“Around the Church,” Liahona, July 2011, 78
With the Church’s donation of 50 sewing machines to Fiji’s Ministry of Social Welfare in 2010 and an upcoming donation of another 50, self-reliance and employment opportunities are growing for women living in Fiji’s rural areas.
Church members’ donations to the humanitarian fund allow the Church to meet needs throughout the world with projects such as the sewing machine donations. Church representatives work closely with village and government leaders to understand local circumstances and respect community members’ wishes.
“We do this and projects like it because we are followers of Jesus Christ,” Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, Area Seventy, said in an interview with the Fiji Times. “Our faith leads us to … do good in the world.”
On November 9, 2010, four months before the devastating earthquake in Japan, Yoji Sugiyama, a member of the Fujisawa Japan Stake, received an intermediate class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure for his meritorious service to his country.
As a member of the Foreign Ministry for years, Brother Sugiyama was heavily involved in negotiating treaties and serving as an envoy for Japan.
Brother Sugiyama recognizes that the Lord provides all of us with opportunities to do good in our own spheres. He said, “The Lord sometimes gives us difficulties so we can find our needs. Without those necessities and the opportunity to find good solutions, men make no progress and bring no happiness into this world.”
Nearly a billion people on the earth lack access to clean water, often resulting in waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, and typhoid. But since 2002, the Church has helped seven million people in more than 5,000 communities obtain access to clean water sources. The video Water Is Happiness, available in English on news.lds.org, shows the story of LDS Charities bringing clean water to a village in Sierra Leone.