Background

Many children across the world are impoverished and suffer from chronic undernutrition due to lack of adequate sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare.

Children lack access to proper sanitation facilities, which often causes them to defecate in open areas and fail to wash their hands after. In addition, their diet lacks nutritional value and they drink contaminated water. Many caregivers are unaware that these patterns endanger the health of children. In order to address this need, the Liahona Children’s Foundation provides health education and nutritional supplements to meet the needs of at-risk communities.


Since its inception, the Liahona Children’s Foundation has expanded to 17 countries and 185 different Stake projects. We are involved with children in Africa, Latin America, Brazil, the South Pacific, the Philippines, and Asia.


I
n 2015, BYU Public Health faculty and students began developing health lessons for caregivers receiving nutritional supplments for undernourished children. These materials were first piloted in Ecuador in the spring of 2016 and subsequently included in an evaluation study in the Philippines and Bolivia beginning in the summer of 2016. BYU students, under the direction of Dr. Ben Crookston, Dr. Josh West, and Dr. Cougar Hall assisted with evaluating health screening procedures and protocol, administering health screenings, training volunteers, and laying the foundation for a two-year research project.

The purpose of this two-year study is to identify the impacts of nutritional supplements on children’s health and the impacts of health education on families’ behaviors. This process involves collaboration with local volunteers to create and teach culturally appropriate health lessons and deliver locally sourced nutritional supplements to qualifying participants.

We hope that future students may be able to follow up with the work started in the Philippines and Bolivia over the course of this study, assess the progress that has been made, and determine what more Liahona Children’s Foundation can do to improve the health of children in these countries.  


Student Team

 



Name :
Savannah Henshaw
Major :
Political Science, double minor in International Development and Business Management
Role in the project :
PEAT student--Project Evaluation Assessment Team. My role will be program evaluation and outcome evaluation throughout the summer.
Future employment/career :
I served my mission in the Philippines and loved sharing the gospel with them, but Ic an't wait to make an impact in their physical well-being as well. My minor is international development. Working with Liahona will give me experience doing research and evaluation that will help me get into grad school and work in the development field.






Name:
Laura Boyer
Major:
Political Science
Minors:
Environmental Science, International Development
Role in the project :
Developing Lesson Plans
Future Employment/Career:
By working on this project, I will not only learn about different public health concerns, but I will also develop critical skills that will beneficial for future careers and graduate school. As I work on developing lesson plans, I am required to think of innovative ways to present information to people from a completely different cultural, political, and economic background. This will allow me to approach problems with different viewpoints, and it will clearly allow me to think more creatively about various projects; this skill can be applied to any profession. Additionally, working on this project will help me develop excellent research and organization skills, which will be very beneficial in graduate school.










Name :
Anika
Major:
Sociology major
Role in the project :
PEAT intern
Future Employment/Career :
This project will help me to learn how to do proper evaluation and understand how an non-profit organization works, which will help me since I plan to work with non-profits for a career.

 








Name : Abrielle Mirenda Sheets
Major :
Public Health, Health Science Emphasis
Role in the project
: Development of lesson materials to be used by the Liahona Children's Foundation for educational purposes
Future Emploment/Career:
As a Public Health major, the prospect of working on a project that incorporates that concepts that I have been learning throughout my undergraduate education is incredibly exciting. It is so rewarding to know that the materials my team and I are helping to produce will have such a profound impact on the quality of life of communities in underdeveloped areas worldwide. I am confident that the experience and skill sets I gain while working with the Liahona Children's Foundation will help me in my pursuits of becoming a physician.

 

 

 





Name :
Chandni Muralidharan
Major :
Public Health
Role in the project :
Developing universal lesson plans for Liahona Children’s Foundation
Future employment/career :
With this project I also hope to gain skills that blend academic rigor with on-the-ground engagement to come up with real-world solutions to some of child health’s biggest challenges by developing effective lesson plans. I would like to work with non-profit humanitarian aid upon graduation and this project would help me fulfil my potential through meaningful, mission-driven and collaborative work.

 

 





Name :
Trent Anderson
Major
:
Nutritional Science
Role in the Project
:
With my background as a service volunteer in the Philippines and as a Nutritional Science Major, I will be helping to analyze the current supplement being used and compare it to a possibly more optimal supplement based on the nutritional needs of Filipino children. I will also be researching and/or analyzing the effect of the supplement on the health of malnourished children in the Philippines as well as the effectiveness of the administration of the supplement.
Future Employment/Career:
This project will help greatly with future employment and career opportunities by helping me gain leadership and management skills and helping me to gain in-field experience using my undergraduate studies. This will also be a great opportunity to show graduate schools my interests and that I am capable of using my skills in a way to help benefit others even outside of our nation
.

 




 

Name :
Jenna Rakuita
Major :
Sociology Major and Development minor
Role in the project :
My role in the project would be to increase the outreach of the Liahona Foundation, and conduct research based on the needs of the organization.
Future employment/career :

This experience will help me in my future employment/career by providing me with professional research experience and strengthen my skill set. 

 

 

 

 




Name : Brenden Garrett
Major :
Biological Foundations of Human Development
Role in the project :

Helping to develop lesson plans to present to local coordinators and help them confidently teach principles of nutrition and sanitation to their communities. I hope to travel with the Liahona Children's Foundation and help implement these plans.
Future career/Employment :
I’m planning to go to medical school and become a family practitioner. I chose my major so I would be able to understand how and why people develop the way they do so that I can better help them in their health, social and psychological needs. I love all topics related to health, and that is why I was so interested in the Liahona Children's Foundation. I see it as a way to bless others and proliferate the many blessings that I have been given.
I am sure that this project will open my eyes to the world of public health on a global scale and teach me a lot about how to both effectively teach important health topics as well as provide needed support to undernourished communities. This mindset and these skills will surely help me to be a better health-care professional, leader, and advocate for the cause of global health.







Name: Brittany Hammod
Major:
Exercise and wellness
Role in the project:
Working on the lesson plans.
Future employment/career:
I know that this will look very good on a resume when I am applying for jobs in the future.