The Newsroom Blog

Solomon Islanders Learn Joys of Self-Reliance

A wave of growing enthusiasm and creativity was started April 2015 when 12 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Solomon Islands completed the first course of a Church sponsored curriculum called “Starting and Growing My Business.”  

The class is one of three self-reliant courses designed to teach individuals and families the importance of becoming self-reliant in all aspects of life and then pointing them in the right direction so they can obtain the education and tools they need to achieve their goals.    

“Our goal in self-reliance,” said Elder David Nish, a Self-Reliance missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “is to get families to the temple, to get them to be self-reliant, to pay for their children’s education and their food and clothing and medical needs.”

To date there have been three 12-week “Starting and Growing My Business” courses taught with a total enrolment of 66 students resulting in 15 new businesses and nine existing business improved and expanded. 

Elder Nish has witnessed remarkable changes in the lives of those who complete the course and then apply what they’ve learned by starting a new or improving an existing business.  Their ability to care for and provide for their personal and family’s needs has increased tremendously.

While going through the coursework, Timothy Faifu and his wife Millie were undecided on what type of business would suit their skills and abilities.  “After completing the course,” explains Elder Nish, “they remembered he had an old brick mould that he had used to build his house with, and then he realised he could use the mould to start a business and become self-reliant.”

“I didn’t know how to go about starting a business,” said Timothy, “but when Elder and Sister Nish started the self-reliance group I took the course. It makes money for me to provide for my family. Before this, I didn’t work. I didn’t have any money to help my family. Now I’m able to do that by making bricks.” 

“Timothy has his brother-in-law and one other Church member working for him,” explained Elder Nish.  “His wife does the books which she learned to do in self-reliance class so it’s actually a small family business employing another Church member as well.  It is a wonderful story.”

“Timothy, along with many of the students are not only temporally self-reliant,” said Elder Nish, “but they are also becoming spiritually self-reliant as well—in other words they pay their tithing, they read their scriptures, they say their prayers and their family prayers, they have a goal to attend the temple and they have savings.” 

There are many other success stories coming from the “Starting and Growing My Business” class. 

Entrepreneur, Caleb Wanega, learned how to manage his finances as a result of taking the course. “I have my own nursery now and have learnt how to control my finances,” he said. 

Rose Hoara, a young mother, realised she could help support her family by starting an egg business. She has a growing number of laying hens and sells the fresh eggs to neighbours and others in the community.

Maria Gwaro started a plant business by propagating cuttings from existing plants and nurturing them until they are ready to place in pots and sell to interested buyers.

Patrick Maseru enrolled in the course even though he owned his own security business. He was able to gain more confidence and learned new ways to make his business run more efficiently. 

Elder Nish says the self-reliant courses are designed to help members of the Church learn and put into practice principles of faith, education, hard work, and trust in the Lord. They are taught that living these principles will better enable them to receive the temporal blessings promised by the Lord. 

Browse the Blog

About The Blog: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.