News Release

Church Aids Latter-day Saints Affected by Ebola Outbreak

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through its humanitarian arm, LDS Charities, sent food and other emergency supplies to more than 2,500 Latter-day Saint families and nearly 7,800 families received emergency supplies in Sierra Leone during a recent state of emergency – necessitated by the Ebola-virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 500 citizens, including two members of the Church.

LDS Charities provided rice, cooking oil, hygiene supplies and chlorine to families in Freetown, Kissy, Lungi, Kossoh Town, Makeni, Bo and Kenema. The supplies arrived during a government-mandated, 19-21-September lock down, during which families were required to stay at home and asked to reflect and pray.

“I am a mother of two children and was engaged in petty trading to maintain my children . . . before the crisis,” said a new member of the Church in Makeni. “The Ebola crisis has brought unemployment to most of us . . . [and] all the money I had got finished . . . I had nothing to upkeep my children. The support received from the Church today has brought joy and confidence in my family and we are grateful to God.”

As the suffering of the masses increases, the people of Sierra Leone face their greatest challenge – the shortage of food, especially in quarantined area

“I am glad for this supply because we were wondering about what to eat during the ‘stay-at-home,’” said Farissa Fomba. “But God has blessed us. We are so happy. We appreciate Him and will always continue to worship Him.”

“As a widow and head of family . . . we were just thinking where to start during the three-day lock down,” said Mary Margay, member of the Kissy Second Branch (a branch is a small, Latter-day Saint congregation). “We feel overjoyed.”

The 60-90-day state of public emergency was declared in August to help the government tackle the outbreak. Despite efforts to contain the virus, it continued to spread, prompting the three-day "stay-at-home" – referred to as “ose to ose Ebola talk” – during which volunteers educated communities and conducted routine checks for possible symptoms.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.