LCF Opens in Madagascar


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We are pleased to announce that Liahona Children’s Foundation is now working in Madagascar. Madagascar is well known for ecological diversity, but it is a poor country (per capita income was 401 USD in 2016) with one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world. The LDS church received legal status in 1993, and there are 39 congregations with 11,340 LDS members in the country. After consultation with several people who know the area, we determined that we should be helping the children there. We partnered with the Madagascar Cooperative Foundation (http://www.madagascarcf.org/) to identify capable volunteers, contact local Church leaders, and locate a suitable supplement.  Madagascar-2

Ashley Raymond conducted the training of 12 volunteers on a Saturday morning in July. We covered the responsibilities of coordinators, measurement of height and weight, and data entry. We had our first screening that afternoon. We conducted two additional screenings on Sunday and Monday. On Monday, the Malagasy volunteers did all the screening without our direct assistance. We left confident that they would be able to continue adding more children. Children will receive Plumpy Nut—a commonly used nutritious supplement, and we left sufficient funds to cover the first month of supplementation.

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We screened 98 children during the training, and they have screened an additional 43 children after we left.  As you can see in the chart below, only 24% of the children are classified as normal height and weight, 22% are at risk of being undernourished, nearly half are chronically undernourished (48%), and 6 percent are acutely undernourished.

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We are grateful for the volunteers in Madagascar including our partners at MCF, and to the donors who made this possible. The day before we left, we went over the procedures with Manda—the country coordinator. With tears in her eyes she thanked us for coming and said she preferred not to be paid so that other volunteers could get paid. We are confident that this program will expand and will benefit many children. 

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