On August 19, 2023, members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout West Africa joined together for the All Africa Service Project, a coordinated event held every August, to perform acts of service in their communities. Thousands of volunteers from hundreds of congregations were involved in projects in nine countries. Community members were also invited to participate.
The projects for each community were determined by leaders of local congregations, who relied on members to find opportunities that would be most beneficial. Some of the chosen projects included erecting reflective poles on roadsides, changing mosquito netting at a school, conducting blood donation campaigns, painting, tree planting, pothole filling, desilting of gutters, weeding and lots of cleaning at community buildings and along roads.
“We believe that the two great commandments are to love God and to love our fellow man,” said Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area of the Church of Jesus Christ. “We show our love for God by serving our neighbors and doing what we can to bless the lives of people in our villages and communities. The All-Africa Service Project provides our members [with] the opportunity to bless the lives of their friends and neighbors, and by doing so, show their love for their Heavenly Father.”
Despite heavy rain in many areas, volunteers were not deterred from providing anywhere from two to four hours of service in their communities. One project involving dozens of volunteers required cleaning and sanitizing a community health center in Sierra Leone. Rosalyn Kamara, head of Infection Prevention and Control in Freetown, Sierra Leone, shared her gratitude.
“My faith and belief have been strengthened today by the generous activities of the Church,” said Kamara.
While making important contributions to local communities is the goal of the service project, many participants say they see benefits that go beyond the physical results of each service activity.
“We choose to serve because service can bring us great blessings during difficult times,” said Anyin Alfred, leader of a congregation in Lagos, Nigeria. “We forget ourselves and our problems and think of others [instead].”
Source: Ghana Newsroom