Mormon Newsroom
News Release

Latter-day Saints in Nigeria Donate 50,000 Hours of Community Service

Hundreds of thousands of people in approximately 100 communities throughout countries in West Africa were the recipients of community service rendered by children, youth and adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who built bridges, planted trees, weeded, painted structures, and cleaned and beautified their communities.

“Together we can do all things” was the theme for Church’s seventh annual All Africa Helping Hands Service Project, completed on August 17, 2013.

Latter-day Saints in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone simultaneously volunteered time and energy at markets, police stations, health centers, neighborhood streets, community centers, orphanages, prisons and a host of other places in need of helping hands.

In Nigeria, approximately 140 different projects were completed, representing about 50,000 hours of volunteer service.

“This Church should be recommended for always thinking about the communities around them,” said Chief N.W. Akpan, village head of Ikot Okwot – now linked to the village of Oduo Atang by a new bridge built on the Ikot Okwot Road by 90 members of the Nsit Ubium Stake (a stake is a group of Latter-day Saint congregations, similar to a diocese) and 18 other volunteers.

These Nsit Ubium Stake members and other volunteers felled six palm and hard trees, lifted them to the site, prepared the site and constructed the bridge, among other tasks.

“This is a big relief to this village, especially our school children,” said Chief S.A. Udo, village head of Oduo Atang. The Ikot Okwot Road had been abandoned when the original bridge collapsed. Now children can cross the bridge to go to school.

At the Edo State Medical Stores Department in Benin City, volunteers trimmed weeds, de-silted roads and beautified the premises.

“In my 25 years of service, this is the first community service I have witnessed that is not attached to any financial returns,” said Dr. Eugene Udebu, Director and Programme Manager of the Edo State Essential Drugs Programme. “It is a marvelous experience!”

Congregations in Nigeria report that total participants in the projects numbered nearly 8,600, including approximately 7,900 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nearly 700 community participants and 26 community leaders.

Corporate participants in Nigeria included Lagos Waste Management (LAWMA), the Nigerian Police, The Church of Christ and Ansar-Ud-Deen of Nigeria, and local governments and municipalities.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized and completed community service projects in the states of Abuja, Anambra, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Eboyin, Edo, Imo, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Rivers.  In the Lagos metropolis, service projects were completed in approximately 20 locations, including Agege, Alimosho, Ajah, Ajangbadi, Amukoko, Amuwo Odofin, Apapa, Ayobo. Other projects were carried out in Ikeja, Ikotun, Ikoyi, Lekki, Mafoluku, Ogba, Ojodu, Okokomaiko, Shibiri, Yaba and locations in Ikorodu.

In the countries of West Africa, many thousands of hours of service have been rendered by about 350 Latter-day Saint congregations over the past six years.

The Mormon Helping Hands program reflects the desire of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others. It brings together members of the Church and their neighbors to provide community service. Throughout the world, where the Church has a presence, these volunteers – some in their trademark yellow shirts – often partner with government, religious and nonprofit organizations to support and improve the communities where they live.  

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