News Release

Church's Self-Reliance Program Empowers Mother of 8 in Bohol

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, learning and applying the principle of self-reliance is just as essential as being obedient and faithful to God’s commandments.

Latter-day Saints believe that being self-reliant, both spiritually and temporally, allows them to become better able to serve, care and lift others in need.

For Luisa Umbang, a mother of eight children from Sagbayan, Bohol, becoming self-reliant empowered her to better care and protect her family.


Umbang, who joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 24 June 2016, worked before as an Overseas Filipino Worker for three years.

With a strong desire to be close to her spouse and children, Luisa ended her contract in 2017 and came home to Sagbayan.

“I’m the kind of a woman who has full of anxieties, worries and sorrows in my life. As a mother of eight children, it is very hard for us to feed and give all necessities to our children financially. My spouse is a driver earning 350 pesos a day. Life is so difficult,” Luisa said when she made the difficult decision to be with her family.

Despite the hardships, Luisa didn’t lose hope. She enrolled in the Church’s self-reliance program and was able to find another means to help her husband raise their children.

“I took the SR class in order to add my knowledge about business principles like how to start a small business, separate personal finances and business money, and grow a small business to become more profitable,” she said.

The Self-reliance initiative takes place in small groups. Students learn practical skills combined with spiritual principles that focus on one of four areas such as employment, personal finances, education, or starting and growing a business.

When asked what were the top three things that she learned from her SR class, Luisa responded, “Paying tithing and fast offerings, starting small but thinking big, and protecting my family from hardship.”

Through the Member Welfare Project of the Church, Luisa and many other members of the Sagbayan Branch (small congregation) learned how to raise pigs and goats. By combining the principles that she has learned from her self-reliance class, Luisa was able to grow her piggery business.

Luisa explained that learning how to be self-reliant made a positive change in her life. She learned how to balance her time to fulfill her obligations as a mother, small business owner, barangay official, and as a member of the Church.

Moreover, Luisa became the group manager of the Sagbayan Branch Member Welfare Project, the person designated by their group and approved by her priesthood leader to train, guide and follow up group participants in their routine activities. Not only was she able to learn how to become self-reliant, she also became an action partner to help other families learn self-reliance.

The principles she has learned through the SR program has made her realize that poverty is not a hindrance to success. “The sweetest thing that I reached today is the capacity to finance all my children to school,” Luisa said. “My family is happier and contended now.”

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