Despite impressive economic growth in recent years, malnutrition in Lao PDR remains unacceptably high, especially among the children. Child growth indicators are available for children under 5 years but data is lacking for the other age groups.
Larry Kho led a team of 20 FSN students to collect anthropometry data to assess the nutritional status of Laotian primary schoolchildren as part of their week-long service-learning program.
Larry discussing project logistics with the school administration
The single storey school building is on the left
Children at play
Giving tokens to the winning teams
Demonstrating the 7 steps of handwashing
The service-learning program ended with a carnival. Her Excellency the Mayor of Sisattanak district, His excellency Singapore Ambassador to Lao and invited guests toured the refurbished classrooms sponsored by Mercure Hotel.
Zhi Yin, who was in charge of logistics had this to share:
The trip was very interesting, challenging, exhilarating and rewarding! The bonds formed working together as a team in intense situations are very powerful; fostering long-lasting friendships and memories. I strongly recommend other students to sign up for a once in a life time experience. I learnt to think strategically, to build rapport quickly and effectively and to communicate with people from a different culture and background. Most importantly I learnt to be independent.
”I want to do all I can to help people in need - I realize that I must know how to apply my nutrition knowledge in real life situations,” shared Jasmine.
Agreeing, Grace said, “I learnt to step up and take on new responsibilities. This trip allowed me to feel what it is like to be a leader and facilitate the nutrition education segment of the program.”
This program has definitely changed the way Siti feels about a future career in the area of nutrition. “I would also like to travel to less developed countries to educate the people about nutrition and how improving their nutrient intake would benefit their health.”