Friday, April 24, 2015

Half Way Through Our Mission

Wheelchair distribution in Nepal
Our humanitarian work takes on many dimensions.  LDS Charities has major initiatives or types of projects that are its signature programs:  wheelchairs, clean water and sanitation, vision, maternal-newborn care, and agricultural production. These have been shown to be among the most universal needs throughout the world.  In addition, LDS Charities helps with immunization programs, asthma training and other health-care related programs.

Experts called Technical Specialists are called in for short term assistance and training in these projects, working closely with the in country couples. Technical Specialists are people who are skilled in a specific field, who are usually still employed, but who volunteer their time to travel to various countries to lend their expertise and guidance.  You can volunteer to be a Technical Specialist even if you are still working and have kids at home – what a great way to give of your skills to those in need around the world! Click HERE to learn more!

Blind student working at the specialized
 JAWS computer program in Nepal
Besides these major initiatives, LDS Charities volunteers can also do local specialized projects.  In Thailand and Myanmar, for example, LDS Charities donates thousands of mosquito nets to school children in rural villages, thus helping to stem the tide of malaria and dengue fever.  In Nepal they are helping with bio gas digesters for fuel and heat, and partnering to teach blind people how to use the computer and then find employment.  In Myanmar and Lao, at the request of the government ministries, they are teaching English to government employees, helping prepare the country to join ASEAN and better develop their economies.  With most of our humanitarian projects, LDS Charities strives to teach principles of self reliance so that those on the receiving end can better provide for themselves and their communities.

Our job in the Area Office is to work with the humanitarian couples who live in those countries – helping them develop their projects, get them through the approval process for funding, and help to provide support and expertise.

Weekly Area Welfare Team Meeting - working to approve all those
humanitarian projects that our in country couples keep sending us!!!

We also do a lot of research – finding needs in the countries and how we can best support the local governments with their objectives.  It’s a busy job!  And lots of fun , too, actually. We develop special projects, make all kinds of presentations to Area leaders, and really enjoy working with the in country couples. We have amazing couples in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Lao, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries.  And we nearly always have openings!  We need someone right now in Mongolia  and Nepal – want to sign up?

It’s always something new in the humanitarian world!

And not to forget the amazing branch we serve in - the Peninsula 3rd!  What an awesome group!  We love them!
Elder Coffey serves in the Branch Presidency with President Collins, Elder Wilson (1st counselor)
 and Elder Crockett (Branch Clerk)

Elder Coffey and I are half way through our mission!  We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary on April 22nd.  Life has been a great journey!

Teaching English to a room full of people in Myanmar

Handing out newborn kits to new mothers in Myanmar
Handing out newborn kits in Myanmar

A new mother in Myanmar waits patiently for her newborn kit.

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