On August 2, 2014, a new Self-reliance Center (SRC) opened in the Toledo District Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Toledo, Cebu, Philippines. The Self-reliance Center (SRC) provides Career Workshops, Self-Employment Workshops, Planning for Success Workshops, and American-Accent English classes for people in the Toledo area.
The Toledo Self Reliance Center (SRC) is operated under the Model SRC in Cebu City, whose staff is assisted by a local Center Coordinators and volunteers. The Model Center Managers develop resources that would benefit members. The District Self-reliance Committee identifies members in need and assists them with one of the three legs of self-reliance namely: Education, Jobs, or Self-employment.
The volunteers in the center contact members who have registered on ldsjobs.org to help them create a profile that can be viewed by potential employers. Volunteers also help those who are applying for loans from the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF).
The Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) was established in 2001 during general conference when Gordon B. Hinckley, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced a “bold initiative” to help youth in developing areas “rise out of the poverty they and generations before them have known.” He spoke of returned missionaries and other ambitious young men and women who have great capacity but meager opportunities:
“I believe the Lord does not wish to see His people condemned to live in poverty. I believe He would have the faithful enjoy the good things of the earth. … In an effort to remedy this [lack of opportunity], we propose a plan … which we believe is inspired by the Lord. … We shall call it the Perpetual Education Fund.” President Hinckley further declared, “Education is the key to opportunity” (“The Perpetual Education Fund,” Ensign, May 2001, 52–53).
The PEF program is patterned after the Perpetual Emigration Fund, which helped more than 30,000 early Church members journey to the Salt Lake Valley from Europe in the mid to late 1800s.
The program is funded through contributions of Church members and others who support its mission. It is a revolving resource in which money is loaned to an individual to help pay for training or advanced education. When a student has graduated and is working, he or she then pays back the loan to the fund at a low interest rate.
Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide for the spiritual and temporal well-being of ourselves and of our families. As we learn and apply the principles of self-reliance in our homes and communities, we have opportunities to care for the poor and needy and to help others become self-reliant so they can endure times of adversity.
We have the privilege and duty to use our agency to become self-reliant spiritually and temporally. Speaking of spiritual self-reliance and our dependence on Heavenly Father, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught: “We become converted and spiritually self-reliant as we prayerfully live our covenants–through worthily partaking of the sacrament, being worthy of a temple recommend, and sacrificing to serve others.”
Elder Hales counseled us to become self-reliant temporally, “which includes getting a post-secondary education or vocational training, learning to work, and living within our means. By avoiding debt and saving money now, we are prepared for full-time Church service in the years to come. The purpose of both temporal and spiritual self-reliance is to get ourselves on higher ground so that we can lift others in need.”