News Story

Blankets for New Mothers Given with Love 

Partnership between Church congregation and a city in French Polynesia continues good works

In September 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Manea Tuahu, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Self Reliance and Welfare department in French Polynesia, collaborated, as a bishop, on a project with the city of Arue to improve the lives of the inhabitants of the Erima community. 

In the initial phase, ten families from the neighborhood took part in a program that taught ways to grow and cook food at home. This included training on aquaponics.  

The women of the Erima Ward (congregation) followed up the kitchen gardens with a second project. Several expressed their desire to learn to sew so a training course was set up with support of the city. 

They were able to learn to make clothes for themselves and their family members and then took the project further. 

“At the beginning, we learned to make blankets, and as we progressed, we wanted to help the community, by simply emphasizing the application of Christian values,” said Vahinui Tuahu, a member of the congregation.  

“We gave the baby blankets to new mothers. We didn't just learn how to make blankets. We learned to bond with other people living in our community."   

With the help of Claire Lutui Tefuka, deputy director of sports, youth and employment service of the city, the blankets were donated to the community center, To Tatou Fare, which means "Our House." The center is located on the land where the first kitchen garden project was carried out last fall. 

Tefuka summed up the spirit of these projects: "They instill a desire to learn, use new knowledge and to give back." 

Lorenzia Vong, a new mother and one of the recipients of a blanket, shared what many of them felt: “It touches us and helps our family a lot." 


The Relief Society (women’s organisation) of the Erima Ward presented a few workshops, such as a cooking class with local recipes. Then they delivered a typical Polynesian braided basket containing facemasks, a special baby notebook, and a blanket. 

Ms. Teura Iriti, Mayor of Arue, was present at this meeting, accompanied by part of her municipal team, including Yolande Bennett, 2nd Deputy Mayor. 

Madame Iriti commented on this event: “It allows members of this neighborhood to get to know and appreciate each other better, to rediscover simple values ​​that are particularly needed today. Happiness is something that must be cultivated and embellished. 

“In this kind of partnership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings that spirit of sharing and brotherly love that we all need." 

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