News Release

Mormon Church Teaches Self-Reliance


Volunteers help people who come to the Self Reliance Center, apply for Perpetual Education Loans, watch for employment opportunities on the Job Availability Board and help them to write their personal resumes.

This program of the Church helps people in many facets of a balanced life, including education, health, employment, family home production and storage, family finances, and spiritual strength.  Elder and Sister Lyman from the United States are part of the senior missionary force that is working in Kenya to help mentor the various congregations.  They encourage congregations to hold group meetings to work through the program, “My Path to Self-Reliance”.   Groups are meeting all over Kenya to help each other implement this program of the Church.  Elder Lyman said, “these groups help people to become financially and personally independent so they can serve others as they prepare to go to the Temple of The Lord to enjoy the blessings there.”

Another man who attended a group to help people start new businesses said, “This material is as good as any I have received in my university classes.”

Elder and Sister Lyman explained these Self-Reliant groups meet each week for 12 weeks.  They concentrate on learning how to get education for a better job.  They can also discuss ways to start and grow a business and how to search for a job.

Makau, the self-reliant manager said that, “people need to change their attitude of always looking to others to help them and they should start to become independent and help themselves.”  He is a big proponent of people needing to “act for themselves and not being acted upon.”  He smiled as he related the story of Solomon Ochieng, who at the age of 33 acted for himself and returned to school.  Solomon, with support from his church leaders, started a rigorous journey to obtain his BA degree with honors in counseling studies.  He said, “Please know that I am so grateful to the Church and it's programs.  Please know that I am strong, unshaken and know that I will continue to work hard and study to make my life better and honor my commitments.”  Solomon found financial help from the Church’s Perpetual Education Fund.  The fund can loan worthy members tuition costs which can make it possible for those who are motivated to get more education.  These loans must be repaid on conditions that are worked out with the members’ local church leaders.

Past President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “We believe in education.  This Church encourages education.  There is incumbent upon every member of this Church, as a mandate from the Lord, to get all the education you can get to educate our minds and our hands.”  Many members of the church in East Africa are learning a wonderful principle taught in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that the Lord will open the door of self-reliance and make it possible for all to provide for life’s necessities for themselves and for their families.

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