News Release

Latter-day Saints Learn to Become Self-Reliant 

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are learning that becoming self-reliant will change their lives.

President Thomas S. Monson, worldwide leader of the Church, teaches that self-reliance, “the ability, commitment and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family,” is an essential element of our temporal and spiritual well-being.


The self-reliance services initiative was established in West Africa in March 2013. In 2016 nearly 15,000 individuals were serviced in the West Africa Area’s Self-reliance Resource Centers. These centers are established in stakes and districts (groups of congregations). They are designed for returning missionaries, unemployed or underemployed members and others who need help in becoming self-reliant. In West Africa, the program is maintained by eight full-time managers, assisted by local Church-service missionaries and volunteers.

After completing a detailed questionnaire, participants determine their needs and focus on one of three paths: (1) start or grow a business, (2) find or upgrade employment, or (3) create an education plan.

A self-reliance group meeting is different from most Church classes and workshops. There are no regular teachers. After a facilitator is selected from among the group members, the group counsels together, mentors each other and makes commitments. Group members also study 12 doctrinal topics – tied to self-reliance – from the manual, My Foundation: Principles, Skills, Habits. After completing the course, participants are better able to determine their own path toward becoming self-reliant.


Alexander Tandoh, Accra West self-reliance services manager said, “There is a link between temporal and spiritual development. As one becomes more self-reliant, he or she becomes more confident.” 

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