News Release

Training for Water Rescues, Funding a Maternity Ward, and Accessing Clean Water: Service from Latter-day Saints Around the World

Church members in French Polynesia volunteer as first responders, expectant mothers in Uganda receive care in new facility, and a village in Guam installs new water system

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 French Polynesia, Uganda and Guam.

Guam: Jungle Village Receives the Gift of Clean Water

Residents of Mechitiw, Guam, a village community in the north jungle of Chuuk, were gifted more reliable access to clean water on November 11, 2022. Fourteen water tanks were delivered by representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Guam Newsroom (English), “The tanks will be installed by the community and will be filled with water for the first time as part of the project. Where possible, there will be rain gutters installed to catch rainwater as well.”

The village does not have access to city water. They have traditionally used a water catchment system to utilize rainwater, but during the dryer summer months or other times of drought, they have had to request and pay for water delivery for individual households from the local water company. The new tanks hold more water and have been placed strategically throughout the community.

Sam Roscol (left), project chair, and Manea Tuahu (right), church welfare and self-reliance manager, inspect rescue equipment donated to by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of a joint project with the Polynesian Federation of Civil Protection (FPPC) in French Polynesia, October, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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French Polynesia: Improving Emergency Preparedness with New Rescue Equipment and Training

At the end of October, the Church of Jesus Christ joined forces with the Polynesian Federation of Civil Protection (FPPC) to improve emergency preparedness across the islands. The FPPC works with local agencies to provide emergency response support when needed. The Church recently donated specialized rescue equipment to the FPPC that will allow rescuers to receive additional water rescue training.

In addition, some local Latter-day Saints have been selected to receive first responder training through FPPC and join the group of volunteer rescuers. Manea Tuahu, a church welfare and self-reliance manager in the area, told Pacific Newsroom, “Church leaders have repeatedly invited us to be prepared. We are happy to do so by working hand in hand with organizations in the community, such as the FPPC, to help relieve distress and go to the rescue of our friends and neighbors when the time comes.”

Uganda: Funding and Equipment Support Creation of New Maternity Ward

In late October, the Bugembe Health Centre in Jinja City, Uganda, was provided more than US$100,000 from the Church. The large donation went toward the construction of a new maternity ward. The Bugembe Health Centre serves approximately 60,000 people. The new maternity ward will support women during pregnancy and childbirth.

In addition to the funding for construction, the Church also donated 12 recovery beds, four neonatal beds, 12 hospital mattresses, a delivery bed, a nebulizer, three pulse-oximeters, one fetal doppler and an infant incubator, among other items. The delivery was led by local Church leaders and humanitarian aid missionaries.

To read more about this project, see Uganda Newsroom (English).

South Africa: Patients Benefit from Donated Audiology Equipment Worth US$103,000

On Friday, October 21, 2022, Church and local health officials from the Western Cape Department of Health came together to deliver new audiology equipment to the Rural Health Services. Over 130 different types of hearing aids and 21 fully stocked portable repair toolboxes for audiologists were part of a donation worth approximately US$103,000.

The contribution from the Church will help address a major need in the area. The Rural Health Services often struggle to help patients locally, due to lack of resources and a high demand. They currently have more than 100 people on a wait list, with an estimated wait time of six to nine months. Many patients are forced to travel to major metropolitan areas for treatment.

“What is so encouraging about this donation is that it is tailored specifically to each district’s needs,” said Megan Davis-Ferguson, assistant director of the Service Priorities Coordination. “We will see the impact for a long time going forward.”

A little girl sits with her father at an event where food and supplies are distributed to flood victims, courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia, October 19, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Cambodia: 500 Families Receive Food After Flooding

Flood victims gathered at the Department of Cult and Religion on October 19, 2022, to obtain food and supplies from the Church. The donation helped support 500 families from the Sen Town and Kampong Svay Districts after floods devastated crops and damaged homes. According to Cambodia Newsroom (English) families began arriving on scooters, in tuk tuks, and on bikes hours before the event in anticipation.

Ecuador: Mobility Patients Receive New Equipment

The Board of Charities in Guayaquil, Ecuador, received approximately 300 wheelchairs and over 800 walkers and canes for the blind from the Church. The items were delivered on November 9 by humanitarian aid missionaries and Daniel Quiroz, a local church leader.

Jairo Chiriboga, whose daughter (Domenica) received one of the new wheelchairs, said, “The help they give us for Domenica’s mobility is not only a help for her, but for the whole family.” To learn more about this donation, visit Ecuador Newsroom (Spanish).

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