Category: Spotlight

Engaging Entrpreneurial Women to Combat Child Malnutrition


The Product: Mama+ is a new infant fortified cereal for children aged 6 mo. – 2 years old, and is the only affordable fortified complementary infant food available in the rural areas of Southern Haiti.  [This unique product, recognized for its nutritional benefits, ease of use and cultural fit, is the only infant cereal certified and promoted by the Haitian Ministry of Health]. Mama+ was developed in partnership with the World Food Programme and the University of Notre Dame, and is produced at a local rural processing facility with agricultural inputs sourced from local farmer.

Social Innovation: Mama+ is sold door-to-door in the rural areas by selected and trained women from the community who provide nutritional and health education along with their home visits.  This unique model, which provides a viable business opportunity to women, simultaneously promotes optional infant feeding practices and other key health information in a personalized manner to rural households.

Business Innovation:  The development of mama+ has contributed to building the capacity of a local social enterprise to manage all operations related to the commercialization of the product.

 Next Steps:  Further funding is needed to enhance the business model and commercialization process in order for it become a financially sustainable profitable business venture that can be scaled up. This will enable the nutritional benefits of mama+ to be accessible throughout all of Haiti.


Hurricane Matthew: Emergency Appeal

Dear Friends,
hurricane-thumbnailThe death toll in Haiti continues to rise, with more than 800 lives lost, mostly in the southern part of the country. As you know,Matthew made landfall in Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday. At least 1.2 million have been directly affected, with 350,000 in need of immediate humanitarian assistance and 60,000 living in shelters.

In southern Haiti, winds reaching 250 km/h destroyed homes and flooded villages. In the following weeks, the “poorest of the poor” will experience their worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake, which killed at least 220,000 people.

Health officials are already bracing themselves for an increase in cases of cholera due to severely damaged water supplies and sanitation systems. Haiti’s cholera outbreak has killed roughly 10,000 people and sickened more than 800,000 since 2010.

Working in Les Cayes since 1999 in partnership with the University of Notre Dame Haiti, and other local partners, AVSI is already responding to immediate needs and we need your help now to reach more victims.Your donation today will fund the most pressing needs, like distribution of drinking water, food, medical care and essential supplies. With your support, we can help all Haitians to weather the storm and regain the strength needed to rebuild their Country.

 AVSI Canada gives you the opportunity to make a donation that you can trust will reach the people who need it most.  Please spread this message through social media and help us to raise funds. Please do tell people that 100% of the money donated through AVSI Canada reaches the people who so desperately need it.
Also ,I ask you to pray for Fiammetta, Marianna  and our other friends working in Les Cayes tirelessly in helping to provide  first emergency relief efforts. 
Thank you

AVSI Canada Charity Registration # 864270707RR0001

If you prefer to donate by cheque, please mail all cheques to AVSI Canada.  The mailing address is:

AVSI Canada
100 Davenport Rd.
Toronto, ON M5R 1H7

Many thanks for your support.

Locally produced, fortified infant cereal in rural Haiti to improve health outcomes

AVSI in Haiti, supported by AVSI Canada was awarded a grant from Grand Challenges Canada for they project submission related to improving infant health outcomes in Haiti.

In Haiti, many women and children suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and the growth of 20% of children is stunted. This project aims to build the capacity of a local social enterprise to bring to market a       fortified infant cereal that meets the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The key to success is       the integrated approach with the development of a business plan and social marketing strategy that will         engage local stakeholders to strengthen the supply chain by improving agricultural practices, production,       marketing and distribution of the cereal. This idea leverages ties with women in the community, involving them in the marketing and distribution, and the provision of education about appropriate infant feeding practices to their peers. This will sustain product demand and promote optimal feeding practices.