News Release

Sharing the Love of Christ at a Young Women’s Shelter in French Polynesia

During his recent stay in French Polynesia, Elder K. Brett Nattress, from the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited the Tiai Nui Here Shelter. 

He and his wife, Sister Shawna Nattress, visited with the young women living there who are the victims of sexual abuse, and their teachers.

“Shawna and I were deeply moved by these brave young women who are dealing with such great challenges so early in their lives,” Elder Nattress said. “We commend the staff for their tireless dedication to the cause of these young women.”

“The Savior taught, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ Those who faithfully minister to these young women are as angels from heaven. We are grateful for their service and love.”

They were joined by Elder Frederic Riemer, Area Seventy (regional leader) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who lives in French Polynesia.

During the visit, the group met with the centre association director, Ioana Teupoohuitua. They presented to her a financial donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help support the important work of the shelter.

“We greatly appreciate the generous support from the Church,” Director Teupoohuitua said. 

“This assistance will really make a difference in the kind of programs we can deliver to help these girls recover and get back to their lives.”

Elder Riemer said, “Our purpose today is to show our support for this remarkable association which has taken on such a challenging but essential mission. We also thought it was good timing, as this past 20 November was World Children’s Day which recognizes programs all over the world that benefit children.”

He added, “We also wanted to offer our support because of our strong position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form. This is what we teach our members worldwide.”


The shelter is the only refuge in French Polynesia for girls aged 12 to 18 who are victims of sexual abuse, and who are placed in the centre by the order of a court. It is supported by Les Marraines, a charitable association.

The funds will be used to provide new sewing machines to help the young people become more self-reliant, new furniture for the living room where girls meet with family members, and a Christmas outing to the nearby island of Moorea. It will also establish a special fund to support new learning initiatives that will be managed by their youth council in the coming year.

In addition, the visit was held on the very first day of the “Light the World with Love” initiative, a worldwide program sponsored by the Church that invites everyone to spread the love and light of Jesus Christ by performing daily acts of service and kindness this Christmas season.

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