Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Dam (Check that is) Press Conference

India New Delhi Mission
B-4 / 53 Ground Floor
Safdarjung Enclave
Nauroji Nagar Marg
New Delhi 110029
(011) 4602 6152


For Immediate Release

New Delhi, July 28, 2009 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a world church with a world message and a world program, and its whole course is designed to help people, to lift them, to strengthen them without regard to nationality, race, or religion.

The Church and its humanitarian services organization, Latter-day Saint Charities, sponsor five on-going global projects to help people become more self-reliant. These initiatives include neonatal resuscitation training, clean water projects, wheelchair distribution, vision treatment, and measles vaccinations. The Church is also involved in worldwide emergency disaster relief. Projects in all initiatives except measles vaccinations have been completed in India.
Today, the Church jointly announces with its project partners, PHD and Rotary International, the successful completion of 20 check dams in the Rajasthan Sikar and Alwar Districts. The completed dams will benefit more than 70,000 people.

Donations, principally from Church members, but also from people around the world, are used to make humanitarian projects possible. One hundred percent of the donations given to the Church’s humanitarian services are used for relief efforts. The Church absorbs its own overhead costs.

Church volunteers involved in humanitarian services work do so at their own expense. Currently, there are 5 Church service couples donating their full time to humanitarian service work in India.

Since the year 2000, there have been approximately 500 humanitarian service projects completed in India with a US dollar value of $32,188,918 or more than 154 Crore. The Church presently has 25 humanitarian projects underway in India with a US dollar value of $2,855,109 or more than 13 Crore.


The above is a copy of the press release we prepared which was part of a press kit that included President Jackson's bio, a booklet on the church in India and 6 individual sheets with church information including basic beliefs. We found some really nice folders with the church name on them in the mission office and used them. Atul Dev, the PR pro, was impressed so we were very happy about that. Sister Tanner did a lot of good work in putting it together.

Sushil Gupta, Rotary, to President Jackson's right is a great friend of the church and the one who initiated the press conference. He, President Jackson, and Mr Meta from PHD all gave opening statements and then fielded questions.

It took us over 2.5 hours to make a normal less than 1 hour trip from Noida. One lady with PHD, spent 4 hours getting there that morning. When we arrived about 11:40, there were no press people and I began to fear for the worst. I know Atul Dev was very worried, but it worked out well.

10 media representatives eventually arrived which was a minor miracle given the travel conditions. I learned a lot about this process from Atul Dev. Of the 10, 2 were "line" representatives, ie, like Reuters, AP, etc. They will hopefully author articles that will find placement in many smaller papers, or large ones.

The press conference took about 45 minutes and then to stay on schedule, we adjorned to lunch. An 11th representative arrived about the time we were all leaving, but she did come and was given a press kit with all the info.

That soup in my hand, Almond, was absolutely delicious. The gentleman we are talking to was very impressed with the Church's humanitarian work. He told me he was definitely going to write something on the project. The purpose is to help people, but if we can get some recognition for the church along the way, so much the better. Our new mission president, Jackson, is a great communicator and teacher. It was nice to just sit and be part of the show and confine my talking to one on one's. Now like the farmer, we'll have to see what the harvest brings. Atul sent me an email yesterday that there was one short article in a Hindi paper, but I haven't had time to get our neighbor to translate it for me.

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