After a recent breakup, Katy Perry decided to do something positive for the world instead of sitting around and moping. Katy Perry visited Madagascar as a part of UNICEF, or the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. UNICEF tries to create a world where every child has rights. They have the global authority of the UN, and can therefore influence policymakers, but also have access to grassroots organizations in various countries, so they can give direct and indirect help when necessary. UNICEF is focus of overcoming poverty, disease, and discrimination of children throughout the world. One of their major promotions is girls’ education, because it benefits the entire country if girls in addition to boys are educated.
Katy Perry visited Madagascar with UNICEF to focus on children’s education, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition. 68 percent of the population of Madagascar is living in poverty. All of the problems that result from poverty are problems that children in Madagascar face on a daily basis, and are important obstacles to overcome in order to promote individual and countrywide development. Perry spoke with a group of women and children at the Ilaiko Child Protection centre. Many of the group members had either been abused, abandoned, or neglected in some way, and often were struggling with issues of poverty. The Ilaiko Child Protection centre gives support to women both legally and socially.
Perry also visited several children’s schools to spend time with the children. She demonstrated the importance of hand-washing to the children. Only 3 of 10 children graduate from primary school, showing that education is a severe issue within Madagascar. Additionally, Perry spent time in a Madagascar health center to learn about women’s education of newborns, and the ideal diet for mothers who are breastfeeding. This center is run by UNICEF in order to help spread women’s education in regards to their children, so that the children will start off life healthy.
Madagascar UNICEF wants to help every young woman and child be able to support themselves and remain healthy, while receiving a quality education so that their future prospects will be bright. When discussing the issues, Katy expressed surprise at the universality of many of the issues. Many women across the globe have to face similar issues of struggling to provide for their families, or even serious matters like abuse and abandonment. Still, Katy noted, in Madagascar, support is hard to find. She expressed incredible support of the Ilaiko Child Protection centre, and said it was amazing that these locations existed to help women and children.
Katy Perry visited Madagascar for a total of 4 days. She spent time with children, teachers, health workers, government social workers, and UNICEF workers to discuss challenges and needs of the communities. She came away with more knowledge about the issues facing Madagascar children, such as the lack of access to clean and safe water, as well as access to clean sanitation facilities. She was also struck by issues of malnutrition, abuse, and schools that are not weather-proof. This visit was a life-changing experience for Katy, and she left hoping her visit would help by raising awareness through the media.
– Corina Balsamo