Members Serve across Africa

“Members Serve across Africa,” Ensign, Feb. 2009, 80

Members Serve across Africa

Members in more than 30 African countries collaborated in a historic Africa-wide community service initiative on September 20, 2008. The event, known as Mormon Helping Hands Day, involved almost 1,000 communities across the continent and generated 100,000 hours of community service.

Projects included cleaning and painting homes for the elderly and disabled, improving care facilities for abused women and children, revitalizing children’s parks, supplying wheelchairs, and planting gardens.

“There are so many people on the African continent who live without hope,” said Leon Holmes, who coordinated the service in South Africa as national director of public affairs for the Church there. “Many are struggling with personal challenges such as disability, terminal illness, substance addiction, prolonged unemployment, physical and emotional abuse, broken homes. … Opportunities to provide relief are boundless.”

The continent-wide service day was first held in 2007. The success of that event resulted in almost doubling the number of countries involved in the 2008 venture.