News Story

Self-Reliance Course Taught at Tahiti Women’s Shelter

Principles from "Success in School Begins at Home" program shared with residents of Pu o te Hau (Haven of Peace)

As a representative of the Relief Society (women’s organisation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) on the Women's Council of French Polynesia, Miresa Doom recently organised the first self-reliance course for residents of the Pu o te Hau women’s shelter.

The course focuses on basic skills that can be taught at home to help children succeed in school.


Miresa Doom, who recently joined the Council chaired by Chantal Galenon, immediately took the initiative to submit her project.

She noted, "I am convinced that the Relief Society can contribute to the reconstruction of the self-esteem of the residents of the Pu o te Hau, using the self-reliance course Success in School Begins at Home.

Her proposal was greeted favourably by the Women's Council and resulted in the launch of the 12 lesson series starting Thursday 2 July, in coordination with the Arue Tahiti Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The launch was originally scheduled for last February, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Women’s Council, which brings together the 13 women’s associations in French Polynesiaincluding the Relief Society, which is one of its founding members—manages the shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence.

Director Rowena Tuhoe explained, “The Pu o te Hau offers them a place of refuge to heal in a safe environment, legal support to protect themselves from their abusive companion, and individual support to rebuild themselves.”

An excerpt from Success in School Begins at Home states: "Parents have a divinely appointed role in helping their children succeed in school.”

According to Doom, “The tone was set and very quickly the attention of the seven participants focused on the spiritual dimension of life.”

Participants freely shared their thoughts. They spoke naturally about God, their faith, the way God works in their lives. They reflected, discussed the central role of parents in educating their children at home, and recognized the importance of harmoniously combining secular and spiritual education.

“It was an exceptional moment of sharing personal experiences,” says Doom.

One participant said: “I have lived with my father only, since my childhood and I have always been convinced that I was on my own and that everything I did, every success I achieved, it was thanks to me and no one else. I didn't believe in God, I didn't even know he existed. It is only when I became a mother with my first child that people came to preach to me so that I would know God. Now I know He exists and that He is here for us, for me and my children."

To the question, "How to teach your child?" another participant replied spontaneously, "With prayer! You can do everything with prayer."

Gratefully, a participant summed up her feelings at the end of the session: "Thank you for caring for us, thank you for sharing this light. It will help us a lot to have this light with us."

“Above all the concepts presented, what matters most is that this first course especially allowed the participants to reconnect with God,” commented Manea Tuahu, Director of the Church’s self-reliance and welfare department in French Polynesia.

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