News Story

New Furniture on the Menu for a French Polynesian School Cafeteria

Latter-day Saint Charities brings needed furniture to remote school

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly supports education in all its teaching, organisations and programmes.

The Church’s humanitarian organization, Latter-day Saint Charities, recently helped with the renovation of the cafeteria of a primary school in an isolated rural community in French Polynesia. New tables and benches were provided to help better feed the children of the Momo’a Primary School in the community of Hita’a on the island of Tahiti.

But there was more to this project than just the replacement of some old furniture. It was a way to offer recognition for the value of the children and their teachers.

During his recent visit to this island nation, Elder K. Brett Nattress, from the Pacific Area Presidency, and Sister Shawna Nattress, paid a visit to the school and joined school staff, parents and community leaders there.

The deputy mayor thanked the Church for this support. "Our hearts are touched by this simple act, and we wish to keep working hand in hand with you for the good of the people of Hitia’a.

Elder Nattress told the school staff: “We so much appreciate your efforts. You bring to these children the light of truth that shines in their eyes. Your efforts help them to see their personal worth."

He continued, “During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ said 'Suffer the little children come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.' Each student is a child of God. We are grateful to provide tables and benches to assist in this valiant effort of teaching and ministering to these young children.

“Today I have shoes, clothes and a good education because a long time ago, a kind woman literally saved my grandmother and her sister who lived in extreme poverty. She provided food as they were starving. And, provided them with an elementary education. Her efforts taught these little girls that they had eternal worth."

“In the same way, you are showing these children their divine worth and providing them with a path that leads to personal development.”

Diana Ly, the school director, said that this message reminded her of her grandmother's and mother's legacy of faith and sacrifice. Coming from a modest family, their love made it possible for her to become a teacher. She was also impressed by the Church's emphasis on the importance of education in the family.

Henri Perry, from the Taravao stake presidency, said: “I believe a child who eats well is a child who learns better."

Elder Frédéric T. Riemer, the Area Seventy for French Polynesia, said, “Please accept our thanks and respect for what you do on a daily basis for the education of our children. Caring for children and families is close to our hearts, and we are happy we could help in this way.”

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