Volunteers regularly weigh and measure all children enrolled in the program to see how they are growing. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rees)

Mormons Help Malnourished Children in Guatemala

Volunteers regularly weigh and measure all children enrolled in the program to see how they are growing. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rees)

Volunteers regularly weigh and measure all children enrolled in the program to see how they are growing. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rees)

For a couple of years now, I've been following The Liahona Children’s Nutrition and Education Foundation.

Readers of this blog may remember Bob Rees, a retired professor who volunteers for the Liahona Foundation, from two guest posts he wrote last year, one on Mormon temple garments and another on why he is a Christian first and a Mormon second. I paid him for the posts by donating to the foundation (which reminds me--if you ever submit a guest post for this blog and I accept it for publication, I will donate $50 to the charity of your choice).

Basically, the premise of the Liahona Foundation is to help malnourished and underweight LDS children and their friends. Working both independently and with the Church's welfare program in local areas of Guatemala and Ecuador, it provides nutritional supplements, monitors' children's growth, and offers scholarships to help them attend school.

Even a $50 donation, like the ones I have made, can support one child for an entire year. It's staggering to think about, really. That's not far off the amount I am spending this weekend per ticket to take our visiting niece and nephew to an amusement park.

Four LDS volunteers from the United States. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rees)

Four LDS volunteers from the United States. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rees)

Bob just got back from a trip to Guatemala where he and some other volunteers (two of them nutrition students at USU). He's very heartened by the progress of the work they're doing there, and hope to expand to enroll kids in other areas of the country. He writes:

We consider this a great opportunity because the return on investment is so great. A kid who doesn’t get sufficient nutrition suffers from cognitive and physical impairment. Such a child is not likely to go to school, acquire the skills necessary to get a job, be capable of serving a mission or taking leadership positions and unlikely to make a good marriage decision. This means that he/she is much more likely to be dependent on both the Church and his/her own government—possibly for a lifetime. For $50 a year for a few short years, the chances are just the opposite: the child goes to school, acquires a skill, goes on a mission, serves others, makes a good marriage decision, is a good parent and citizen, earns a salary, pays tithing and fast offering and thus repays many times what it cost to give him/her a healthy beginning.

So here's my pitch. (You knew it was coming, didn't you?) I know that I have some Mormon readers out there with gigantic hearts. I know this because I have heard from many of you and met some of you. Would you consider making a donation to the Liahona Foundation? As Bob says, a little goes a very long way. Even $10 or $20 can make a huge difference in the life of a child and the long-term fortunes of a family.

Just think about it, OK?

Bob with Local Coodinators


  1. I have been working very hard at getting rid of financial debt. The hugest reason is that I want to be able to help others and I can be in a better position to do that without debt.

    Thank you for the invitation to donate to Bob’s charity and for bringing his charity to our awareness.

    On a personal note, I dabble a little with photography. I decided a long time ago that I do not want to sell my photos to make money for me. Any money I do make, I donate to those in need. As you have often said, if we each give a little, we can give a lot.

    Happy day!

  2. Jana: We both love and admire Bob Rees for many reasons, not least for his rigorous recent trip and report from Guatemala despite his advanced age. However, as important as Bob’s work is with the Liahona CNEF, I’m sure he would be embarrassed at the thought that anyone would refer to this Foundation as “Bob’s charity.” The founder and patron saint of the Foundation is actually Dr. Brad Walker. Readers can learn more about him and the Foundation’s work at http://bycommonconsent.com/2011/01/27/approaching-zion-solving-the-problem-of-malnutrition/ .

    Best wishes — Armand

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  4. I was referred to your blog by Liahona news July 2013 and am enjoying your articles. Thank you.
    My 2 sons are in one of the photos you’ve posted above. They went on a Liahona Nutri-Tour to Guatemala 2013. To show that 1 individual can make a difference, because of these 2 boys volunteering last summer and then hosting a fire side in September 2013, (coordinators from Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru came and went on tour in 4 states in the US), which now 1 stake and 2 districts in Guatemala are sponsored by those who attended that 1 fireside.
    LCF is now scheduling Nutri-Tours for 2014.
    Spread the word and “Change a Generation”.

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  6. Liahona Childrens Foundation is taking applications for summer 2014 Nutri-Tours to new areas. Anyone interested should go to LCF.org and sign up for a new summer experience to help children.

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  9. nopooramongthem.org and their facebook page No Poor Among Them, are excellent sources about such items and topics that can educate those who are interested in helping others.
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