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Stories from the Field

Young Student in Madagascar is Inspired to Become an Entrepreneur

Maddie L Author
By Maddie Laing on May 30, 2019

Narovantsoa, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his teacher, Yvonne, in the small town of Soamanandrariny, Madagascar. On average, households in Somanandrainy consist of six people, and many depend on an income of less than $1 per day. Although not ideal, these circumstances have not stopped Narovantsoa on his journey to his dream job — becoming an entrepreneur.

Rise Against Hunger meals are served at Narovantsoa’s school by our impact partner, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Before receiving Rise Against Hunger meals, Narovantsoa was regularly eating just one meal per day, usually consisting of rice or vegetables. Narovantsoa shares, “Now that I benefit from Rise Against Hunger meals, I eat lunch at school and no longer feel hungry during classes. Eating meals at school is also joyful because I can sit with my friends and talk about funny things while eating.”

Yvonne, Narovantsoa’s teacher and caretaker, also serves as the school’s cafeteria manager and primary chef. She cooks the Rise Against Hunger meals for students each day and sometimes uses supplemental vegetables to create dumplings. She shares that most of the students in the school rely on the one Rise Against Hunger meal each day as they do not have food available at home. “I have noticed that the students have become more dynamic and alert in their classrooms and since eating these meals, most of the students have also gained 4.5 to 6.5 pounds,” said Yvonne. “Parents and guardians are noticing these changes, too, which motivates them to come to the school to help prepare the meals.”

ADRA’s program officer in Madagascar, Miara, also notes huge changes in the school since receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals. Miara has also noticed improvements in the children’s ability to focus on schoolwork, exam scores have improved and attendance has gone up.

Narovantsoa is now ranked fourth out of 41 students in his class; an accomplishment that Yvonne credits in part to receiving Rise Against Hunger meals at lunch. “When I grow up, I’d like to become an entrepreneur and own my own company,” said Narovantsoa. Providing Rise Against Hunger meals in schools can help take children like Narovantsoa one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty. We rely completely on our volunteers to get involved and package our meals. Are you ready to schedule a Rise Against Hunger Experience event for you and your group? Visit our Host a Meal Packaging Event page to learn more!