News Release

Latter-day Saints Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites, July 31, 2020 

Newsroom features stories from its more than 80 international Newsroom websites, as well as from the United States, to share what members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are doing to better serve their communities throughout the world.


Finland: Church Delivers Substantial Donations of PPE to Medical Teams in Albania

A small conversation between a Latter-day Saint health care worker and a full-time Church missionary led to vital donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, in three cities of Albania.

Over 9,000 gloves and face shields were delivered to Dr. Mirgena Hoxhaj, director of a family clinic in Fier, Albania, and her team. “At my health center, we are family doctors and take care of people of all ages,” Dr. Hoxhaj explained. “We care for babies, children, adults and the elderly. We are a frontline health care unit in our community. We value protective equipment very much.”

According to Finland Newsroom (Finnish), similar donations of medical supplies were delivered to clinics in Rrëshen and Tirana as well.

Hong Kong: Young Latter-day Saints Assist in Hospital’s Family Center Renovation

Twice a week for several months, young single adults of the Kowloon West Stake (similar to a diocese) in Hong Kong visited the Pok Oi Hospital’s family center in Tsing Yi, where they assisted with extensive renovations.

The Hong Kong Newsroom (English) confirmed that participants abide by medical guidelines such as wearing masks. “We don’t let COVID stop us from [serving] others,” said Derek Au, second counselor in the stake presidency. “This is a good service opportunity as the pandemic begins to ease in Hong Kong.”

Community members express gratitude for a donation of technology and security equipment to Biri National High School in the Philippines from Latter-day Saint Charities.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
           Philippines: High School Students Receive Technology Equipment from Church

Students of Biri National High School (BNHS) on Biri Island received a life-changing gift from Latter-day Saint Charities. Philippines Newsroom (English) lists 28 new smart TVs (one for each classroom), two all-in-one printers and eight AVR UPC units, along with items to enhance building security and internet connections, as being among the items delivered in mid-July.

The donation will help 1,183 students, most of whom do not have access to computers and printers, make strides in their educational pursuits. “We would like to extend our gratitude to Latter-day Saint Charities,” School Head Celyn Deculawan said, “and [to] Sister Florife Donor, a Latter-day Saint teacher [at BNHS], for these remarkably useful and timely donations.”

Barbados: Latter-day Saint Charities Supports Bajans via the Barbados Salvation Army

In May 2020, Latter-day Saint Charities donated several boxes of food to the Barbados Salvation Army in different locations around the island. The effects of the current global pandemic have left many families without employment and in need of food. Many families expressed their gratitude for the donations. Latter-day Saint Charities also donated a stove, washing machine, food processor and several standing fans to the Precious Jewel Day Care Centre in Christ Church. Read the full Barbados Newsroom article (English).

Italy: LDSC Celebrates a 3-Year Partnership with Pharmaceutical Bank in Italy

On July 18, Italy Newsroom (Italian) announced that Latter-day Saint Charities recently celebrated its third year of collaboration with Banco Farmaceutico in Italy. By providing volunteers and financial aid, Latter-day Saint Charities supports the bank in its mission to help poverty-stricken citizens purchase needed prescription drugs.

“This project represents a tangible and permanent sign of the fight against health-related poverty that has intensified in recent decades,” said Dr. Filippo Ciantia, general manager of Banco Farmaceutico. “The current coronavirus crisis is not only having negative effects on the weakest, but also on many individuals in our society who are forced to cut their health care costs.”

Chile: The Church Donates Supplies to the San Miguel Prison

The Church donated COVID-19 medical supplies to Marisol Estay Female Penitentiary Center, in San Miguel, Chile. Chile Newsroom (Spanish) reports that the donation consisted of personal hygiene items and cleaning and disinfection products to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Without a doubt, this has been a wonderful instance of being able to manifest our love for our neighbor and continue contributing to our closest community," said Juan Vásquez, president of the San Miguel Stake.

Peru: Penitentiary Inmates Receive Donation of Hygiene Supplies

Inmates at penitentiaries in Lima, Peru, became the beneficiaries of a donation of personal hygiene items from the Church on July 1. A Peru Newsroom article (Spanish) states that the items were delivered to Vice Consul Laura Díaz Henao at the Consulate General of Colombia in Peru and included 563 supply kits made of coats and hygiene items.

President Basil and President Duquette meet with Prime Minister Bob Laughman in Vanuatu. July 2020
Yvon Basil (left), president of the Port Vila Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Bob Loughman (middle), newly elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu; and J. Benoit Duquette (right), president of the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission. The three leaders discuss emergency preparedness and education, July 2020.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pacific: Church Leaders Discuss Humanitarian and Educational Aid with Vanuatu’s Prime Minister

In early July, local church leaders were invited to discuss education and disaster preparedness with the new Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Bob Loughman. The prime minister thanked the leaders for the Church’s humanitarian assistance following Tropical Cyclone Harold and for their support of school students through its P-13 School Subsidy Grant program.

According to a Pacific Newsroom report (English), Vanuatu Port Vila Mission President, J. Benoit Duquette, who was in attendance, also expressed gratitude for the “warm welcome enjoyed by our missionaries, thus allowing them to serve the people of this great country in every possible way.”

Cambodia: His Excellency Hun Manet Gives Formal ‘Thank You’ for Church Aid

On July 10, Church and government leaders in Cambodia attended a meeting with His Excellency Hun Manet, Cambodia Royal Army Commander, where he thanked the Church for a considerable donation of PPE to the Cambodian government. Cambodia Newsroom (English) reveals that the aprons, N95 masks and other items in the donation were a response to a list of six essentials the country needed to meet needs created by COVID-19.

“I think that I will speak in English to say, ‘thank you,’” Commander Manet said. “It is important for all of us, no matter what our religious belief, to spend our time doing good.”


Philippines: Faithful Fathers Serve on the COVID-19 Frontlines

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of families in the Philippines. In mid-June, the Philippines Newsroom (English) praised the community service offered by devoted Latter-day Saint fathers, saying, “Not all heroes wear capes.” From manning checkpoints to delivering food supplies, these men are determined to live their faith by assisting others during the crisis.

Canada: The Purple Heart Project Continues for Fifth Year

Rob Cosman, a carpenter, woodworking instructor and member of the Church, launched the Purple Heart Project in 2015 to use woodworking as a type of therapy for wounded veterans who suffer from a physical or mental battle injury. Over the past five years, Cosman has supported more than 80 veterans from Canada, the United States and Australia in their healing journey.

According to a Canada Newsroom article (English), the Purple Heart Project provides wounded veterans with free carpentry workshops, where they are encouraged to unleash their creativity and learn new skills. “The workshop camaraderie also supports these veterans in rediscovering some measure of control in their lives — something to focus attention on other than pain.”

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