For centuries, the African people have been tied to the oral tradition. For millions, there are no records of their life or that they existed. The information for many individuals remains in the minds of the elders and leaders of various clans, villages, and tribes. But many these leaders are dying and not passing on their knowledge to the younger generation. LDS Philanthropies helping to fund these critical stories of families before they are lost forever.
Oral history is gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. FamilySearch International, the non-profit family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days has been collecting oral histories and genealogies in various countries in Africa for more than 15 years. During that time, they have collected information for more than 7 million names. But this is not enough.
In a continent of more than 1.1 billion living people, it is estimated that information exists for 250 million. A typical interview will identify approximately 300 to 400 people. At this rate, will need to conduct approximately 700,000 interviews over the next five to ten years across Africa.
LDS Philanthropies is pleased to partner with FamilySearch International to help further this important work in Africa. To contribute and assist before it’s too late to gather this information, go to familysearch.org/donate.