MormonNewsroom.org features stories from its international Newsroom websites to share what leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world are doing to better the communities in which they live.

Russia: Elder Ballard Speaks of Russia’s Deep Spirituality
Elder M. Russell Ballard, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently met with representatives of religions, government and academic leaders and members of the Church in Russia.

Reflecting on his experiences while in Russia, Elder Ballard said: “I see significant potential for growth of the Church. The people of this great country have a deep spirituality, and the Church creates ideal conditions for the development of their spiritual nature.”

Read more about Elder Ballard’s visit on the Russian Mormon Newsroom website (Russian).

Australia: Church Members in Australia Encouraged to Assist Refugees
Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, encouraged members in Melbourne, Australia, to assist with local refugee efforts. A luncheon was held Monday, June 13, to discuss the Church’s “I Was a Stranger” relief effort that was announced in March, inviting women of all ages to participate.

“It’s not about politics, religion or boundaries. It’s about opening hearts to all our brothers and sisters and doing good,” said Sister Reeves.

For more information, visit the Australia Mormon Newsroom website.

Uganda: LDS Charities Helps Refugees
More than 8,500 refugees (including 5,100 under the age of 18) from the Democratic Republic of Congo are being helped by the construction of restrooms at the Mugombwa Camp in the southern province of Rwanda, Africa.

Uganda-Refugees1-2016

LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, often partners with other major organizations in such projects, and this time the partnership is with the United Nations. The Church is currently working on projects to build more than 15 restrooms in various refugee camps.

Read more about the efforts of the Church on the Uganda Mormon Newsroom website.

Russia: Latter-day Saint Leader Counsels Russia’s Young Adults on Life’s Decisions
During a two-hour webcast in mid-May, Elder Jorg Klebingat of the Seventy and his wife, Julia, participated in a question and answer session called “Face 2 Face” with young people from 18 to 30 years old.

Elder and Sister Klebingat answered questions about marriage and several other important topics that were on the minds of the young adults.

Go to the LDS.org website (Russian) to gain an understanding about what was on the minds of the young Latter-day Saints.

Mexico: Church Leaders Unite With Other Christians in Behalf of the Family
Two thousand religious leaders representing 7,000 Christian congregations in Mexico came together to raise awareness for the protection of families.

Elder Benjamin De Hoyos of the Seventy and president of the Mexico Area of the Church welcomed the news media and answered their questions. Samuel Sanchez, presiding bishop of the Apostolic Church of the Faith in Christ Jesus Armenta, read a joint statement by all the religions represented.

Go to the Mexico Mormon Newsroom website (Spanish) to read the statement.

Jamaica: Eye Screening Machines Donated by LDS Charities
The need for better eye care in Jamaica has been addressed by LDS Charities. Dr. Lue and Lizette Mowatt, eye specialists at the Kingston Public Hospital, met in Jamaica with Dr. Jesse Hansaker, an ophthalmologist and a volunteer with LDS Charities. They discussed the need for eye screening equipment at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Through significant efforts and donations from Latter-day Saints, eye care equipment costing more than $60,000 was donated to provide treatment to patients with glaucoma and retinal disease.

Read more about the donation on the Jamaica Mormon Newsroom website.

Brazil: Mormon Helping Hands Volunteers Cut Hair for Charity
More than 600 donations of hair by Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church were announced as the greatest gift of hair ever received by the charity Organization of Riverside Motor Accident Victims (ORVAM). The hair is collected to help women who have lost their hair from a variety of accidents.

Organization president Cristina Santos expressed her happiness: “I did not expect such a success in the hair-raising.” In addition to donating hair, people also gave clothes and hygiene and cleaning materials.

The Brazil Mormon Newsroom website (Portuguese) has more information on the service project.