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The Self-Reliance Program in the ASE Area

The Self-Reliance Program in the ASE Area


The New Self-Reliance Initiative was officially launched in the Africa Southeast Area in January 2014. During the launch Elder Robert C. Gay, Elder Joseph W. Sitati and Brother Mike Murray from the Self-Reliance PEF Committee of the LDS Church shared the vision of self-reliance and promised that the cycle of poverty that so many of our African saints have lived with for generations would be broken as they embrace and apply these great principles in their lives.
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Prior to the launch the Perpetual Education Fund program and the Employment Resource Services had been in operation in our Area since 2001. During that period hundreds of members were assisted. The new initiative has put holders of priesthood keys at the center of all that happens in the initiative. We are already seeing the difference in the way the initiative is being embraced and implemented by priesthood leaders across the  Africa Southeast Area. We recognize that the initiative in our Area is still in its infancy; however there is great hope for the future.

Area Presidency

The number one key initiative of the Area Presidency for 2015 was Self-Reliance. The Area Presidency approved and rolled out Special Leadership Meetings for stakes and districts across the area. The meetings are primarily focused on teaching principles of honesty, integrity and self-reliance. During these Special Leadership Meetings which are presided over by either a Member of the Area Presidency or an assigned Area Seventy, stake and district priesthood/auxiliary leaders are taught the process of “helping members to help themselves” as per the illustration below.


As part of preparing for the meetings, stake, district, ward and branch priesthood/auxiliary leaders and their spouses are required to study and complete the My Path workbook. Following the Special Leadership Meetings, priesthood/auxiliary leaders are encouraged to attend scheduled My Path Devotionals with members of their quorums, groups and auxiliaries, and thereafter establish self-reliance groups where they learn and put into practice self-reliance principles.

Priesthood/Auxiliary Leaders in training
Priesthood/Auxiliary Leaders in training

Key Facts

There are 43 stakes, 28 districts, 14 missions all spread across the 27 countries that make up the area. The total membership of the church in the area is 171,873 with 11,047 baptized in the last 12 months. Of the 71 stakes and districts, 58 have self-reliance committees whilst 42 have self-reliance centers.

The following progress has also been made:

  • 7,803 members have completed My Path
  • 162 self-reliance groups have been established
  • 2,250 members have started on their path to self-reliance
  • A total of 3,779 PEF loans have been approved in the ASE Area

Self-Reliance Centers

We currently have 7 multi stake self-reliance centers operating in our Area. They are located in the following cities which are centers of strength:

  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Antananarivo Madagascar
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kinshasa, DR Congo
  • Lubumbashi, DR Congo

Find their contact details here.