News Release

Strengthening Marriages in Lome, Togo

Church of Jesus Christ Family Services pilots marriage program in West African country

Tamara Esi Dadson (left), Family Services Manager in the Africa West Area, presents Sister Amive Felicite Amehouenou and President Emmanuel Komlan Amehouenou, with a completion certificate for the Strengthen Families Program. 17 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On 17 February 2024, 27 couples from the Lome Togo Agoe Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, celebrated the completion of the ‘Strengthen Marriage’ pilot program.  The program, supported by the Welfare and Self-reliance department of the Church in the Africa West Area, provided the couples with instruction on marriage that was based on the Church’s 1995 Proclamation on the Family. 

The couples attended a weekly class over a two-month period with subjects that included applying the principles of the gospel in marriage, promoting equality and unity, communicating with love, overcoming anger, resolving conflict, and enriching marriages. 

Representing the Family Services program of the Church was Tamara Esi Dadson Family Services Manager for the Africa West Area.  Sister Dadson presented the completion certificates to the couples. "I am so grateful to these couples who have set such a great example for all those who are married in West Africa.  By completing this program they have drawn closer to their Heavenly Father by drawing closer to each other," she said.

The Church of Jesus Christ in the Africa West Area has worked to strengthen families and marriages as a way of strengthening the communities it serves.  In June 2023, the Church sponsored the ‘Strengthen Families Conference’ in Abuja, Nigeria.  4000 people attended the conference and over 200,000 participated virtually.  The theme of the conference was Strengthening Marriage, and brought together educators, traditional and inter-faith leaders to discuss marriage and families in West Africa.

“In these times when there are attacks on marriage from many adversaries, it is necessary for us to gain knowledge to counter the attacks on this God ordained institution,” said President Amehouenou Emmanuel Komlan, of the Lome Agoé Stake.  “We plan on doing this every year, to set an example for our rising generation of the importance of marriage.”

Coordinating the program was Elder Kossi Ganyo Azedzi, a Family Services Service Missionary in Lome. “We thought we'd honor the married couples who participated in the Strengthening Marriage program with this special evening.  We hope it will also motivate other couples to follow in their footsteps.”  The ceremony was highlighted by dancing with the accompaniment of the Afro Vibes Orchestra, who got the couples dancing to a rhythm of love and communion.  At the conclusion of the program, the couples received a certificate of completion.

The Mikpeayevo family was delighted to have taken part in the program. “I  believe that you are never finished learning, and I learned a lot in this class,” said Brother Folly Mikpeayevo who attended with his wife, Pierette. He advises young couples that there are no manuals other than trying to practice those simple things that the Strengthening Marriage program recommends.  

"It's not our honor on this earth or the material possessions we've accumulated that will be at stake in the last days, but how we've behaved as a family. We believe that the programs of this church are designed for our happiness as a family, and we don't want to  miss the opportunity to take advantage of it," said sister Edwige Fafa Kouegan.

"We need to continue practicing the good gestures that brought us together from the very first days we met and during our outings as couples when we were young adults on our own. Marriage is a quest for good. We must seek this good together," Sister Carine Kafui Messeko shared.

Sister Albertine Sanwogou said,” One of the best things I've learned is to make the effort to express myself in the first person. This allows me to avoid making my husband feel guilty. 2 Nephi 5:27 tells us that Nephi overcame according to the way of happiness, I learned that marriage is not easy and when we listen to the way of the Lord and try to live according to the way of happiness, we will overcome like Nephi.”

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