News Release

Church in Ghana Develops a New Family History Program for Youth

"Know Your Grandparents"

In Africa, people interested in genealogy depend mostly on living memory and oral histories to find the names of their ancestors. A new program, "Know Your Grandparents," designed for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana and throughout West Africa is now teaching them how to create a family history account and fill in their ancestral names online. 

“Our experience has shown that most of the youth in the Church do not know the names of their grandparents,” said Alexander K. Boateng, coordinator of religious education for the youth of the Church in Accra. “It was from this experience that the program 'Know Your Grandparents' was recently introduced.”

This program is primarily for Church seminary and institute students. Students are given a copy of the My Family Booklet and are encouraged to talk to their parents to find out the names of their grandparents and enter them into the booklet. They are also encouraged to ask their parents to tell them stories about their grandparents.

On Monday, June 26, the first "Know Your Grandparents" program was held for 12- to 18-year-old students at three different locations in Tema. Overall, more than 330 youth, parents, friends and Church leaders participated in the program that day.

“At the meeting, the youth were given the opportunity to share the stories they had been told and enter the information they obtained from their parents into,” said Boateng. He also explained that participants who did not know how to use the computer received help from their friends and family history consultants at the activity.

Elsie Agbeko, one of the young women who participated in the program, said she was especially excited to discover genealogy on her mother’s side of the family. Another young participant, Ezra Senanu, said he learned some interesting family history about his grandparents which he hadn’t known before talking to his parents.

Throughout the day, more than 200 youth submitted names to be entered into Originally, only one hour was planned for the family history section of the program, but the excitement and interest shown by the young people extended the activity another hour. 

“We are so encouraged by the results from the first program that we hope to duplicate it throughout the country, and we also hope to make it an annual program,” said Osei-Agyemang Bonsu, Africa West Area support manager for the Family History Department.


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