“Church, Colombian First Lady Team Up to Aid Needy,” Ensign, Feb. 2004, 75–76
Lina Maria Moreno de Uribe, first lady of Colombia, and the South America North Area Presidency partnered in October 2003 to grant the gifts of seeing, hearing, and learning to some of Colombia’s needy children and adults through donations.
The Church donated funds to sponsor 60 corrective eye operations, 188 hearing aids, and 5,000 school desks. The donation is in partnership with three social programs sponsored by the first lady.
“We have made it possible for those who could not hear to hear, for those who could not see to see, and for those who did not have a desk to write on to have one. This is a great satisfaction because with people of good will we can change the world,” said Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Seventy, President of the South America North Area.
The first lady, accompanied by members of the Area Presidency and their wives, presented the donations at the Alhambra Ward meetinghouse in Bogotá, Colombia. More than 250 people were in attendance, among them Church and government leaders, diplomats, media representatives, and members of the community.
One of the beneficiaries was Cristián Salas Tafur, a man from a town more than 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) from Bogotá, who expressed gratitude for the Church’s donations.
The gathering marked the first time a first lady of Colombia has visited a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse. Her husband, President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, later met with Elder Costa and Elder Roberto García, Area Authority Seventy and Second Counselor in the South America North Area Presidency, along with other local Church leaders, in his office.
“We know how hard Lina de Uribe works on behalf of high and noble causes, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined with her. This labor of love reflects ‘Our Savior’s Love,’” Elder Costa said, referring to a hymn performed by the choir at the meeting.
The first lady of Colombia expressed gratitude to the Church for its support of her social programs. “Everything we are doing is worth doing,” she said.
Elder Costa presented the first lady with a quilt made by the Relief Society.