News Release

More Communities in French Polynesia Participate in Community Service Projects

Mayors join in and express thanks to Church volunteers

Community service was on display in several parts of French Polynesia recently, led by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Volunteers responded to the call to serve others from the Pacific Area Presidency of the Church.

In order to identify specific needs in their communities, each Church group talked with community leaders to find out what was needed and then put together projects for volunteers. 

Neighbours, family members and friends who are not members of the Church were invited to join in.

The joy on the faces of those receiving free vegetable seedlings was inspiring for the volunteers in Temarua, Taharuu and Mahaitaea. French Polynesia, March 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Members of the Church's Temarua Ward (congregation) felt it was important to help local families by providing seedling plants to help them get started on growing their own food. 

They invited two other wards in Taharuu and Mahaiatea to join them. They set aside a Saturday morning in the car park of a local school and invited community members to come.

By the end of the morning, they had given away more than 1000 small pots of vegetable plants. 

Others went directly to households to plant seedlings as well as fruit trees and instructed families on how to care for their new gardens and new trees.

Projects included cleaning a cemetery and picking up rubbish from roadsides.

Moana Teremate, bishop (lay leader) of the Temarua ward explained: “In this time of economic crisis, we are trying to encourage people to become more self-reliant. The seedlings donated will help these families to set up their own kitchen garden, to produce their own vegetables and lead them to being more self-sufficient. "

Roti, from Papara, was delighted with the activity, saying, “Receiving free seedlings is a great help for me and for my family, especially in such difficult times. "

Mayor Sonia Punua took part in the three projects carried out by Temarua ward. 

"I am deeply grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its mobilization in our community," she said.

"I encourage others to do the same by working hand-in-hand for the good of all.”

The mayor of Teva I Uta and Vice President of French Polynesia, Tavana Tearii Alpha, came to the Church's Papeari meetinghouse the following Sunday. 

He offered his personal thanks to the members of all the wards who participated in the seedling project. 

“It is with a heart full of gratitude that I thank the Church for the community projects that it regularly organizes to help our citizens. They are of great support for the municipality and for the country. Thank you all and may all glory return to God. "

Based on such positive reactions, the three congregations have decided to make this a regular event two times per year.

Last year, The Faaa Takaroa Stake began a partnership with the city of Faa’a to help reduce waste and to promote recycling. This year they decided to invite families to find ways to show love and kindness towards their municipal garbage collectors.

For two weeks, families sent words of thanks, prepared meals and refreshing drinks to these workers along their daily collection routes.

Farahei resident, Ronald Brothers, said, “I made some snacks but it’s nothing compared to the work they do on a daily basis. They do a very difficult job and thanks to them our city is clean."

Marguerite Taimana, a friend of the Church, from Vairai, said: “I was already involved in the 'Come and Help' project last year. When I heard about this project, I wanted to come and help again!"

Members also distributed flyers in the neighborhoods about the different types of waste managed by the city as well as the schedule for collecting it.

"This information campaign aims to create more responsible citizens and will help fight against illegal dumps in neighborhoods,” explained Ahuura Parker, the project manager.

Olivier Lee, head of the municipality's waste management service, said: “On behalf of my workers, I would like to thank you for the acts of kindness to them the past weeks. They brought me back the words you shared and it's wonderful.”

Members of the Faa'a stake were happy to give their blood as 1 pouch of blood can save 3 lives. French Polynesia, March 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

And finally, the stake also organized a blood drive in partnership with the Blood Transfusion Center.

Dr. Julien Broult, head of the Transfusion Center, was very pleased.

"This was a superb project, as 46 packets of blood were collected and they will save 138 lives," Dr. Broult said.  

"Thank you to the Church for the awesome organization and for their donations of blood.”

Elder Benjamin Sinjoux, a senior Church leader in French Polynesia, summarized all of the projects.

“We are so pleased to partner with all of these municipalities who were grateful for the Church assistance. We were especially gratified that many of the municipal leaders themselves joined with us to make a difference for our island home."


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