News Release

Empowering Women, Feeding Refugees and Building Schools: Service From Latter-day Saints Around the World

Featuring stories from the United Kingdom, Cambodia and Kenya.

Newsroom features stories from its dozens of websites around the world to show what members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are doing to serve their communities. Today, we feature news from the United Kingdom, Cambodia and Kenya.

Kenya: Church Donates $250,000 to Teach Women and Girls Self-Reliance

The Church of Jesus Christ, in collaboration with The BOMA Project, a Kenya- and US-based nonprofit organization, on May 6, 2022, donated $250,000 to the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), a 16-month-long nutrition-sensitive project in the Isiolo and Marsabit Counties of northern Kenya. The program addresses poverty and food insecurity and strives to empower women and girls in rural Kenya.

The donation will help program participants improve their self-reliance. Africa Newsroom reports that there are 1,200 women supporting approximately 6,000 children and dependent family members directly involved with REAP.

To learn more about this donation and the REAP program, read the full article on Africa Newsroom (English).

Colombia: Abandoned Girls Receive Supplies from Loving Neighbors

Members of the Church in Barranquilla, Colombia, collected and delivered essential supplies to the Casa Hermana Helena Foundation in early July. According to a Colombia Newsroom article (Spanish), the foundation works as a shelter for girls ages 5 to 17 who are abandoned, orphaned or pregnant. Some are victims of abuse.

The donated supplies included cleaning products, clothes and baby items. They were delivered directly to the young women during a special event held at Casa Hermana that included a meal prepared by Church members. “For us it [was important] to be able to see the work of the Savior [on behalf of] each of these girls … and to know that we [were] dedicating time to share with them,” one volunteer said.

Kenya: Emergency Sanitation Issue at Catholic Nyabondo Boys Secondary School Solved with New Bathrooms

On June 15, 2022, Denis Obiero, the president of a local Church congregation in Nyabondo, Kenya, joined with senior missionaries and others to present Catholic Nyabondo Boys Secondary School with new restrooms.

The restrooms are housed in a separate building from the school known as a “latrine block.” The block originally held 24 stalls, but the latrine block collapsed in February, resulting in the tragic death of one student. The Church stepped in to address the emergency sanitation situation (English) by building 12 new bathroom stalls. At the presentation of the completed latrine block, Jactone Gangre, sub-county director of education, said, “We want to thank you greatly for coming to our aid to ensure that our boys are back in school with the facilities that they need.”

South Africa Hailstorm School Recovery
South Africa Hailstorm School Recovery
A building at the Umzansi Youth in Business Centre in KwaZulu-Natal is opened to the public after undergoing extensive renovations for severe damages caused by a hailstorm in November 2021, South Africa, July 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

South Africa: Church Completes Renovation of Youth Center after Hailstorm Damage

On July 1, 2022, a newly renovated building at the Umzansi Youth in Business Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was reopened to the public during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The roof had been destroyed by a severe hailstorm in November 2020, reducing the size of classroom and counseling space for the youth who participate in the organization’s after-school programs. The Church of Jesus Christ, in cooperation with the South Africa Department of Social Development, repaired the roof.

Not only did the Church assist in the repairs, but it also gave the center access to its self-reliance program and manuals to enhance the after-school program. The program, which is facilitated by the Umzansi Centre “focuses on inviting all young people who are in business or intend to be in business to participate and learn skills that will help them succeed,” according to Africa Newsroom (English). “We have [found] the Church’s manuals … to be more effective than the manuals we were using before,” said Bongani Zuma, CEO of the center. “They seem to be highly focused, short and have practical examples.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Lindiwe Zulu, national minister of social development, remarked, “We are really grateful that you, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, [found it important enough] to look deeper into your pockets, which, by the way, should not be taken for granted because where you took, you took from your own community. Where you took, you took from people who sacrificed and said, ‘We will contribute to the well-being of communities all over.’”

Cambodia: Latter-day Saints Donate New Building to Trop Secondary School

Trop Secondary School in Batheay District, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia, received a new building thanks to the Church of Jesus Christ.

The Trop Secondary School had only one building with four classrooms and an office to accommodate 500 students in 2019. Funds were raised to build additional space, but progress in fundraising and building came to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leang Kimleng, the school’s principal, then began a relationship with the Church and was able to secure donations that would spark progress. On May 2, 2022, students and local civic and Church leaders gathered to celebrate the donated building and additional desks that came from the Church (English).

A woman receives free clothing from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after her family is forced to evacuate their home during heavy rain and flooding, Guatemala, June 2022.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Guatemala: Flood Victims Receive New, Dry Clothes from Latter-day Saints

On June 21, 2022, 46 families affected by intense rain and flooding in northern Guatemala received donated clothing from the Church. The families were among those who evacuated their homes and took refuge in shelters set up by the Municipality of Panzós. Visit Guatemala Newsroom (Spanish) to read more about this contribution.

Mexico: Donation of 268 Wheelchairs Changes Lives

Church representatives in Mexico delivered 268 wheelchairs (Spanish) on June 14, 2022, to Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF) in the state of Oaxaca to help citizens with mobility issues. Accessories, fluid cushions, replacement kits and armrests were also donated. Ivette Moran de Murat, president of DIF Oaxaca, said, “Today is an event of love and joy. … With all my heart, thank you. Delivering 268 wheelchairs is not the delivery of a material object, but it is delivering a new way of living. We are changing 268 lives.”

United Kingdom: Donated Provisions to Ukraine Reach a Total of 900 Tons from the Church of Jesus Christ

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted supply and distribution of food to Ukrainian citizens. Basic items such as canned meals, baby food, flour, pasta and rice have been scarce. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints initiated an emergency project to deliver items to warehouses in the nearby countries of Poland and Romania that could then be transported by Ukraine’s transport network to the areas in most need.

Suppliers with available inventory and the ability to ship quickly were difficult to identify but were eventually secured in Germany, Spain, Poland, Romania and other countries. “The process of sourcing provisions was also hindered by language barriers,” Daniel Garcia, an employee of the Church Purchasing Department in the Europe Area told United Kingdom Newsroom (English). These emergency shipments totaled over 1,000 pallets of food and were delivered over eight weeks in April and May 2022. The relief provided to the people of Ukraine by the Church has now reached 900 tons of food and other provisions.

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.