By: Megan Ehrhart
EnSpice Children’s Foundation is committed to helping inspire a culture of giving. Inspiring a culture of giving doesn’t exclude us - instead we want our acts of service to work as a catalyst in creating a culture of generosity.
One of the organizations ECF proudly partners with in Madagascar is C.O.P.E. - Cooperation Emerging Countries - an Italian-based nonprofit with projects in Africa and South America.
C.O.P.E.’s “projects range from education to developing and supporting female micro-entrepreneurship, providing birth certificates to undocumented children to providing comprehensive guidance for resettled refugees, and much more. The integrity of their work and reliability as an organization are just a couple of the reasons why they are an incredible partner,” according to Director of Programs & Partnerships Amanda Surman.
Our partnership with C.O.P.E. in Madagascar began just over a year ago. We’ve partnered together to offer funding and professional nutritional advice to help C.O.P.E. in the development and implementation of a lunch program at the Mangafaly School it runs in Northern Madagascar.
To date, ECF has donated more than $13,000 to C.O.P.E. in an effort to care well for the 60 children in their school. That $13,000 has provided more than 12,000 nutritious meals. We also visited the program in May 2019 to deepen the partnership and better evaluate the lunch program and the natural nutritional resources available locally.
In preparation for our next trip, planned for 2020, we’re evaluating what other needs we can help C.O.P.E. meet and are making plans to incorporate even more local foods into the school children’s diets. We even plan to introduce the school cooks and staff to new recipes that incorporate local produce into the meals.
We also hope to introduce nutrition lessons and information to faculty, children and their families.
We give our time and resources because not only is malnutrition (which is a major problem in Madagascar) treatable, we know it to be 100% preventable. The problem is nutrition isn’t easily accessible. Oftentimes either resources and/or education are not available to communities experiencing malnutrition.
In addition to helping bolster the nutrition programs for this school in Madagascar, we are working with C.O.P.E. to make it self-sustaining.
Our plan started with providing food, then moved to fortifying it with micronutrients and increasing dietary diversity using local resources (the phase we’re in now), and finally we will work to make the nutrition system sustainable.
We do all of this because we know providing adequate nutrition and complete meals is about so much more than a meal. Having complete meals with all the necessary nutrients children need to grow and thrive means a brighter future for all the school children. When children receive proper nourishment, they do better in school, their brains develop appropriately, their immune system stays strong, they grow and develop as they should and they can engage more socially.
We started with a meal because we always knew it meant so much more.
In addition to meals, we also are developing a plan for nutritional education because C.O.P.E. and the in-country school faculty in Madagascar have asked for it. Our partnership is all about bringing what we each can together so that all the children at the Mangafaly School have the best chance possible at a full, happy and healthy life. That’s why we give and partner.
What are ways that you seek to join in a culture of giving or generosity?