News Release

2014 LDS Charities Humanitarian Projects Summary

LDS Charities (LDSC), the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, continued throughout 2014 to work alongside many other organizations, to help provide much needed humanitarian aid and relief to those in need, regardless of religious or cultural beliefs.

During 2014, a total of 16 humanitarian projects including 3 emergency response, 8 signature programs, and 5 community projects provided help to an estimated 1.17 million beneficiaries in the Republic of the Philippines.

2014 major initiatives and projects accomplished with NGO partners and Mormon Helping Hands include the following:

1) Food Production and Nutrition 2) Clean Water Programs 3) Immunization Program 4) Maternal and Newborn Care Program 5) Vision Program 6) Wheelchair Program

Immunization Program

LDSC answered the call from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization in 2014 to assist in the formidable task of providing over 9 million children with measles and polio vaccines in an effort to eradicate these diseases in the upcoming generations.  LDSC provided vaccine carriers, finger-markers, and give-away toys as well as tens of thousands of volunteer hours donated by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through Mormon Helping Hands.

In addition, a large number of the Church’s 888 meetinghouses throughout the country provided much needed staging locations where government facilities were too far away for many to travel to.  Volunteers manned these facilities, as needed, to provide a clean, safe environment to administer the vaccines in.  All 1,374 congregations in the Philippines helped in information dissemination.

Vision Program

LDSC continued to partner with Mabuhay Deseret Foundation to provide vision and surgery training, and equipment donations as well as logistical support in Davao and Cebu. Over 2,423 individuals have benefited from the project’s training and equipment in 2014. Improved vision has helped many see more clearly the bright future that is in store for them.

Food Production and Nutrition

LDSC partnered with the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in Maragondon and Cavite to provide training, supplies and logistical support to help these communities develop and increase food production through better gardening practices and methods.  An estimated 2,000 people in two barangays are now benefiting from this education and support project.

Emergency Response

Major disasters were far less prevalent during 2014 than in the past couple of years.  This gave LDSC a much needed window of opportunity to continue it’s much needed relief to those devastated by calamities in 2013, like super typhoon Yolanda and a 7.3 earthquake in the Bohol-Cebu area.

Relief efforts continued throughout the year in Tacloban, Ormoc, Eastern Samar, Northern Cebu, Negros and Panay.

Some milestones of this year’s continued relief efforts for Yolanda survivors are:

•             28 Church meetinghouses used as evacuation centers

•             3,210 transitional shelters, completed in just 3.5 months, in Leyte and Samar

•             620 individuals were provided with basic carpentry tools and completed a carpentry skills training program where they learned basic skills as they built the transitional shelters, needed by so many Yolanda victims

•             Most carpenter graduates are now employed

Ongoing skills training programs facilitated by the Self-Reliance Services of the Church in coordination with TESDA and TESDA accredited schools which helped members gain skills to make them employable or become entrepreneurs. The skills training included Bread and Pastry, Cookery, Welding, Computer Hardware, Electrical, Dressmaking, Small Engine, Consumer Electronics, Food Processing, Plumbing, Barbering, Auto Mechanic, Hairdressing, Programming, Food & Beverage, Meat Processing and Carpentry.
LDS Charities helped in the rehabilitation of 5 public hospitals affected by the typhoon by renovating and upgrading vital rooms and providing equipment for these rooms to become operational with fully functioning equipment.  Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center: Emergency Trauma Operating Center, Outpatient Department Operating Room;  Leyte Provincial Hospital: Laboratory Room,  Operating Complex;  Abuyog General Hospital: Operating and Delivery complex;  Carigara District Hospital: Emergency Complex;  Ormoc District Hospital: Operating and Delivery complex

These projects and others were in cooperation with TV5 Foundation, the Philippine Marines, GMA, Charity Vision, IRD and Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez.

Typhoon Ruby, made landfall in Southern Luzon and Samar, causing many problems for over 45,000 people.  LDSC with Mormon Helping Hands assembled and distributed 7,500 food kits. Over ₱400,000 worth of seeds and fertilizers were distributed to Bicol region farmers.

LDS Charities brought relief to Southern Cebu towns on December 31, 2014 by bringing in 3 sets of water filtration equipment, 450 food kits, 1200 cooking kits, 175 family sized tents and sleeping kits. Mormon Helping Hands volunteers also logged in 2,000 man-hours of service in the preparation and delivery of the goods.

Distribution of the goods were done together with the Provincial Government of Cebu in various towns such as Ronda, Barili, Alcantara, Alegria and others from January 4-6. Some of the food kits were also donated to the ABS-CBN Foundation.

Wheelchair Program

Some 2,693 individuals benefited from the distribution of wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Eight shipments of 1,598 standard chairs and 440 specialized supportive chairs helped provide comfort, mobility and hope to many that were otherwise deprived of normal access that most people take for granted.

This new found mobility has proved to be just the catalyst needed for many of the recipients to find means to provide for their families.  They now have newfound hope that they can live a more normal life full of many normal pleasures and activities they missed out on in the past.  Family members of the individuals who have received these devices have also found new life in their family and home. 

Community Projects

•             Medicines and supplies for GMA-Davao outreach mission

•             Construction materials for a Community Health Center in Balete, Batangas through HFI

•             Diagnostic equipment for the Cranio-Facial Foundation of the Philippines

•             Seeds and supplies for vegetable growers in Cabintan, Ormoc through IsraAid

•             Supplies, facility, volunteers and logistical support for 10 medical outreach screenings for the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation

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