News Release

Latter-day Saints Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites, August 27, 2021

Featuring service given in South Africa, Germany, Hong Kong, French Polynesia, Panama, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Peru

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 Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, French Polynesia, Panama, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Germany: Church Helps Flood Victims in Europe

July’s historic flooding killed more than 200 people in parts of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The Church’s congregations are located near disaster-stricken areas, and many members and missionaries are lending a helping hand.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to those who suffer,” said Christian Ottiker, Europe Area self-help officer for the Church.

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Graffiti in Germany thanking helpers for their support after the floods, July 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Together with local authorities, Latter-day Saints sorted donations and emptied cellars, houses and schools.

Members and missionaries of the Church have served at least 2,840 hours to provide relief to flood victims.

Find out more about the relief efforts in Europe here.

South Africa: Restoring Sight in Mpumalanga

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated more than US$257,000 to help the Mpumalanga provincial government buy optometric and cataract surgery equipment.

Sasekani Manzini, a member of the Executive Committee of Health in Mpumalanga, told Church representatives, “When we don’t have resources, we just pray and say, ‘God will give us resources,’ and today we are receiving.”

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
A doctor demonstrates the use of vision care equipment to local government authorities in Mpumalanga, June 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

The donation from the Church helps the South African government treat and prevent cases of avoidable blindness through procedures such as cataract surgery.

Thabiso Sehloho, first counselor in the Church’s Johannesburg Mission, said humanitarian outreach such as this is part of the faith’s sacred responsibility.

Read more about the effort to restore sight on the South Africa Newsroom.

Hong Kong: The Church and Foodlink Collect Almost One Ton of Food

COVID-19 continues to disrupt the livelihood of Hong Kong residents. Foodlink Foundation, a local charity that relieves hunger, partnered with the Church to collect 1,763 pounds (800 kilograms) of food.

“The Church’s effort was almost at the top of all the food drives we have done before,” said Aurea Yung, Foodlink’s head of operations.

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Food collected after a food drive with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Foodlink in Hong Kong, July 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

In addition to the food collection, the faith’s senior missionaries donated money for canned food to be purchased and delivered directly to Foodlink.

Read more about the food drive on the Hong Kong Newsroom.

French Polynesia: Church Members Work Hand in Hand with Their Community to Protect the Environment

This year members of the Church’s Paea Tahiti Stake (a group of congregations) have improved their environment. They cleaned up the cemetery, worked at the Papehue school and helped with local road maintenance.

In June, Latter-day Saints cleaned a section of the beach to raise awareness for growing pollution in the ocean and the need to preserve marine resources.

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Youth of the Church and their leaders clean up the beach for a service project at the Heipuni Days in French Polynesia, June 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Rava Maraetefau expressed her excitement about the project. “This work is an opportunity to develop an appreciation for our beautiful environment and to connect with the community,” she said.

Read more about the members’ cleanup efforts here.

Panama: First Lady of Panama Participates in the Donation of Biosafety Supplies Delivered by the Church

The Church donated biosafety supplies that will be used by medical personnel and patients with COVID-19 in Panama.

Elder Johnny Ruiz, an Area Seventy, said, “We are grateful first with our Heavenly Father, to the Office of the First Lady and with the Ministry of Health for the opportunity to cooperate with health specialists and patients in the fight against the current pandemic and to extend a helping hand to our neighbors.”

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Dr. Ivette Berrio, First Lady Yazmín Colón de Cortizo and Elder Johnny Ruiz, an Area Seventy, during the donation of biosafety supplies to the Nicolás A. Solano Hospital in Panama City, July 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Yazmín Colón de Cortizo, first Lady of the Republic of Panama, and Dr. Ivette Berrío, vice minister of health, expressed their gratitude for the donated supplies that will help fight COVID-19.

Read more about the donation on the Panama Newsroom.

Philippines: LDSC Distributes Hygiene Kits to Fire Victims in Davao City

Latter-day Saint Charities donated roughly 400 hygiene kits that were distributed to fire victims in the Philippines in July. The hygiene kits helped over 150 families who were struggling after losing their homes in a recent fire.

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Latter-day Saints Charities (LDSC) distributed more than 400 hygiene kits to the fire victims in Davao City, July 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

The kits included a face mask, a face shield, alcohol, soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush. The distribution of the kits was done with the help of the City Social Services and Development Office. These organizations ensured that each resident affected by the fire was found and provided for.

Find out more about the donations here.

Dominican Republic: The Church Recognized for Its Wheelchair Work in the Dominican Republic

The Association of People with Physical-Motor Disabilities (ASODIFIMO) awarded the Church for keeping its wheelchair donation program in operation for 18 consecutive years. The program benefits those with limited economic resources.

María González, executive director of ASODIFIMO, said “This small recognition is not enough to thank the leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have always been willing to help those in need.”

LAW-Aug-2021
LAW-Aug-2021
Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Dominican Republic receive recognition from ASODIFIMO executives for their support in the ongoing wheelchair donation program, August 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Raúl Rodríguez, manager of Family Services responded, “We rejoice in carrying out projects like this that bring happiness to people in need.”

Read more about the partnership and recognition on the Dominican Republic Newsroom.

Peru: Helping Hands of the Church Serves the Community in Trujillo

Helping Hands volunteers carried out a service activity to clean up the Las Lomas park in the Víctor Larco Herrera district.

The service project was supported by park and garden workers from the municipality of Víctor Larco.

Read more about the service project here.

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.