News Release

Sisters of Binza DR Congo Stake Celebrate the Relief Society’s 181st Anniversary

Theme of the meeting was self-reliance

Hundreds of faithful women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered at the Binza Stake Center in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, March 25, 2023 to celebrate the 181st anniversary of the Relief Society. In line with the priorities of the Africa Central Area, this activity focused on the theme of self-reliance. 

Didier Mutombo, President of the Binza Stake, opened the meeting by inviting the sisters to share their ideas and strategies about how to achieve self-reliance. He told them about the opportunities that the church offers to collaborate with other institutions to help the sisters become more self-reliant.

Angelique Tarr, Area Organizational Advisor for Kinshasa and western DR Congo, emphasized that “all sisters in the Binza Stake need to take advantage of their opportunities. You have a wonderful president who seeks to promote your welfare. You must seize this opportunity because you must first have the desire and then take the time to improve your life.”

Two outside guests addressed the meeting: Mrs. Astride Tshimanga, coordinator of social investment at Equity Bank, and Mrs. Julie Nsuele, president of the non-governmental organization Grace à ma Mère. The two exchanged ideas with the sisters about opportunities for free learning of skilled trades and the various forms of financing and support that banks can offer to sisters who want to be more self-reliant.

Astride Tshimanga said, “our goal is to offer free training to women entrepreneurs in income management. We grant funding to those who want to expand their businesses and provide full-time support to reassure them that everything will work out.”

Julie Nsuele said, “in my organization, we teach women who want to be independent, free of charge, in such trades as sewing, aesthetics, baking, and soap making. After the 4-month training program we give each of them starter kits according to the area of their training and follow up on their implementation.”

The sisters in attendance listened carefully to the training and came up with many good ideas for their own projects.

The Relief Society is an organization ordained by God for all adult women in the Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the purpose of Relief Society is to save souls and relieve suffering. He stated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not fully organized until after the organization of the sisters.

It was founded on March 17, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA, and currently has over 7.1 million members in 188 countries, making it one of the largest women's organizations in the world.

The Relief Society motto is “Charity never faileth,” from 1 Corinthians 13:8.

Thousands of Church sisters around the world and Central Africa celebrated the 181st anniversary of Relief Society.

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