1. ITV Report

Katy Perry teams up with UNICEF for Madagascar visit

Singer Katy Perry in Madagascar with UNICEF. Photo: APTN

US singer Katy Perry took her first trip abroad in support of UNICEF to help draw attention to the plight of many living on the island of Madagascar.

Perry visited school children and sat in a few classes in a primary school rebuilt after it had been destroyed by a tropical cyclone.

The island's children is thought to be one of the poorest in the world and still recovering from a political crisis in 2009.

Katy Perry visits schoolchildren in Madagascar with UNICEF. Credit: APTN

International donors had frozen development aid following the 2009 crisis, forcing the government to make drastic cuts in public spending and resulting in large parts of the population not having access to basic health care and primary education.

According to UNICEF, only three children out of every 10 who start primary school complete the cycle, while two-thirds of teachers had not received any formal training.

The acclaimed singer and songwriter witnessed a range of programmes in education, nutrition, health, child protection, sanitation and hygiene. Speaking of her experience on the island, Perry said:

In less than one week here in Madagascar, I went from crowded city slums to the most remote villages and my eyes were opened wide by the incredible need for a healthy life – nutrition, sanitation, and protection against rape and abuse - which UNICEF is stepping in to help provide.

Katy Perry demonstrating hand-washing exercises. Credit: APTN

Perry participated in simple hand washing activities, jumping rope in the playground and pumping water at a well. She also visited a nutrition centre where she learned about feeding practices and the high rates of malnutrition in the country.