Fourth Annual All-Africa Helping Hands Day

  • 7 September 2010

Members in Nigeria help clean debris as part of a continent-wide day of service.

Article Highlights

  • Members in more than 35 African countries were expected to participate.
  • Service hours donated exceeded 100,000 hours.

“They all looked so happy clearing waterways, cutting bushes, and filling potholes.”

Church members across the African continent spent Saturday, August 21, improving their communities as part of the 2010 “All-Africa Helping Hands Day.” The common thread in all of the projects was a desire to follow the Lord’s commandment to serve others.

This year, the Aba Nigeria Stake invited several community-based youth groups to partner with them and the local environmental agency to clean up Abia State Polytechnic, Okpu-Umuobo Road (the road that goes by the Aba Nigeria Temple), and the Osisioma Community Health Center. The partnership brought together more than 1,000 people, including a particularly large number of youth who were preparing for the Africa West Area Special Youth Event. With so many willing hands, the volunteers were able to move huge piles of debris to the refuse disposal vehicles supplied by some of the project partners.

In the Umuahia Nigeria District, over 100 members from six branches mowed grass, trimmed flowers, cleaned gutters, and cleaned the grounds of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State. While they were there, a media team interviewed them and thanked the members and their leaders for their work.

Silas Ije Othor in Abeokuta, Nigeria, joined the local service activity after seeing what the volunteers were doing. He said, “They all looked so happy clearing waterways, cutting bushes, and filling potholes. That is what attracted me to join them.”

In Accra, Ghana, branches were assigned to clean up various areas including hospitals, children’s schools, and police stations. Some members were assigned to fill potholes or to clear storm drains that had become clogged. One ward tidied a nearby market, to the delight of the local children, who were happy to participate in the project when they saw the ward members at work.

Wherever the members went in their Helping Hands vests, their help was welcomed by grateful communities. The rector of Abia State Polytechnic told the volunteers that “in an era where everybody is asking what the government will do for them, it is a welcome development to have an organization that continuously provides service to humanity.” Members ended the day tired and dirty but happy to have been able to make a difference.