Friday, August 1, 2014
Perpetual Education Fund Thriving in Ghana
John Koranteng is the area self-reliance manager in the Africa West Area. Under the direction and keys of the Africa West Area Presidency, Brother Koranteng directs an effort that has combined the PEF loan program, job training programs and new self-employment training to help members become spiritually and temporally self-reliant.
Yesterday, Elder John Koranteng, Area Seventy spoke to the missionaries in the MTC. He began by urging them to focus on their missions and promised them that due to the Perpetual Education program in Africa, things would work out well for them after their missions.
Thirteen years after President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the beginning of the Perpetual Education Fund, the program is thriving in this western African nation.
Hundreds of Ghanaians have benefitted from the Church’s PEF loan program, which helps people lift themselves from the throes of poverty and discouragement through hard work, self-reliance and education.
Ghana’s stable democracy, growing economy and a culture that puts an emphasis on education has made it fertile ground for the PEF success, said Mike Murray, vice chairman of the Perpetual Education Fund.
“In Ghana, you have a winning, triple combination of dynamics. The Church is growing rapidly and is attracting many young adults of strong faith and commitment who have a thirst for education. Ghana, as a country, is putting an emphasis on schools and education. And you have a relatively safe country with a strong rule of law and a steady democracy,” Brother Murray explained.
“In terms of a report card of a country who has everything going for it, Ghana might get straight A’s. We’re extremely pleased with the adoption and usage of the PEF loan program in Ghana. We’re also pleased with how the members who are using this program are repaying the loans. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
The Church’s Perpetual Education Fund is designed to help needy, determined and worthy members of the Church around the world receive funds to pay for education and training, which prepare them for specific jobs or small-business opportunities in the communities in which they live.
It is modeled after the Perpetual Emigration Fund set up for the Church’s early pioneers, and as loans are repaid, the money is recycled and made available to other members of the Church seeking to improve their livelihood. And, like the Perpetual Emigration Fund, the source of the funds comes from the donations of other members who desire to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Participants in the program are strengthened personally, both spiritually and temporally, and are also enabled to help their families and communities.
In order to further that mission, the Church has been implementing a pilot “Self-Reliance Services” initiative in the Africa West Area, the Central American Area and the Caribbean Area.
In the Africa West Area, John Koranteng is the area self-reliance manager. Under the direction and keys of the Africa West Area Presidency, Koranteng directs an effort that has combined the PEF loan program, job training programs and new self-employment training to help members become spiritually and temporally self-reliant. (Published in Church News, July 26, 2014)