News Release

A Merry Christmas for Myanmar Refugee Children

Twenty-four Myanmar refugee children attended a Christmas activity put on by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on Dec. 3.  With smiling faces, these beautiful and well-behaved boys and girls participated in games, crafting, eating and socializing. Santa Claus even made an appearance and gave each a gift, while traditional Christmas music played in the background. Smiles came easily to the faces of the children as well as the adults!


These children, ages 9 - 12, come from a refugee school operated by seven Myanmar teachers, and supported by numerous volunteers and outside donations.  School studies concentrate on English and math, as both are imperative to achieving success in life outside Myanmar as well as inside Malaysia. Classrooms are small and hot, and the children have very little in the way of personal possessions.  To their delight, each child received a full sized back pack, a water bottle, edible goodies and a large set of colored markers.

Some of these children have been in Malaysia for years, awaiting documents to re-locate to other countries. Other children have been in Malaysia for a short time and are adjusting to life in a new home.  They all live in humble circumstances in a refugee village, where family and friends support one another as they struggle to eek out a meager existence. 

Women who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons” or LDS) in the Petaling Jaya congregation unselfishly donated the necessities for the celebration and supervised the activities.  They collected money to buy rice, lentils, and oil to give to the refugee families to take home.  These women love helping at the school and hosting this Christmas party every year. For six years, this has been a joyful Christmas tradition for these Mormons and refugee children.

As recorded in the Book of Mormon, an LDS scripture, a wise king and prophet once told his people to help those in need. “…ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need;” (Mosiah 4:16). Thomas S. Monson, the current President and Prophet of the LDS Church has, on many occasions, told Church members to help those around them.  Members, known also as Mormons, are told to emulate the actions of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  In fact, the LDS Church recently  launched an initiative to encourage Christlike behavior every day between now and Christmas.  For ideas to serve and help others, go to #LighttheWorld or  

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