In October and November, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint donated fruit trees, new homes, water boreholes, child nutrition services, equipment and more in several countries throughout Africa. Below are some of the examples of humanitarian aid.
Child nutrition in West Africa
As part of the effort spearheaded by the Relief Society to improve child nutrition worldwide, the Church has initiated a pilot program in the Africa West Area for children ages 0 to 5 years.
Leaders and families gathered at three stake centers in Ghana and one in Sierra Leone in October and November 2023.
At each of the stake centers, between 300 to 400 children were screened for malnutrition, and their parents were given literature and instruction on proper nutrition for their children, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.
Charles Kwablah Akorligleh, a manager in the Church’s Welfare and Self Reliance Department in West Africa, noted that the program provides Church leaders with the opportunity to reach out to those they serve.
“In each ward or branch, this program provides the Relief Society and Primary leaders the opportunity to reach out to those that they minister to and provide this wonderful opportunity for them to bless the lives of their children,” said Akorligleh.
Boreholes, homes, hospital rooms and police equipment in Ghana
On Oct. 3, the Church presented a donation of two boreholes and two water storage tanks to the Saint Francis Senior Technical High School in Akim Oda, Ghana.
Water had always been a challenge at the school, and students had to spend a significant amount of time bringing water from off campus to meet their basic needs.
“Our prayers have been answered,” said Parent Teacher Association President Clement Owusu Sekyere. “The Church has brought us water.”
In his remarks to the students, Asamankese Ghana Stake President Solomon A. Tenadu said the Church funds used to pay for the boreholes and tanks are sacred, because people followed the Savior’s counsel to show love for their fellow man.
“What has happened today is because someone chose to obey the Savior’s council. We urge you to do the same,” he said. “Care for each other, look after the needs of your fellow students. If you do that you will honor those who donated.”
In another part of Ghana, the Church built 20 new homes for residents of the Simiw Village who had lost their homes in a flood.
A donation ceremony was held on Oct. 6, where the keys to the new homes were presented to the recipients. Church leaders, traditional leaders, and village residents then toured the newly built homes.
The Church was represented by Elder Anthony M. Kaku, an Area Seventy in Cape Coast, Ghana, as well as the Ghana Cape Coast Mission leaders and three stake presidents in the area.
“The great tragedy that has befallen your village will bring you closer to Christ,” Elder Kaku said. “I promise you that if you keep Christ first, regardless of your circumstances, He will bless your lives.”
The same day, Elder Kaku and the Ghana Cape Coast Mission leaders, President Christopher L. Morgan and Sister Christine M. Morgan, presented computers and other technology equipment to the Ghana Police Service in Cape Coast.
The office had been relying on manual entry and paper files. With the new equipment, they can automate their processes for more efficient services for the citizens.
The donation highlighted the relationship that has developed between the Church and the police, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom. Missionaries helped the police department earlier in the year to install reflective tape to police barriers making them safer for motorists and pedestrians.
President Morgan said he had been inspired to work closely with the police. “The Lord put into my heart and mind how important it was to work with you, and we will continue to do so,” he said. “We do this because you are our brothers and sisters, and we share a common purpose, to serve others.”
On Oct. 23, Elder Kaku again represented the Church in presenting the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital with a fully renovated maternity block.
“Everything we do as a Church is done with Christ in mind,” Elder Kaku said. “He showed us the way, how to serve others and how to love unconditionally. I believe that if we keep Christ first in our lives, He will bless our efforts, and the communities we serve.”
The hospital superintendent said the donation was timely, and it will help mothers with the most need access quality maternity services.
Children’s home renovation and new buildings in Liberia
At the beginning of October, the Church held a donation ceremony at the Gloria Children Home in Tiene, Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. The Gloria Children Home provides schooling, food, shelter and care for about 30 orphans and abandoned children.
The Church funded a renovation for the facility — rewiring and updating electricity, fixing the roof and ceilings tiles — and constructed a new latrine and kitchen with a storage area and new drainage system.
“The Church has been with us from the very beginning,” said Kula Dennis, the home’s director. “After the Civil War and through the Ebola crises, the Church was there for these children. I am so grateful that we have maintained this relationship throughout the years.”
Water supply, toilets and lightning protection in Uganda
Working with WaterAid Uganda, Kamuli district government officials and school administrators, the Church helped construct a new solar-powered pipe water supply system that will serve more than 9,500 residents of three villages.
In addition, two ventilated improved modern toilet facilities have been constructed at Yana Community High School and Orion Primary School to improve sanitation and hygienic practices among the female students.
Jinja Uganda Stake President Moses N. Mbiro said the Church has made a significant investment in the area despite only having one Church member living within the district, because the Church wanted to see the people of Kamuli “living a conducive and happy life,” reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.
He encouraged the local community leaders and residents to maintain the project so it will continue to be beneficial for a long period of time.
Meanwhile, also in November, the Church installed lightning arrestors at 30 primary schools in Busedde Sub-County, Jinja District, Uganda.
Death and injury from lightning has more profoundly affected children at or around school grounds.
The Busoga Kingdom prime minister, the chief guest at the event, thanked the Church for its response to the kingdom’s request for assistance. He said the Church has been a great support in the past — including providing food support during the pandemic.
Planting fruit trees in Kenya
The Church continued its humanitarian initiative in Kenya called Trees for Food by planting 37,000 fruit trees in the town of Ngong in Kajiado County, on Nov. 2.
This is the third round of Trees for Food, with 400,000 fruit tree seedlings planted in the first two rounds in Kenya. Over the next few weeks, 200,000 orange, banana, mango and avocado trees will be planted throughout six counties in the country.
The trees should begin yielding fruit 18 months to two years after planting. The project allows individuals and families to have food, helps build self-reliance and contributes to protecting the environment.
Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, a General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the Church’s Africa Central Area, spoke at the planting.
“Today we are sowers, and one day, someone will be blessed and will rejoice in harvesting from the fruit trees that we plant. Not just someone, but many,” he said. “You write it down and remember it, for it will surely come to pass.”