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4 humanitarian projects the Church has done in central Africa this year

From clean water to medical supplies, the Church is providing a variety of resources to those in need in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engages in humanitarian efforts all over the world, helping all of God’s children have access to medical care, food and water, education and other resources.

Here are four examples of humanitarian work done this year in the Africa Central Area.

Clean water donation

Provincial Minister of Health Liza Nemba Lemba and Didier M. Mutombo cut the ribbon for the new bore hole in Selembao, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on May 5, 2023.
Provincial Minister of Health Liza Nemba Lemba and Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Binza Stake President Didier M. Mutombo, who is a a Church Welfare and Self-Reliance Services manager for the Africa Central Area, cut the ribbon for the new bore hole in Selembao, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on May 5, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

When the rapidly growing neighborhood of Selembao in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, was facing a critical shortage of drinking water, the Church responded by drilling two water boreholes and installing four 5,000-liter water storage tanks and faucets, the Church’s Africa newsroom reported.

The project began in November 2022, when Liza Nemba Lemba, Kinshasa provincial minister of health and president of the Liza Nemba Lemba Foundation, approached the Church for help. Local government was unable to provide a long-term solution to the drinking water crisis, which forced residents to walk long distances for bottled water so they could avoid drinking unhealthy ground water. Women and children were impacted the most.

The Church’s response was a $62,000 investment in clean drinking water facilities that will improve the lives of more than 5,000 people.

The handover of the first borehole took place in Selembao on May 4, led by Lemba. The Church was represented by Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Binza Stake President Didier M. Mutombo, who is a Church Welfare and Self-Reliance Services manager for the Africa Central Area, and Eddy Matondo, humanitarian site monitor.

Toilet facilities for orphanage

Children at the Maman Koko Orphanage in Mont-Ngafula, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on May 3, 2023.
Children at the Maman Koko Orphanage in Mont-Ngafula, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on May 3, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Patrick Mawongo, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa-West Mission, gave keys to new toilet facilities on May 3 to Father Hugo Rios-Diaz, director of the Maman Koko Orphanage in Mont-Ngafula, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The idea for this donation arose from a service project President Mawongo did there in December 2021, the Church’s Africa newsroom reported.

The facilities include a new building with 10 toilets and two showers, and two 5,000-liter freshwater tanks. The project cost $32,000 and took about five weeks to complete.

Volunteers care for about 500 orphans at the center, ranging from newborn to early teens. Many of them suffer from serious birth defects.

President Mutombo said during the handover ceremony that “my heart is touched by what I have seen here.”

Relief for refugees

A woman smiles as she carries a large back with supplies and balances on her back while carrying a baby in a sling as walks across a grassy field. Others gather around supplies in the background.
A woman carries emergency aid in Rutshuru, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in January 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In January, the Church partnered with nonprofit and government officials to donate food and supplies for more than 19,000 refugees in Rwanguba, Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bulk quantities of maize flour, beans, rice, salt, cooking oil, sleeping mats, blankets and fabric for clothing were given to 3,278 families.

The Church worked with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Société Cooperative Agricole du Congo, and refugee camp and local government officials to assess needs, acquire supplies and manage distribution.

Medical supplies for seniors

A man presents a walker wrapped in plastic to another while a group of people look on.
Elder Matthew L. Carpenter, a General Authority Seventy and Africa Central Area president, presents a walker to Secretary General Michel Mongo in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on Jan. 27, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Matthew L. Carpenter, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Africa Central Area, led a delegation in January that met with senior government officials in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, to strengthen ties and donate medical supplies to the Kambisi Home for Seniors.

The Church’s Africa newsroom reported that the donation included wheelchairs, medical supplies and essential medicine. The senior home is supported by Antoinette Sassou, the first lady of the Republic of Congo, and her foundation, Congo Assistance.

Elder Carpenter was accompanied by Elder Chardon Ndinga, Area Seventy, and President Jean Luc Magré and Sister Beatrice Magré of the Congo Brazzaville Mission.

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