Community Outreach

Family Gardens, Rural Clinic Renovations and Nightly Efforts to Feed the Hungry: Service from Latter-day Saints Around the World

Family garden kits curb malnutrition in Ecuador, Church members complete renovations to a rural health clinic in Fiji, and free meals are provided nightly to the underprivileged in Zurich

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 Fiji, Switzerland, Malaysia and elsewhere.

Fiji: Saints Renovate a Health Clinic

Volunteers from the Suva Fiji Stake (a group of congregations) of the Church of Jesus Christ finished an extensive renovation of the Raiwaqa Health Clinic on January 28, 2023. Fresh paint, new walls, roof repairs, gutter installation and other structural repairs were completed over the course of four months.

The project, which began on September 10, 2022, was initiated by one of the clinic’s doctors, Dr. Iran, who had visited a chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ earlier in 2022.

“The moment she came into the building, she was astonished by how clean the chapel was,” said Panapasa Ratuvukivuki, a local church leader. “She asked me if it would be possible for us to help make the clinic as clean as the chapel.”

Although the clinic is small, the upgrades have impacted the doctors and patients they serve.

“We see the patients coming to the clinic, and when they see what is done their faces brighten,” Ratuvukivuki said. “When the patients don’t have to move because of [a] leaky roof, we see the light in their eyes.”

Switzerland: The Church Gives Three Tons of Food and $5,000 to Catholic Service Group

In January, members of the Church of Jesus Christ in Zurich delivered more than three tons of food and hygiene items to Incontro, a Catholic organization that offers free food and services to those in need. The Church also donated roughly US$5,000 at the end of 2022 to support their efforts.

Every night, Incontro volunteers serve more than 300 hot meals to the underprivileged from food stands and trolleys near Zurich’s Europaallee shopping mall.

“Every evening, pensioners, homeless people, people with addictions, prostitutes, young families with children, and refugees … [stand in line] for groceries and wait patiently for their turn. And the line is long — very long,” Jürg Ottiker, state commissioner for interreligious relations, said in a Switzerland Newsroom article.

Russia: The Church Provides New Equipment to a Children’s Hospital

In January, the Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital in Rostov, Russia, received new surgical and diagnostic equipment from the Religious Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A church representative delivered operating room equipment, a laser device and a diagnostic microscope. 

Ecuador: The Church Donates Family Garden Kits to Fight Malnutrition

On February 3, 2023, the Church and Plan International donated 500 family garden kits to Saint Helena, Ecuador. José Jiménez Álava of the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Department delivered the kits to Mercy Pineda, a sustainability technician from Plan International.

The kits contain seeds for a variety of vegetables, a germination tray, compost, an atomizer and gloves. The subsequent harvest will provide food for an estimated 500 homes in more than 50 communities of Santa Elena. At harvest time, a Plan International representative will teach cooking classes and provide recipe books.

Volunteers work on various service projects for community organizations during the JustServe Community Service Open House in Boise, Idaho, on February 2, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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USA: JustServe Community Service Open House Helps the Needy in Idaho

The second annual JustServe Community Service Open House was held in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, February 2, 2023. The Amity Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ hosted 300 participants from various faiths, including the Bahá’í Community of Meridian and Stonehill Church. The group worked on service projects for a dozen organizations in the Treasure Valley

“The JustServe open house was an absolutely awesome experience,” said Jacquie Richards, a Bahá’í community member. “So many lovely people from different faiths working so hard together on projects to help unknown community members enjoy more comfortable lives was uplifting, fantastic, and exactly what our one God wishes us to do — serving together celebrating unity and diversity for the good of all.”

Event volunteers donated and organized more than 400 pairs of eyeglasses, 300 nonperishable foods, 420 Valentine’s cards for the elderly, 150 hand-sewn burp cloths, sleeping mats for the homeless, blankets, educational items for children, information packets on trauma and much more. The community organizations involved included the Lions Club Recycle for Sight Program, Shepherd of the Valley Pantry, Letters to Rose, Safe Families, The Virtues Project and Copper Springs Senior Living.

“The partnerships that are formed and come together for one cause [are] just astounding and make a huge impact in the community,” said West Ada Community School liaison Emily Coltrin. “The JustServe program ... widens the reach of all community organizations to make a difference in the lives of families in the community.

Malaysia: Donation of Medical Devices Modernizes Rural Clinics

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Rotary Club Bintulu Central in Malaysia donated over 200 new medical devices to more than 120 rural clinics and hospitals as part of Project HOPE. According to the Malaysia Newsroom, sonography machines, delivery beds, ventilators and other equipment were included in the mid-January donation.

Project HOPE is a joint initiative that improves healthcare in rural communities of east Malaysia. Greater access to the donated technology will improve diagnostic and treatment capabilities and allow patients to access medical care closer to home.

Students of the Prasat Balang High School attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of the school’s renovation, Kampong Thom, Cambodia, January 2023.© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Cambodia: School Renovations Create Safe Place to Learn

Thanks to donations of time and materials from the Church of Jesus Christ, six schools in the Prasat Balangk district of Cambodia’s Kampong Thom province received upgrades and renovations. Community, church and school leaders celebrated new roofs, floors, bathrooms and water pumps at a ceremony on January 9, 2023.

To learn more about this project, visit the Cambodia Newsroom.

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