From around the world

Brazil Area: Water supply protected

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - Youth in the Ponta Grossa, Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo regions avoided the recent "carnaval" season (Brazil's worldly celebration of Mardi Gras) by leaving their cities to work on an ambitious youth conference and service project that helped protect this city's water supply.

The youth cleaned the banks and bed of the Barigui River, one of the main sources of water for Curitiba and Almirante Tamandare.

The youth were divided into three groups. The first group handed out instructional fliers to the residents of the cities to educate them regarding keeping the river clean. The second group planted trees along the river to reforest and protect the bank. The third group - the largest of the three - cleaned debris from the river banks and bed.

Directing the youth in the project was Luciano Gulin, environment secretary of Almirante Tamandare. Other organizations that provided support were the Almirante Tamandare Rotary International club, the Environment Institute of Parana with its Action Force and Environment Defense, and the Almirante City Hall.

The project was under the direction of Pres. Waldemiro Skraba of the Portao Brazil Stake.

Africa Area: Homemaking skills taught

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST - Branch Relief Societies in the Abidjan District conducted a survey on what subjects the sisters would like to learn. They said they wanted to make clothing and accessories for their families.

As a result, Sister Helen Chandler taught sewing to the sisters in the Sagbe, Agueto and Abobo branches. Eventually, a sewing machine was purchased for the sisters to use.

During one lesson, Sister Chandler taught fabric flower making. As she demonstrated, a group of 15 young children watched from a doorway. Sister Chandler selected one of the children for a demonstration, and tucked a yellow fabric rose under her braid.

"Excitement shone on her face," said Sister Chandler. "It was very evident that the love and attention given to a little girl changed her appearance to a beaming, happy child."

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Singles instructed

MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - About 350 single adults from four stakes and five districts of the Cagayan de Oro Region recently attended a two-day conference, the first held here.

At the conference, the single adults attended workshops on self-reliance, money management, moral cleanliness and overcoming procrastination. Among the speakers at the conference was Elder Danilo de la Vega, regional representative.

The conference concluded with an early morning devotional.

Pacific Area: Celebrating family values

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - Because of its focus on family life and family values, the Church was invited to join eight other community groups to celebrate Western Australia's upcoming Year of the Family Conference.

Don Cummings, director of public affairs in the Perth Australia Southern River Stake and former president of the Sydney Australia Temple, was appointed to coordinate the Church's participation in the conference and be part of a general steering committee.

The invitation was extended by John Barich of the Australian Families Association and accepted on behalf of the Church by John Grinceri, director of public affairs for the Perth region.

Brother Cummings, former chief executive officer of the housing industry in South Australia until his retirement in 1989, is well-known in the area.

He explained that the conference, to be held Aug. 24-27, will accentuate the positive side of family life. The theme of the conference will be re-enthroning the family as the most important unit in society. It will focus on the key issues of learning, leisure and the well-being of the family.

Three major forums will involve guest speakers, and workshops will be held in multiple venues throughout the state, including many LDS meetinghouses.

The Church's participation in The Year of the Family celebrations in Western Australia extends beyond that of the conference. Several priesthood holders are members of local Year of the Family committees, and the Church's public affairs council for the Perth Region has undertaken to place displays in major shopping malls.

North America Central Area: Volunteers can potatoes

CALGARY, CANADA - The Church's cannery here recently joined an effort to help the homeless as participants from the Interfaith Food Bank canned several thousand pounds of potatoes for the homeless, said Denise Norton, public affairs director.

After the potatoes were given to the food bank, volunteers from the food bank, as well as youthful and adult Church members, helped can the food.

"It is good for our members that we love without a price tag, and that we love simply because the Savior has taught us to love and is head of our Church," Sister Norton said. "We can reach out to the community because that is what the Savior has taught us to do. It is also wonderful that people of different denominations can work together."

North America Northwest Area: Clothing donated

KENNEWICK, WASH. - For the past six years, members of the Kennewick 11th Ward, Kennewick Washington Stake, have donated clothing, beds, furniture, and other items to the Union Gospel Mission in Pasco, Wash. Some of the items have been distributed as far south as Mexico.

Ruth Blanchard, 88, and Marie Barkubein, 74, have spearheaded the project. When a particular need arises at the mission, the sisters often appeal to members and then donate the items. Recently, the ward helped provide clothing and furnishings for a non-member woman who had to leave an abusive situation.

North America Southeast Area: Temple will bless Haiti

PETIONVILLE, HAITI - Members in Haiti were excited and pleased with the announcement of a temple in nearby Dominican Republic, said Pres. Fritznerx Joseph of the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission.

"They are very excited. They feel great about it," he said. "This will be a great blessing for us in Haiti."

He added that traveling to Guatemala to the Guatemala City Temple is very difficult for the Haitian members. While there, the French-speaking members also encounter language difficulties.

Pres. Joseph said that the Church continues to progress despite the difficult political situation. Twenty-two missionaries are serving enthusiastically, according to Pres. Joseph.

North America West Area: Choir joins interfaith festival

BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. - A 65-voice LDS choir sang "I Believe in Christ" at the ninth annual Kern County Church Choir Festival.

Held Feb. 27 at the Bakersfield Christian Life Center, the festival featured 13 choirs and performed to an audience of 700, said Clareen Hays, Bakersfield Region director of public affairs.

"It turned out to be a very spiritual experience," she said.

Director of the LDS choir was Bonnie Hart and accompanists were Jean Beesley and Varlene Turner.

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