Mormons Minister to Mudslide Victims in Sierra Leone

Mormons Minister to Mudslide Victims in Sierra Leone

Local Latter-day Saints deliver aid to 500 West Africans

News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sierra Leone has come to the aid of some 500 people impacted by a recent mudslide that has reportedly killed 1,000 people and left thousands more homeless. With the help of LDS Charities (the Church’s humanitarian arm), local Mormons and community leaders have delivered mattresses, food, water and other life-sustaining supplies to 105 families. Almost all of these families are not Mormon.

 

Three days of heavy rain in the West African nation of 7 million triggered flash floods and a massive mudslide August 14, 2017, around the capital city of Freetown. The homes of those receiving the Church’s assistance are either destroyed or received significant damage.

John Titus O’Neil, leader of the Church’s Dwarzak congregation in Freetown, went door-to-door with other local leaders to determine who in their area needed help the most. They then submitted their list of families in need to LDS Charities.

"The [delivery] process went very well," O'Neil said. "The government provided security, our members provided labor and all the victims in our area were satisfied. There are now smiles on faces of people who were filled with despair.”

Elder Don Carley, a Church welfare specialist, said he was "pleased to see local leaders assess the needs and then access the resources of the Church to fulfill those needs. Many lives are being blessed because of their efforts.”

Noting the Church’s “timely intervention,” Freetown city official Shiaka Lamin Dumbuya thanked the Church for its service.

“On behalf of the government and His Excellency, the President of Sierra Leone, we say kudos to your Church and its members,” Dumbuya said.

The Church will provide additional relief in Sierra Leone as needs are identified by local leaders.

Additional resource from the Ghana Mormon Newsroom: Latter-day Saint Congregations in Freetown Clean Connaught Hospital

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