“On January 16, 2001, the Cardinal of Dar es Salaam handed over to the care of the Augustinians the Immaculate Conception Parish in Mavurunza, until then under the care of the Consolata missionaries.
The people of Mavurunza are, for the most part, “internal immigrants”, having arrived from all corners of Tanzania in search of better pastures, which do not always materialize.
From the religious point of view here they are mixed: Catholics, Muslims, Lutherans, Anglicans, Hindus, members of traditional religious… who live together, generally, in harmony.
Mahanje is situated in the south of Tanzania. It is 135 kilometres from Songea, the main city of the region, and about 900 kilometres from Dar es Salaam, the national capital.
Mahanje is in a mountainous zone, with areas between 800 and 1,400 metres in altitude. Its tropical climate has only two seasons a year: six months of rain and six months of drought.
The Parish of Mahanje was assigned to the Augustinians on 3rd November 1977.
It covers an area that extends for forty kilometres, and includes three other dependent areas: Madaba, Nkongotema and Rutukira. The area contains 15,000 people, of whom 10,000 are Catholic. The population is broadly distributed in small village communities that survive almost exclusively on subsistence farming (i.e., the people have to survive on whatever they can grow.). Schooling is not generally available in the area, with a few primary schools but no secondary school.