News Story

Mormon Helping Hands Groups in Kenya Participate in Landmark Day of Service

The Helping Hands program reflects the desire of Mormons to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others.

On Saturday, August 16th 2014, close to two thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kenya woke up early whether in villages or big towns to make a difference in their communities. They were joining their counterparts in the rest of Africa to observe a landmark day of service.

On this day, the members spent at least two hours helping the less advantaged as well as conducting clean-up exercises. Some members worked at hospital, others donated blood, others swept and cleaned streets while others sat down with orphans or children in a pediatric ward, helping them to read and write and even play games.

Many of the service projects conducted had begun several months prior to this day. These projects needed the tireless work of local committees to plan and execute. These men and women volunteered many tireless hours of work to ensure success. Steven Agala of Nakuru who serves in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mobilized several organizations in the city including G4S, Gaplink International, Styles, Nakuru Municipal Council, St. Johns, Kenya Police, among others to conduct a major cleanup exercise in Nakuru. During this project about three ton of illegally dumped litter was collected by 30 volunteers who picked up trash along a five Kilometer stretch of roadway.

In Mombasa, about sixty Mormon Helping Hands volunteers cleaned and swept Moi Avenue and planted flowers. Their service project was reported on Baraka FM radio as well as aired on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV. 

Thirty more members of the Kitale Branch of Eldoret District of the Church assembled at “Great Mercy School and Orphanage” for their project. The endeavor was led by Naaman Kwendo, Branch President and assisted by the Senior Missionary Couple assigned, Elder and Sister Flake, as well as the full-time missionaries. Adults and teenagers cleaned dormitories and classrooms, leveled fields, dug trenches, hauled bricks, and washed clothes and bedding. Many staff members and students donned Helping Hands vests and enthusiastically assisted.  The activity opened and closed with hymn singing and prayer followed by lunch provided by the Church for all participants and students. A warm spirit of love, fellowship and cooperation between members and non-members pervaded the event. At the conclusion of the work-day, several staff members and students took the opportunity to express sincere appreciation to those assembled. All considered the day to have been an enormous success, not only in the work accomplished but in the goodwill and friendship forged.

A month-long ongoing service project at Kenyatta National Hospital was executed by 15 congregations of the Nairobi Stake. This project involved two of the congregations in Nairobi going every Saturday from July 5th to August 9th to the hospital’s cancer pediatric wards to help children read, write and play games. The culminations was a major clean-up and blood donation drive on the 16th of August 2014. President Jadmaire Ndivo, the highest ecclesiastical leader of the city, was very pleased particularly with the blood donation drive and is hoping this can be accomplished again soon.

Other projects were accomplished in Busia, Kilungu Hills area, Naivasha, Kisumu, Eldoret among others. The theme was 'hand in hand with local government. G4S for example, proved to be a valuable social change partner during this year’s projects. The G4S Nakuru Manager, Wilton Okal and Tom Mboya, Chief Executive Officer at Gaplink International were on the front line in the project held in Nakuru and particularly proved that corporate alliances can bring fruitful benefits to communities when collaboration is sought. Their leadership, dedication and strong will is to be commended.  

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