News Release

Self Reliant in Kambuzuma, Harare, Zimbabwe

Joseph Kahari is a quiet, unassuming man who lives in a modest home in Kambuzuma, Harare, Zimbabwe, but his story is amazing!

It all started when Joseph, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, learned about the importance of relying upon one’s self by learning new skills in order to make a living.  He purchased a used Leader sewing machine for $30, obtained material, and started sewing clothing including shirts, skirts, serapes, throws, pillow covers, curtains and more.  Many of his products include fabrics that tell the story of his people and the African environment.  Finding leather, Joseph began creating sandals for both men and women.  All he needs to know is a person’s shoe size and color preference, and within a day or so, he delivers the product for only $10.  The sandals fit well, are comfortable to walk in, and hold up well.  Joseph just began designing and producing woman’s bags made of patchwork leather.  They will soon be in demand among his customers with their unique patterns and long durability.

Not content to bless his own life, Joseph was determined to help others learn the vital principal of self-reliance.  Today he teaches a group of twenty plus women with both church members and women from the community, who, in turn, teach and demonstrate how to make useful and saleable products.  Their group, named Africa 54, has completed the work in the inspired self-reliance initiative, “Start and Grow My Business” and has implemented the skills they learned by completing all assignments.

Elder and Sister Diede (Miles and Marlene) have been serving as the Self-Reliance senior couple in Harare, and surrounding areas. They recently returned to their home in Great Falls, Montana, after eighteen months of service helping the people of Zimbabwe to learn these skills.  The Church's Harare Mission's first counselor, President Kasnos Paradzai, is the supervisor for Self-Reliance.  With the foundation being laid, many members are taking serious the admonition to become self-reliant, and doing so in inventive ways.


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