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Alphonce – A success story from Tanzania

In 2014, Father Martin Rupprecht and Alphonce Leonard's paths crossed for the first time. At that time, Fr. Martin was in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, and was a guest in the parish of Manzese. The parish is located in the poorest part of the city of six million inhabitants.

Anyone who has ever been to Dar es Salaam knows that it is easy to lose track of the city in this metropolis. That's why the priest of the Manzese parish had assigned his head altar boy, Alphonce, to help Fr. Martin. A young dedicated man full of potential.


Alphonce was born in Dar es Salaam in 1989 and grew up with three siblings and his mother in poor conditions in a 15 m² shack. Of course without running water. The father had left the family. Alphonce was luckier than other children and attended elementary and secondary school from 1998 to 2008.

Beig a young, dedicated man, he was already able to achieve a lot on his own. Back in 2014, Alphonce made a good impression on Fr. Martin. He wanted to give this young man a chance, the opportunity to realize his potential and make something of his life. So Fr. Martin decided to help with a scholarship through his foundation "Promoting Youth - Crossing Boundaries". This made it possible for Alphonce to achieve a diploma in "Mechanical Engineering" at the National Institute of Transport. In addition, he began a teaching degree at the university, which he was able to complete in 2020. Since 2019, he has been teaching mathematics to a class of 61.

In 2017, Fr. Martin visited Tanzania with a group of young adults. Alphonce very thoughtfully led the group around Dar-es-Salaam for three days. He proudly showed them his city, but also the slum where he grew up. In 2019, another visit with other young adults from Vienna would follow. They were to get to know the conditions there in order to properly classify their own lifestyle. Here, too, Alphonce reliably took care of the visitors.

In recent years, a lot has happened in Alphonce's life. In 2018, he got engaged to Adela Didasi Kanje. A year later, his son saw the light of day. However, they could not get married until 2020, because he first had to earn the money for the dowry. The wedding could finally be celebrated on November 21, 2020 in a church service at 6 o'clock in the morning (due to Covid restrictions).

Alphonce shows us what can be possible with proper support. Sustainable support like an education for himself and, in the future, his wife. He has been given the opportunity to build a life for his family and a future for his child. Now they can stand on their own feet. In addition, he makes an important contribution to the education of children and young people in Tanzania in his profession as a teacher.

Julia Weinelt, participant of the 2017 journey


The slum where he grew up… …and still lives.  
While going to school he started a small business: He collects broken tiles from construction sites… …and lays them into mosaics, for instance for entrances.
Alphonce studying Mechanical Engineering With his mother and siblings Happy Ending: His wedding with Adela!

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