News Story

Latter-day Saint Charities Partners with Red Cross to Help French Polynesian Families 

Collaboration strengthens community support as pandemic continues to impact households

Faced with social and economic challenges arising from COVID-19, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is supporting French Polynesia with a sizeable food donation to the local Red Cross. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Latter-day Saint congregations in French Polynesia have provided support to local communities, including Paea, Papeete and Raromatai. 


When Manea Tuahu, National Welfare and Self-Reliance manager for the Church, submitted the project to help families in French Polynesia going through difficult times due to the pandemic, Latter-day Saint Charities did not hesitate to provide support. 

For this project, the Church decided to partner with the local Red Cross, with whom it had collaborated in 2018 in the purchase of a vehicle to assist elderly citizens with their transport needs. 

"The advantage of working with the Red Cross,” Tuahu says, “is that it is already a well-known and well organised structure, and it has a network with social services and municipalities.”  

Wherever possible, the Church partners with local, well-established organisations in order to give hope and reach out to communities in need. By way of example, the Church has been partnering with American Red Cross for over 100 years on many community projects.  

Tuahu continues: "We are not in a competitive approach but in a collaborative and partnership approach. We do not intend to set up a structure alongside associations that already have this presence on the ground. We prefer to work with these associations which will then help people who are in need.” 

The delivery of the donated food was completed on Friday, 10 July, at the Red Cross center in Pirae. Latter-day Saint volunteers from Erima, Pirae, Pare and Taharaa lent a helping hand. 

The Red Cross will continue distributing food baskets that "are extremely balanced, that is to say that we have starchy foods like pasta, rice, but we have also vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms. We have fish, we have meat, we have cereals, cookies, jam,… a whole bunch of essential ingredients for a balanced basket,” said Maeva Drach, director of the Red Cross of French Polynesia. 

After coping with the emergency situation during the pandemic, the country must now manage the economic challenges that are following the crisis. Unity across government, churches, charities and other community organisations will help the country bounce back.   

Just as it has contributed to community projects in French Polynesia over the past four years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Latter-Day Saint Charities will continue to bring hope, alleviate human distress and help communities in need, even in the most remote islands of French Polynesia. 

Read and view news media reports (in French) about the food donation project here and here. The TV news report can be found at the 15:51 minutes mark in the bulletin. 

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