LDS Scene

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Dec. 2000, 66–67

LDS Scene

Church Assists Cambodia, Belize

The Church recently provided emergency relief humanitarian aid to Cambodia and Belize after natural disasters affected hundreds of thousands of people in both nations.

The Mekong River in Cambodia flooded in mid-September, affecting 300,000 people. Cambodian Church members helped pack 100 metric tons of rice and assemble 3,000 family survival kits. The kits contained blankets, matting, mosquito nets, and sanitary supplies. The Church also sent 55 tons of clothing and 60 tons of emergency food supplies to the Cambodian Red Cross.

In Belize, tides rose to 12 feet above normal when Hurricane Keith struck in late September, driving 40 percent of the population from their homes. Some 300 Church members saw severe water damage to their homes. Local fast-offering funds were used to assist these members, and the Church sent 34 tons of clothing, 10 tons of medical supplies, and 40 tons of food to the Belize Red Cross.

BYU—Hawaii Forms Ties with World Leaders

Officials of Brigham Young University—Hawaii recently met with leaders of China, the Philippines, and Thailand as part of the university’s effort to familiarize world leaders with the international mission of the school and the Church.

In September the university hosted the Chinese Religious Leadership Delegation, which includes government leaders over religious affairs and leaders of China’s major religions. The delegation also visited the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors’ Center. Also in September, Pufang Deng, head of China’s Federation of Disabled People, performed on campus with his group of 70 performers with disabilities.

In the same month the university hosted the Filipino ambassador to the United States, Ernesto Maceda, who visited the campus, the temple visitors’ center, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. “Prior to my visit, I knew very little about BYU—Hawaii, but I am overwhelmed by the atmosphere,” said the ambassador. “This place is heaven on earth.”

In June, BYU—Hawaii awarded six scholarships to students in Thailand in an agreement between the Thai government and the school.

BYU—Hawaii will provide six to eight four-year work-study scholarships on a continuing basis to some of Thailand’s top high school students. The students, who need not be Latter-day Saints, are selected by a committee of local Thai government and educational leaders and local Church leaders.

Eric B. Shumway, president of BYU—Hawaii, traveled to Thailand to award the initial six scholarships to Thai students at a meeting attended by Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Bhichai Rattakul. Mr. Rattakul’s son, Bhichit Rattakul, who is the mayor of Bangkok, is a BYU graduate.

A Cambodian woman receives rice provided by the Church and packed by local members. (Photo by Louis K. Falck.)