In 2013, after 15 years of projects designed to reduce infant malnutrition in Madagascar, GRET and its endowment fund FIND – in partnership with various social investors and the AFD – created the Nutri’zaza social enterprise to develop and perpetuate the initiatives carried out. One year later, Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo gives us a first evaluation of the company’s initiatives and new challenges.
In touch. One year on, what are the first visible results for Nutri’zaza?
Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo. In Madagascar one out of every two children under five suffers from malnutrition. One year after Nutri’zaza was set up, the hotelin-jazakely (restaurants for babies) and the Koba Aina (local infants’ flour) are little by little becoming a feature of the deprived neighbourhoods, where they anticipate the needs of Madagascan mums. The number of meals sold in the year can be put at 1,7 million, and 15,500 children from 6 to 24 months have eaten Koba Aina at least occasionally each month thanks to the Hotelin-jazakely network, which also enables 720 children to benefit monthly from personalised advice on good infant nutrition habits. Four new municipalities, convinced of the positive impact of partnering with Nutri’zaza, have accepted to work with us as have several organisations and NGOs, so as to be even more accessible to the most destitute.
In touch. How has Nutri’zaza’s being a social enterprise changed its activities?
Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo. In one year, Nutri’zaza has taken on a management team, set up governance bodies (including social governance), made its existence known, and is beginning to roll out its services. So it’s a whole new dynamic that is emerging.
In touch. What challenges lie ahead in the coming years for Nutri’zaza?
Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo. Much remains to be done. The challenge is to be able to extend the hotelin-jazakely concept to all the big towns in Madagascar. Nutri’zaza and our fortified products have begun making a name for the enterprise. But “social enterprise” does not conjure up much in the public’s mind, nor with some of our partners. Our efforts to communicate must be kept up and even intensified for Nutri’zaza not to be considered a commercial company like any other.
For further information on Nutri’zaza (in French)