News Release

Church Members Render Service to Community 

Thousands of Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across East Africa have joined the rest of their colleagues in other parts of the world to carry out a community service drive, commonly dubbed "Mormon Helping Hands", which is held annually. Unlike in the past when projects were done on a single day, this year, the slogan ‘a project, not an event’ has been adopted such that members in their congregations work on a project for several days which will culminate in a handover on 17th August 2013.

Mormon Helping Hands is a priesthood-directed Church program to provide community service and disaster relief to those in need. Its objectives include, helping the needy and improving the community, strengthening Church members, enhancing the reputation of the Church, building relationships with Opinion Leaders and sharing the gospel.

The over eighty congregations scattered across East Africa began their project planning early in the year. Some congregations that reside in the same geographical area have consolidated efforts to work on one project, while others have held individual projects. Projects range from clean-up exercises, planting of trees, donation of blood, working at health centers, digging trenches, visiting children’s homes, among others. These projects have often required rigorous planning and working with the community, corporate partners and the media. The Church does not provide funding for these projects and therefore members of each congregation have to become innovative in identifying, planning and executing the projects. Members form committees and assign roles to committee members in areas such as fund raising, logistics management, marketing of the project and working with partners and the media.

This often requires sacrifice on the part of these members. In Nairobi, for example, the members have been asked to donate funds to purchase mosquito nets and will donate the same to residents of Kiambiu informal settlements. Prior to the donation at the Chief Camp in the area, the members will clean the streets and unblock drainages.

In Jinja, Uganda, where the project has already been finished, awaiting handover, members of the Church worked at a community hospital, cleaning the compound, cutting the grass and planting a variety of fruit trees on the facility. The hospital superintendent was very impressed by the selfless efforts of the members who worked with such enthusiasm that is rarely seen in the community.

Bishop Moses Alumande of the Upper Hill congregation in Nairobi has observed, “The members are showing they are true followers of Jesus Christ by offering this service.”

Other projects have been held or are to be held in Eldoret, Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Busia, Mombasa, Kisumu, Naivasha, Nakuru and Nairobi in Kenya. Additionally in Kampala, Jinja, Gulu, Masaka, Entebbe and Busia in Uganda and Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza in Tanzania.

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