
• Health & HIV/AIDS
• Interfaith Relations
• Media and Communication
• Peace Socio-economic Justice and Good Governance
• Women Development Gender & Children
• Youth Development
• Policy Analysis.
Strong Woman Program
This is a special program under Development and Advocacy Directorate. It aims to ensure responsive and inclusive engagement of women and girls in political life from grassroots to national levels leading to equal access to justice for all and promote women’s economic empowerment and opportunities to participate in the labour market with sustainable access to economic resources.
The program has two main objectives:
1. Ensure equal participation of women and men in political life
2. Ensure that women have full economic rights and equal opportunities to participate in the labour markets
It is implemented in 4 regions that are among the regions with high rate of GBV, early marriage and school drop outs; Mara, Dodoma, Mbeya and Songwe regions. Advocacy & Policy Analysis CCT advocacy, policy and governance program focuses on strengthening CCT’s research, policy development and advocacy skills at national level, networking with other agencies with the aim of influencing the policies and practices of the government of Tanzania so that it delivers equitable and sustainable service in the country. Takes a pro-poor perspective to the policy debates in the country, particularly around natural resource governance and promotes actions that favor freedom of religion and peaceful co-existence. The strategies used includes conducting of research, producing and dissemination of simple policy briefs, policy analysis, dialogue meetings with relevant stakeholders, producing of media programs, networking with different stakeholders, lobbying and awareness raising on different issues. CCT’s advocacy initiatives have registered a number of gains: The parliament has been able to legislate on policies regarding extractive in which CCT had inputs to make sure natural resources benefit Tanzania citizens. The laws included Revenue Management Act, Tanzania Extractive Industry Transparency Act, Petroleum Act (2015), and the Natural Gas Policy (2013). CCT played a leading role in the constitutional review process. It was instrumental in advocating for a process that was people centered and carried the people’s views. CCT played a critical role on the media statement that was released by the churches and which was a turning point for the process due to the significant audience it received. CCT also promoted peaceful co-existence during the constitutional making process despite the threats that were posed by attempt to introduce Kadhi Courts, which would have introduced discrimination on freedom of worship. Projecting the role of CCT as an advocacy voice and developing a platform for consultations. It has become normal for ministers to consult with CCT on policymaking process. The former Prime Minister mentioned the work of CCT in advocacy during a formal address in parliament. Health and HIV/AIDS CCT has expansive Health and HIV/AIDS Program with diverse projects using different approaches to address critical HIV/AIDS. These include Most Vulnerable Children (MVC), Most At Risk Population (MARP), and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAS). Waking the Giant Initiative Tanzania
Waking the Giant initiative is part of ecumenical initiative hosted by the Christian Council of Tanzania for ACT Tanzania Forum. The Tanzanian pilot of "Waking the Giant"-WtG was launched in 2018, it aims to strengthen and equip churches and other religious actors to be at the forefront of more effective implementation of the countrys SDG Agenda, focusing on SDG 3,4,5,10 and 16. Henceforth, building the capacity of churches to contribute effectively to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.
CCT in collaboration with BAKWATA, TEC and CPCT, through interfaith program is working hard to create platform for religious leaders, through which people of different faiths can freely meet and get an opportunity for conversation that helps in strengthening relationship among community members hence create peace and unity.
pInterfaith Committees address conflicts and promote reconciliation. The Interfaith Committees work closely with paralegals in addressing injustice through advocacy. The committees also contribute towards reconciliation following conflict mediation by paralegals. The presence of Interfaith Committees in the community decentralizes the interfaith dialogue from national level to local levels at community levels. The committees meet at least once in every three months to discuss specific issues arising in their communities.Interfaith committees have been well established in 19 districts in Kigoma,Tabora, Mwanza, Geita, Arusha, Same, Tanga, Morogoro, Mvomero, Kilosa, Dodoma, Kondoa, Singida, Chunya, Mbeya, Kiteto, Bahi and Gairo. The platform has been well trained on conflict management skills for mediation and reconciliation through interfaith quarterly meetings.
CCT is also working to ensure that in every interfaith committee, youth are participants in all conversations and decision making. To date CCT through interfaith relation have created the youth network with the total of 28 members whereas 14 of them are female and 16 are male from different faiths in Gairo district. Our target in 2019 is to train more youth on Interfaith Relations and formulate other youth platforms in Same and Bahi districts, hence to have enough youth platforms for participation and engagement in social activities in the community.
The strong relationship among youth of different faiths will for sure reduce radicalization in the community, hence to create a harmony and peaceful society. Furthermore, CCT has expanded the youth networks to university students of different faiths where youth will have funny by participating in various sports and games including training on moral aspects, interfaith relations for peaceful coexistence.
Women Development, Children and Gender Program of Christian Council of Tanzania is focused on building capacity of women in issues pertaining to social rights with an emphasis on bringing gender equality. The program also targets to facilitate women and children into participating in decision making processes, politically, economically, socially and traditionally. Mostly the program works through a number of social activities including the following:
Facilitating trainings to women in church and social leadership for them to understand various issues of gender development
Conducting workshops and seminars on leadership, gender and family relationships about HIV and AIDS
Motivating women in initiating various activities and programs to improve their economic well being
Mainstreaming and integrating gender issues in CCT’s programs
Facilitating and conducting trainings with a purpose of raising strong feelings against gender based violence and child abuse