News Story

Young Papua New Guinean Woman Saves School Library

Dynamic young adult who believes that “knowledge is power” highlighted for International Women's Day

To celebrate International Women's Day, Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared the following story.

Papua New Guinea is an exciting, thrilling and beautiful country. While the picturesque coastline and majestic mountains exude strength, determination and spectacular beauty, it is the faith and testimonies of the Papua New Guinean Latter-day Saints that stands as a beacon of light for the world to see.

This week marks the celebration of International Women’s Day and that prompted me to share a story about a remarkable young woman, Christina Augerea, who grew up in the Papua New Guinean village of Hula, 100 kilometres south-east of Port Moresby.


After returning home from Brigham Young University – Hawaii last year due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, one day Christina was visiting a sick friend who lived next to her former school, the Allen Jones Memorial School.

“After the visit, I decided to walk through the school grounds,” she recalls. “There I met my former English teacher. When I asked her how the school was doing, she mentioned to me that the library was run down, so I asked her if I could see it.”

It was in disrepair, unused and infested with termites. Heartbroken to see it in this state, as the library had done much to shape her academic life, she was determined to do something about it.

Using skills and contacts from her time as a missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she contacted her mission president’s wife who connected her with Mankind Is My Business (MIMB).

Port Moresby Latter-day Saint leader, Maosope McCarthy, put her in touch with the Rotary Club of Boroko.

With support from these two organisations she was able to acquire enough funding for a new termite-proof building to be constructed.

Some of her fellow young adults from the Church of Jesus Christ helped her clean and organise the old library. Books were dusted and sorted to be ready to move to the new library when it is built.

Volunteers help sort and box library books to be ready when the new library is built. Papua New Guinea, 2020.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“The goal of the project for me was inspired by President McCarthy ─ which is to serve, sustain, and be self-reliant,” Christina said. “Giving people the services that they need and providing means and ways for them to sustain the services that we give them teaches them to be self-reliant.”

She added, “This project is to prepare the children from Hula Village to seek and value education.”

Through her vision and action, Christina has provided an opportunity for children to read, learn, become and to serve.

Christina’s faith-filled testimony of Jesus Christ and her inspired action will help many more to receive blessings from on high. She has learned that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God. Her simple desire to lift, educate and inspire others exemplifies what it means to walk in the light of Christ.

Elder K. Brett Nattress

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