Katy Perry Visits Madagascar With UNICEF, Plays With Adorable Children

  @MayaErgas on April 09 2013 11:32 AM

American pop star Katy Perry was in Madagascar on Monday with UNICEF, where she visited the Ilaiko Child Protection center and met with the women and children living there. Many of the people who take shelter with UNICEF are suffering from abuse, abandonment or neglect, the UNICEF official statement said.

Katy Perry with children in Madagascar U.S. singer Katy Perry talks to twin girls during a visit to a nutritional centerin the village of Androranga Vola, in this April 6, 2013 handout photo provided by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Perry visited Madagascar in support of UNICEF's programmes that focus on improving the welfare of children in aspects such as education, health and sanitation.  Reuters/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout

“What strikes me is how universal so many of these core problems are,” Perry said in a UNICEF statement. “Whether in Madagascar or in the USA, so many women experience the same thing. But here, clearly support can be hard to come by -- that’s why it is amazing that centers like this one are here to help.”

Katy Perry jumping rope in Madagascar Perry join girls playing with a jump rope during a visit to a primary school that has been rebuilt by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), after it was destroyed by a cyclone in Ampihaonana. Picture taken April 5, 2013  Reuters/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout

Perry spent time playing with the children at the center and speaking with health and social workers about the challenges they face in providing clean water and safe school houses for the kids.

Katy Perry washes her hands with kids in Madagascar Perry demonstrates to children how to wash their hands during a visit to a primary school that has been rebuilt by UNICEF.  REUTERS/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout

Another huge problem, UNICEF said, was malnutrition. “For every two children in the country, one is suffering from chronic malnutrition,” explains Sara Bordas-Eddy, programme coordinator and deputy representative for UNICEF in Madagascar, in an official statement. “Chronic malnutrition results in stunting, an underdevelopment of the body, and can also have an impact on the child’s cognitive development.”

Katy Perry in Madagascar Perry pumps water at water point during a visit to a primary school that has been rebuilt by UNICEF.  REUTERS/Kate Holt/UNICEF/Handout

This was Perry’s first official trip in her capacity as a UNICEF ambassador.

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