News Release

Koror’s Light Shines Bright

Humanitarian Project for Koror Elementary School in Palau

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is involved in many humanitarian projects all over the world, to include the island country in the western pacific, officially known as The Republic of Palau. Consisting of approximately 340 islands, the most populated Island is Koror, with the most populated city also named Koror, with Micronesia to the east, Indonesia to the south, and the Philippines to the northwest.

Sister missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ, called to serve in Palau, work closely with the Church’s Koror Branch members as well as the community. While serving on the island, these sisters visited the Koror Elementary School, which is the largest elemntary school in Palau. As they built a relationship with Mayleen Ngiriou, the school’s principal, they found there was a big need for school supplies for some of her students.

A service project was planned by Sister Alldredge and Sister Heiden. The Church’s Humanitarian Department in Guam was notified of this need. What started out as a desire to help a few students grew into an energetic plan for an activity where the youth of the branch would be involved in a service project to benefit these students and find joy in serving. Branch leaders, members, youth, and other missionaries on the island joined together to create a combined activity with food, entertainment, and service.  

Branch members, missionaries and youth got up early Saturday morning for the planned activity. They started with cleaning the church building. Afterwards, the young women were found practicing a dance to be performed later that day. Other youth took advantage of the parking lot basketball hoop to play ball.

Meanwhile, the Elders Quorum President, Ej Ozu, and his son Koison, were busy preparing BBQ chicken and hot dogs on their grill. Koison applied a special family traditional sauce. He spreads the sauce around on the meat with large, long leaves. The women set food, plates, and utensils on the tables outside under the large shade tree. Smiles, mingling, conversations, island music and light laughter. Good food, fun, and service. What more could you ask for? This is a shareable recipe for success!

To help with Koror’s economy, school supplies were purchased locally from Western Caroline Trading Company in Koror. During the BBQ preparation, the youth, Sister Aldridge and Sister Heiden gathered for their service project and put school supplies into backpacks for the school students. They were few, but their energy made up for it. The completed backpacks were taken to Principal Ngiriou, where they were discretely handed out to the needy students.

In response to the first two cases of COVID-19 on the island and the schools desire to protect their students, the Church Humanitarian Department on Guam purchased over eight-hundred student masks and a few hundred hand sanitizers from Koror's local vendors and donated them to the school.

Additionally, in hearing of the need for the adult community of Koror to have masks, the Micronesia Guam Mission held a conference for junior and senior sister missionaries. Tables were covered with fabric. Some sisters were cutting out masks while others sewed them, chatting as they worked. Still others were found ironing. What better way to spend the day than working, eating, and socializing with one another? By the end of this service project, they were able to sew one-hundred and thirty adult cloth masks. Just under thirty disposable masks were also donated at the last minute from the Guam community. As the school is in a good position with masks, these additional adult masks will be delivered for the community of Koror to utilize. Who knew they could be on their way to bless lives by eight p.m. that same night by two sister missionaries that were headed to the island. 

Many families on the island, due to COVID-19, have struggled this last year with lack of income from the loss of tourism to boost their economy. The Koror Branch youth along with partnering missionaries are enthusiastic as they find joy in serving Christ by helping these school students. Although President Ngiraked’s Koror Branch is small and in a remote location of the world, their presence, along with the missionaries serving there on the island, are a light that shines on the community as an example of Christlike service.

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