News Release

Mormon Helping Hands Serving Brazil at 2014 FIFA World Cup

At the request of Brazil's Ministry of Sports, around 1,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil are volunteering their time to help Brazil host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Mormons and their friends – 18 years old and older – are taking part in Brazil Volunteer, the volunteer force behind this year's World Cup and other events such as the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They’re trained to receive visitors at airports and work at tourist sites and other popular locations during the World Cup, which lasts from June 12 through July 13.

Among the visitors being served by these Latter-day Saints volunteers in Brazil will be the Nigeria contingent for the World Cup.

The Nigerian national soccer team, Super Eagles, is one of the top national soccer teams in Africa, which made second round of FIFA World Cup in 1994 and 1998. Nigeria qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by defeating Ethiopia 4-1 on the final round of the World Cup qualification. This will be the Nigeria’s fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup, having previously participated in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups.

For nearly two decades, the Church has been known throughout Brazil for its many Mormon Helping Hands (MHH) projects -- community service projects that often involve hundreds and even thousands of Latter-day Saint volunteers.

In 2013, Sarah Menezes, then national coordinator for Brazil Volunteer worked with MHH volunteers during the Confederations Cup and was impressed by their service.  "[Mormon] Helping Hands volunteers are the most organized and dedicated,” she said. “We need you at the Cup."

As a result, representatives of Brazil's Ministry of Sports approached the Church about providing volunteers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Over the years, Mormon Helping Hands volunteers in Brazil have cleaned city parks, refurbished public schools, and assembled and donated materials for newborn baby kits. In 2013, Mormon Helping Hands volunteers came to the rescue of many people who lost their homes during the heavy rains in southeast Sao Paulo, and donated blood on a nationwide "Helping Hands" day, partnering with blood collection agencies throughout Brazil.

The Mormon Helping Hands program of the Church, carried out in many parts of the world, reflects the desire of Latter-day Saints to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others

In August of 2013, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nigeria donated more than 50,000 man hours of community service. For example, a group of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers constructed a bridge at Ikot Okwot and Ikot Oduatang. The service project generated social and economic benefits in these communities and surrounding areas. The heads of the two villages, Chief Nathan Willie Akpan of Ikot Okwot and Chief Samuel Asuquo Umoh of Ikot Oduatang commended the Church and expressed their appreciation for the community service in a joint communiqué presented to the Church in a celebration marking the event.



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