Self-Reliance Is Building New and Needed Skills
Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, destroying more than 1.1 million homes and leaving 6,200 dead, 28,000 injured, and 3 million displaced. Members are receiving vocational training and learning skills as carpenters, electricians, or plumbers to help construct shelters to house those who lost their homes.
Elder Nielson said the highlight of the visit was the opportunity to see welfare and self-reliance come together in a remarkable way.
“Each family is given materials to build a new shelter and tools to assist,” he explained. “The family builds their own home with the assistance of a carpenter and three other members. Once the shelter is built, then the family assists nine other families in building their shelter. At the end of that experience, the family is given the tools to keep and a certificate of carpentry is issued certifying that they have learned basic carpentry skills. They are then able to apply for the many construction jobs that are now available in Tacloban. In the process, the Church helps them help themselves. They help other members and in the process gain a marketable skill.”
Bishop Gary E. Stevenson lends a hand constructing new houses in Tacloban, Philippines. In coming months the Church will build some 3,000 homes for Church members and others.
Elder Robert C. Gay, chairman of the Church Perpetual Education Fund, expressed support for the self-reliance initiative. He explained, “The work of building shelters in the Philippines is an example of helping the poor and needy in the Lord’s way — welfare relief accompanied by training to help our members acquire longer term work skills that help them lift themselves while working as one under the direction of local priesthood.” (Welfare and Self-Reliance Are Rebuilding the Philippines)
“One of the divinely appointed responsibilities from the Lord is ‘caring for the poor and needy’ while building self-reliance. This is what is special about what is taking place in the Philippines right now. The Church is simultaneously doing this for the people there.” — Bishop Gary E. Stevenson (Welfare and Self-Reliance Are Rebuilding the Philippines)
It is more effective to help someone learn to do something than to do it for them.