WINDHOEK – Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently revisited their tradition of carrying out their annual community service project.
During the event called the ‘Mormon Helping Hands’, church members repainted the Katutura cemetery. The Mormon Helping Hands is a worldwide annual event where each member dedicates four hours of community service in a day.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mobilises more than 100 000 people across Africa to contribute more than 400 000 hours of community service in one day across the continent.
Community members from Katutura, who live in the vicinity of the cemetery, also joined members of the church in this noble cause.
City of Windhoek Mayor, Elaine Trepper, who addressed church members before the commencement of the services commended the church for embarking upon such a noble initiative, adding that cemeteries are scare places where communities accord respect, families bestow reverence and historians seek information.
“The cemetery should be understood as a homeland for family memorials that are a sustaining source of comfort to the living. A cemetery is a history of peoples’ perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quiet today,” explained the city mayor.
She added that the cemetery exists because every life is worth living and remembering and is thus an irreplaceable historic landscape – however, many of them in the country have been neglected for years.
Trepper further said that the plight of both rural and urban cemeteries cannot be attributed to facts such as abandonment, apathy, encroachment and vandalism.
“Before we lose anymore of these valuable sites from our memories, we must do what we can to preserve our burial grounds.” Last year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also painted the Katutura Hospital, and cleared the bushes and weeds at the Central Hospital. The church has also helped with a vegetable garden at Mount Sinai Centre.
Womba Nashiwaya, a member of the church was thrilled and said: “This was an answered prayer as we were able to show that we honour our families and ancestors. We are grateful that the Lord gave us this opportunity to make the cemetery more appealing.”