News Story

Government Agency Incorporates Spiritual Principles into Job-Seeker Programs

Church Self-Reliance courses aid officials in French Polynesia

The leading association in French Polynesia to assist jobless people will be benefitting from a set of Self-Reliance Courses developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In a recent meeting, Marshall Raihauti, project manager and educator for Te U-irau, met with Manea Tuahu, national director of self-reliance for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in French Polynesia, talk about their partnership.

"The people we work with often lack confidence and really have no plans for the future,” said Marshall.

Showing his course textbooks with some delight, "Starting and Growing My Business" and "Personal Finances," he continued, “I had the opportunity to attend a Church-sponsored self-reliance course in Punaauia in 2018 and was impressed that the program first helps people to identify their personal issues through a spiritual process.”

"My motivation is to create that same turning point in them, as I have experienced it. And you can achieve it with the Spirit; that is at the heart of your empowering programs.

He continued, "We have the expertise, we have the material, the financial resources and the appropriate training. But we are missing something that only your programs can provide. You can touch them spiritually. The Latter-day Saints have the magic that we don't have. This is the Spirit of the Lord. It is what triggers the change of heart. And that’s the most important.”

Averii Nollemberger, coordinator for Te U'irau in Pirae, Faaa and Moorea job and training centers, said: “I liked that the person is at the center of change and that the principle of individual responsibility prevails.”


Manea presented the resources of the Church with courses such as "Starting and Growing My Business" and "Personal Finances."

He explained the concept of self-reliance: “In the Church, self-reliance is not just about having a good job, food reserves, or money in the bank. It is the ability to provide for the spiritual and temporal necessities of life. It is a complementary, inseparable whole.

“When people become independent, they have more capacity to help others, and serving others is at the heart of self-reliance."

Marshall concluded, "Despite all the support that we in the government have put in place, a majority of our job seekers continue to be dependent, unable to get long-term employment. What’s missing is the change of heart. I know that when you put God first, the doors begin to open.”

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