Church donates backpacks with school supplies to Palau

Posted on Jan 05 2023


Students of the Melekeok Elementary School in Palau pose with the donated backpacks. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

It all started with a small handful of backpacks being donated to the Koror Elementary School when a pair of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries noticed some children did not have the school supplies that they needed during their time at school. That became the impetus behind what would eventually become a donation to all elementary schools in Palau.

The church’s Humanitarian Department in Guam supported an idea of the entire Koror Elementary School receiving backpacks with school supplies for Christmas, which totaled 700 backpacks.

Church members Angie and John Ngiraked in Koror wondered why a less needy school was receiving this donation when there were so many more needy schools. They requested 160 more school supplies backpacks for Meyuns Elementary.

At a business dinner, Angie Ngiraked envisioned all the elementary children of Palau receiving school supplies backpacks and wondered if each of Palau’s 17 elementary schools could receive backpacks for their new school year. This would be quite an undertaking, as it was late summer, and the school season would be quickly upon them.

After a request was submitted to the church’s Guam Humanitarian Department, approval was given. Coordinating with the Palau Ministry of Education and the Western Caroline Trading Company, arrangements were made to purchase school supplies and backpacks for 1,663 students in all.

Now it was time to call in the troops. The church’s Koror Branch is known for having members that participate in many services. A Helping Hands service project was planned with church members, youth, and missionaries young and old who then came to participate in this unique project.

All got together to write handwritten notes for each backpack. The packs were assembled according to the number needed for each school, including the outer island schools that would need to have the backpacks transported by boat.

Among the 17 schools that were receiving backpacks with school supplies were Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, GB Harris, Ibobang, Koror, Melekeok, Meyuns, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngeremlengui, Peleiu, PJF (Kayangel), Pulo Anna, and Sonsorol. (PR/Saipan Tribune)

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