Latter-day Saints Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites

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.

Monsignor José Maria Baliña, vice president of Cáritas Argentina, and Gustavo Merines, president of the Belgrano Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ, bump elbows in lieu of a handshake as food is delivered to Catholic-run soup kitchens in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Food Donations

Argentina: “Elbow to Elbow,” Two Churches Fight Against Poverty

In May, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assisted families in need in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by donating food to seven soup kitchens run by Cáritas Argentina, an organization within the Catholic Church.

Monsignor José Maria Baliña, vice president of Cáritas Argentina, expressed his gratitude in an interview (Spanish) with the Argentina Newsroom by saying, “We are very pleased and grateful to [the Church]… We, as Cáritas, know many needs, but we do not have as many resources…It is nice to be able to [join] the two churches to help those who need it.”

Bolivia: Volunteer Firefighters to Distribute Food Donations from The Church

The FENIX Volunteer Firefighters Foundation in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, received 300 nonperishable food kits and 50 biosafety supply kits from the Church. The items were delivered to Ernesto Peralta, a representative of FENIX, on June 5 at the Foundation’s office. A Bolivia Newsroom article (Spanish) reports that the supplies will be distributed to the most vulnerable families and medical personnel in the area.

Indonesia: Religious Educators Receive Assistance from Local Church Members

In coordination with the Office of the Ministry of Religion of the Bekasi City Christian Organizer, Christian Community Guidance (Pembimas) Regional Office of the Ministry of Religion and other local organizations, the Church distributed 300 food packages to Christian religious education teachers who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An Indonesia Newsroom news release (Indonesian) states that the kits were delivered on May 20 and included rice, sugar, cooking oil and other goods.

Italy: Church Youth Work to Eliminate Hunger

More than a dozen young volunteers from local congregations of the Church assembled 300 food packages for families in need. The food was donated to the Security and Civil Protection Department of the Municipality of Roma Capitale for distribution. Read the original report from the Italy Newsroom (Italian).

Canada: Church Members Present Cash Donation to Support Food Bank

Local Church leaders Bishop David Groux, Bishop Robert Graham and Sister Ingrid Beazer, president of the local Relief Society (the Church’s organization for women), raised over $12,000 for food banks in the Ottawa–Gatineau of Canada. To learn more about these donations, read the full Canada Newsroom article (English).

Students from Northcote Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand, work with full-time missionaries from the Church to prepare computer equipment for shipment to Tonga’s Ministry of Education.

School Supply Donations

Spain: 250 iPads Donated to Assist Students Studying in Quarantine

Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, donated 250 iPads to the Education Service of the Terrassa City Council in Terrassa, Spain. The devices will be distributed to Terrassa students attending classes electronically due to COVID-19 restrictions, reports the Spain Newsroom (Spanish).

Pacific: Full-time Missionaries and Students Assist in Donation of Computers

Tech-savvy students from Northcote Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand, partnered with full-time missionaries from the Church to rebuild and repair 46 computers. The Pacific Newsroom story (English) describes the service as part of a joint project between Pacific Assist and Latter-day Saint Charities to prepare computers for shipment to Tonga’s Ministry of Education. Conor McHoull, a teacher at Northcote said, “We had a blast … and the feedback from students has been very positive.”

300 food packages, assembled by Church members, are distributed to Christian religious education teachers impacted by COVID-19 in Bekasi City, Indonesia.

COVID-19 Related Service and Donations

Colombia: Pre-COVID-19 Project Results in Shoes for Thousands in Colombia

Before a COVID-19 quarantine and related restrictions were put in place in Colombia, the Helping Hands program of the Church, along with the In Ministry to Children Foundation (IMIC Foundation), the Makasih Foundation, members of the Interfaith Movement for Children and other organizations, gathered over 6,000 pairs of shoes to help individuals, families and nursing homes in seven cities. To read more around this project, see the Colombia Newsroom article (Spanish).

Mongolia: Church Donates Baby Cradles and other Essentials in Mongolia

The Ministry of Health in Mongolia received a donation of sterilization kits, blankets and baby cradles from the Church. The donations will assist healthcare professionals as they tend to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details can be found on the Mongolia Newsroom site (Mongolian).

El Salvador: Church Donates Health Kits for Shelters in Ahuachapán

The Basic Integrated Health System (SIBASI) in Ahuachapán, El Salvador, received medical supply kits from the Church that will benefit six shelters. The kits included masks, gloves and digital thermometers. An El Salvador Newsroom article (Spanish) notes that the donation was delivered to Dr. Verónica Alicia Tobar Herrera, a representative of SIBASI Ahuachapán, on June 10.

Papua New Guinea: Church Members Receive Valuable Donation

Latter-day Saints often donate to charities and humanitarian projects. In early June, Church members in Papua New Guinea became the recipients. The Boroko Rotary Club of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, donated sewing machines and 15 bolts of fabric to local congregations. The donation was accepted by Moasope McCarthy, president of the Port Moresby Stake (a group of congregations similar to a diocese). A Papua New Guinea Newsroom article (English) reports members of the stake used the equipment to sew over 2,000 masks to help protect citizens against COVID-19.

