News Release

Church Launches My Path to Self Reliance Program for Its Kenyan Members 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is implementing a newly revised self-reliance program in African congregations, with Kenya lined up to benefit. This program replaces the previous program that was focused on holding career workshops for church members and others, as well as self-employment workshops. This process was later improved with the introduction of a "Planning for Success" workshop which mainly targeted those seeking to enter into school.

With the introduction of this new program, the Church hopes to build more self-reliance in their members through a unified effort. This effort starts with all members of the Church doing a self-reliance assessment using a new resource book called ‘My Path to Self Reliance.’ This book is meant to help individuals and families conduct an audit of how self-reliant they are by matching their needs to their income.  At the end of this 20-minute assessment, an individual or a family is able to know whether they need an education to increase their income, need to find a better job or whether they need to start or improve a business.

Once an individual or family has filled out the confidential My Path to Self-Reliance booklet, they can then become part of a group formed at their congregation level where members counsel together, offering each other a support system. This group mentoring and counseling process, which takes 12 weeks, creates a dynamic learning environment that strengthens each member in his or her progress toward a self-reliant life. New resource books of Education for Better Work, My Job Search, Starting and Growing a Business and My Foundation Principles, Skills and Habits have been developed to help members through the process. These resources are also available in Church Distribution Centers in Kenya as well as online at, together with other helpful videos.

Fifteen congregations of Latter-day Saints in Nairobi will be launching this program to their members in July, with the program set to reach all 45 congregations of the Church in Kenya by end of 2015, benefiting over 10,000 individuals and families.

This new program comes after the Church launched a Self Reliance Centre in Nairobi in 2014. The centre will support congregations and members in Kenya in their efforts to achieve self reliance. Newly improved programs of the Church such as Perpetual Education Fund also continue to help those seeking to pursue vocational trainings with educational loans.

But why is the Church concerned about the self-reliance abilities of its members? Since inception, one of the Church missions has been to take care of the welfare of its members. This has led to, as history has shown, many programs being set up to improve the livelihoods of the members. One of earliest programs set up was the Bishop's Storehouse which still functions in many countries today. In this program, members of the Church who have more to spare, donate items including food and clothing to this program, enabling bishops to take care of the needy in their jurisdictions. Another unique program of the Church is its Fasting and Testimony Sunday where members are encouraged to fast for two meals on the first Sunday of the month and donate what they would have used to the Church to benefit the needy. Funds from this program are what has driven the globally successful Welfare program of the Church that has benefited many members in need throughout the world.

This new program of Self Reliance not only proposes solutions to how church members can become self-reliant but also how they can use Church facilities and resources to achieve this goal.

President Thomas S. Monson, the Mormon Church's highest ranking leader, has observed that "the ability, commitment and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family", is an essential element in the temporal and spiritual well-being of its members.

When individuals are self-reliant, they also contribute meaningfully to a nation by helping others and supporting the economies in which they live.

Other Links:

Watch Elder Joseph Sitati of the Quorum of the Seventy speak how education has helped him become self reliant

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