From members of Theosophical Society in East & Central Africa
Theosophy first came to the East African shores in 1905. Over the 107 years The Theosophical Society in our Section has seen many ups and down in its work of spreading the message of Theosophy. Our East & Central African Section (which consists of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) was formed in 1947. At its height, in seventies, the number of lodges reached a respectable figure of 60 lodges. The number of lodges and members has since then been decreasing steadily.
To-day Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) lodges are active in dissemination of Theosophy as well as TOS (Theosophical Order of Service) work.
Over the years Nairobi Lodge has organized regular weekly meetings in English and Gujarati. Its programmes are varied in order to cater for the beginners and older members. It has kept pace with the changing times and has formulated its programmes which not only gives room to the established speakers but also trains new and upcoming (as well as shy) members. The programmes include book studies, theme based series on philosophy and religion, general subjects where the speakers present subjects of their own choice, inter-active and group discussions, seminars, programme of devotional songs, video presentations and holding public talks to attract new members. All our programmes are free and open to non members.
The lodge has organized youth meetings and seminars to attract younger members of the society. Healing sessions, Meditation and ‘members only’ meetings were organized in the past but have been discontinued due to fall in attendance.
TOS activities have been carried out since 1965. Nairobi Lodge has been regularly donating to the human, animal and plant kingdoms – Human Kingdom: needy homes – Home for the Aged, Orphans, HIV Babies, Cancer patients, Education fees, water well and food donations for people in the drier regions of Kenya, etc. The Animal Kingdom: donations have been to the David Sheldrick Home for the baby elephants and the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA). The Plant Kingdom – here, tree planting, is done regularly.
The latest TOS project of donating food to 55 families for 6 months in Kitui area of Kenya has been very successful. Nairobi Lodge received donations from TOS groups in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc. who responded to the plight of Somali refugees as well as those in Kenya.
A food donation in progress
After the food donation
Our Section Convention used to be held every year and more recently every 2 years. During these Conventions we invite International TS personalities as Guest Speakers and we have been fortunate to have been blessed by the visits of many International TS personalities and also 3 International Presidents. Nairobi Lodge, the premier lodge in our Section, also hosted the 7th World Congress in 1982, where over 1200 delegates had registered.
This short article does not allow us to write in detail many other activities that have been carried out by a small band of active and dedicated members. But we take pride in saying that the message of Theosophy has reached many through its regular meetings and TOS activities.