Peru: 25 ICU Beds and Other Essential Equipment Donated

Peru Newsroom article (Spanish) revealed that the Ministry of Health in Lima, Peru, accepted 25 beds for Intensive Care Units (ICUs), 10 infusion pumps and three transport incubators from the Church. These items will allow hospitals to expand as needed during the pandemic.

“This is a great surprise,” said Víctor Zamora Mesía, the head of the Ministry of Health. “It gives me much more joy when I see the incubators.” Prior to the donation, many health professionals had to send patients to Navy hospitals to have access to incubators.

Sierra Leone: Church Donations Strengthen Freetown’s Fight Against Pandemic

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Kenneth Pambu, president of the Freetown Sierra Leone Stake, delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) and other items to the Sierra Leone government and their COVID-19 Response Team. An article from the Sierra Leone Newsroom (English) lists disposable gowns and face masks, infrared thermometers, and a 10,000-liter water storage tank as some of the items delivered.

United Kingdom: Protective Face Shields Manufactured in Spain and Financed by LDSC

Professors and staff from the University of Valencia in Spain volunteered their expertise and coordinated the manufacturing of face shields using 3D printers. Latter-day Saint Charities financed the production of more than 9,000 shields, which were distributed to healthcare workers, first responders and patients, including a newborn. To read more about this coordinated effort, see the story published by the United Kingdom Newsroom (English).

Ukraine: Latter-day Saints and Seventh-day Adventists Work Together During Pandemic

As partners, The Church of Jesus Christ, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Seventh-day Adventist Church delivered PPE to 27 medical institutions in Ukraine. The equipment included protective suits, gloves, antiseptic and over 4,000 respirators. More details can be found on the Ukraine Newsroom site (Ukrainian).

Japan: Masks Given in the “Spirit of Pure Service”

Japan Newsroom reports (Japanese) Elder Takashi Wada, an area leader of the Church, joined others to deliver 30,000 masks for residents in Tokyo. Motohiro Koga, general manager of the General Affairs Bureau, and other city officials received the masks that will assist those who need personal protection during the pandemic. Elder Wada said, “The Church provides humanitarian support around the world in the spirit of pure service.”

Uruguay: Church Members Flood Uruguay with Charity

Over the past several months, thousands of Latter-day Saints in Uruguay have collaborated with local organizations on various projects aimed to combat the effects of COVID-19 in their communities. Members from church congregations in Mercedes, Maldonado, Treinta y Tres, Las Piedras, Artigas, Flores and Maroñas have given countless hours of service to bring needed supplies to local emergency committees, police departments, prisons and rest homes, among others.

According to the Uruguay Newsroom (Spanish), those efforts produced more than 5,500 face masks, 2,000 pairs of gloves, 230 hospital gowns, over 50 liters of hand sanitizer, 1,000 adult diapers, and hundreds of pounds of food and clothing. Elder Víctor D. Lattaro, an area leader for the Church in Uruguay, said, “These genuine acts are like domino pieces. They can replicate in others and make [their] fruits countless.”

Philippines: Beehive Clothing Facility Aims to Create 400,000 Masks

On June 8, Latter-day Saint Charities delivered 5,000 washable face masks and other needed supplies to the Rescue Emergency Disaster (RED) Training Center in Pasig City, Philippines. The masks were manufactured in the Church’s Beehive Clothing facility. The manufacturing plant was converted in April from sewing the faith’s sacred clothing to sewing community face masks.

According to the Philippines Newsroom (English), Beehive Clothing Philippines aims to produce 400,000 masks by the end of June. They will continue to partner with government agencies and local government departments to distribute the masks to residents of communities with the highest demand.

The Philippines Newsroom also notes that a contribution of Beehive Clothing masks was made to the San Pablo City District Hospital (SPCDH) in San Pablo City. The donation came in response to a request sent by Dr. Edgar M. Palacao, OIC-Chief of Hospital, to Latter-day Saint Charities. Dr. Palacao feared a spike in COVID-19 cases was approaching and had heard about LDSC’s relief efforts from a Latter-day Saint co-worker.

Tonga: Church and Civic Leaders Speak at Joint Devotional

Elder Inoke Kupu, area leader for the Church in Tonga, joined Prime Minister Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa in asking people of all faith traditions to pray for blessings as the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, illicit drug use and families’ financial struggles. The two leaders extended the invitation during a joint devotional on June 6 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

“I hope that as we partake in this national fast and prayer,” said Elder Kupu, “that we may listen intently to know the will of the Lord always, listen to His counsels … and [follow] His example, reflected in loving our neighbor and our enemy.” To read more about the devotional, visit the Pacific Newsroom site (English).

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