Mormon Helping Hands Project Gakuto Village, Botswana

News Release

On August 18, 2018, All Africa Mormon Helping Hands Day, representatives of the Gaborone West Ward and Gaborone Stake, formally handed over their Mormon Helping Hands project to leaders of Gakuto Village and the Governmental Ministry.

                                             

In May 2018, former ward Mormon Helping Hands and Ward Public Affairs Specialist, Sister Joyce Morontshe of the Gaborone West Ward, Gaborone, Botswana Stake, with her Mormon Helping Hands committee were considering Mormon Helping Hands project ideas for August 18. The council felt that Gakuto Village could benefit from a Helping Hands project. Visiting the village, the council met a social worker in the village who introduced Sister Morontshe and the Mormon Helping Hands team to the Village Chief and the Village Development Committee (VDC). Sister Morontshe arranged to meet with the Committee (VDC) to suggest the idea of a having a Mormon Helping Hands project in the village. The Committee was grateful for the opportunity to have a Mormon Helping Hands project and gave approval for the ward to prepare and plant gardens for eleven village families. The gardens would provide food and some income for the families. The Council also approved the ward providing a one year supply of sanitary products for twenty school girls in the village.

Beginning in June, members of the Ward worked every week on the eleven gardens. Ward members also began contributing items to fill the twenty sanitary packages for school girls in the village. Between May and August ward members contributed hundreds of hours of service and contributed enough supplies to provide one year’s sanitary needs for thirty young women, ten more young women than initially planned on.

 

A ceremony turning over the completed project to the village was held at the Gakuto Village Kgotla on August 18, 2018. Village residents, ward members and invited guests gathered to celebrate, to deliver and to recieve the completed project. Media representatives from television, newspaper and radio also attended and reported on the event.

                                       

    

President Lucas Rakwela, second councilor in the Stake Presidency, explained that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides service from local congregations to their communities through Mormon Helping Hands. Keynote speaker, Parliamentary Minister, the Honorable Vincent Sereste, expressed his gratitude for the services provided and said, “we all need to lift the burdens of others… to help generously… and to not only give, but to give well”. He complimented those who did the service for being an example of these qualities. Village Chief, Kgosi Abdul B. Letlamma, also spoke expressing his gratitude for the wonderful help the project is to the recipients and to the village itself.

                                      
                                    

Stake President, Oduetse Mokweni and Stake Relief Society President, Joyce Morontshe, ceremonially then handed plants and sanitary packages to Minister Sereste and to Chief Letlamma, who then gave the items to the Village Development Committee chairperson, Ms. Sekhala Ramphala.

                            

Ms. Ramphala expressed her gratitude for the project and turned time over to Ms. Oratile Pelonomi, a beneficiary of a new garden. Ms. Pelonomi emotionally thanked those who blessed her with their service as the entire audience broke into song.

 
           

President Mokweni concluded the meeting saying we are all children of God and that the Church believes in service to our fellowmen, to “…succor those in need of succor…”.

      
  

Following the meeting, participants walked to one of the new gardens where Minister Sereste and Chief Letlamma planted vegetables after which the group returned to the Kagotla area for refreshments.   

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