Leader of 'First Hope' Visits Utah

Leader of 'First Hope' Visits Utah

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From the fashion houses of Paris to an orphanage in Nepal, Cecile Pelous is a woman of contrasts.

She designs fashionable clothing for the world's wealthiest women, so she can in turn clothe and feed some of the world's poorest children. And she's visiting Salt Lake City right now.

She's France's version of mother Theresa. In fact she began working with Mother Theresa in 1985 in India. Now she's has turned her attention to a group of children in Nepal. And her current employer, House of Dior, allows her three months of paid vacation, so she can use her skills in fashion to fund her passion.

Once or twice a year Cecile Pelous -- a convert to Mormonism -- quietly travels to Salt Lake to search out her ancestors in the Family History Library. This is not one of her quiet trips. She wants to tell anyone who will listen about her orphanage in Nepal. It's not a subject she can easily discuss with her "haute Couture" clients back in Paris.

Cecile Pelous: "Oh Cecile, she go to Nepal and India where she has an orphanage. It's nice, but stop. They don't want to know anymore? No."

But she's confident people here will listen. One of her visits is to the home of Elaine Jack, the former general relief society president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Another visit is to some employees of Franklin Covey

Cecile sold her home in Paris to help pay for a sanctuary where 79 children are fed, clothed, educated and loved. Some of these children lost their parents to floods, disease, and attacks by ferocious animals in the jungle. They might have been sold into prostitution, or kidnapped and killed for their vital organs were it not for a sophisticated French woman of exceptional heart.

The first children she rescued ten years ago have grown up and accomplished much.

Cecile Pelous: "They speak Indian, Nepalese, English. We discover their personalities. Madav, for example, I'm sure he'll be a leader someday in Nepal. I am sure."

Madav, is 22-years old and has earned a degree in engineering, and cares for 14 orphaned children himself. He is one of the many miracles Cecile says she has witnessed. She hopes people here can help her bring about more.

Cecile Pelous: "We find always sufficient sponsor when I have need, therefore, we continue."

Cecile's organization is called "First Hope." If you're interested in learning more, Cecile will be speaking at the Salt Lake City library on Thursday night, 7:30 pm in conference room B.

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