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Latter-day Saint Volunteers Prevent Samoan School Closing 

A school near Apia Samoa was desperately in need of help. Tanugamanono Primary School had been notified by the Samoa Ministry of Health that it would be closed unless the student toilet block was repaired and brought up to health standards. It was evident that it was unusable and clearly in need of renovation.

If the school were forced to close, the parents would have to find schools out of the neighbourhood to accept their children and then would have to find ways to get them there. Since many of the parents have no means of transportation, some of the students would likely not be able to go to school. Many teachers would be out of work.

At a meeting, the parents were notified of the crisis to see if funds or assistance could be found. One parent, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, appealed to LDS Charities for help. Application for funds was made and the project approved.

The decayed wood partitions were removed and replaced with concrete block walls. Toilets were removed, repaired, and reinstalled. New urinals were installed. New faucets and drains were added to the sinks before they were placed in new cement countertops. New tile was added to the floors, walls, and countertops. Then the entire facility was repainted inside and out.

LDS Charities gathered the necessary materials for the project. It was a little difficult, they said, to find them and some plumbing parts had to be custom-made, but the volunteers persevered and the work progressed to completion.

The local Church members of the Apia Samoa Central Stake congregation, in cooperation with the school committee, supplied all the labour.

At the handover ceremony, the School Committee Chairman accepted the donation, and the principal cut the ribbon to the new student toilet block. The students sang a special thank you song.

Principal Siutaufogapapa Salevao said, “We thank the Church for all they have done to save our school. It is very nice now, and we are so grateful.”  

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and practice the scriptural doctrine found in the Gospel of Matthew 25:40: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” 

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