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VitaMeal plan to nourish kids of Sabah's hardcore poor
Published on: Thursday, September 08, 2005
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Kota Kinabalu: Hardcore poor children in Sabah can soon expect to be better nourished under a programme conceptualised by a US-based direct selling firm that has already been tried in the peninsula. Under the programme, distributors of Pharmanex products are required to donate VitaMeal (which is vegetarian and non-dairy) to such children under the Nourish the Children (NTC) initiative of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc (NSE) established the Foundation in Provo, Utah, in 1996 and its aim is to create a better world for children by improving the quality of their lives.

It has donated over 20 million meals to children suffering from malnutrition in Malawi, China and the Philippines since its inception.

Co-founder and President of Pharmanex, Dr Joseph Y. Chang, a Malaysian-born scientist, told Daily Express recently:

"We'd love Daily Express to identify a very worthy cause for the NTC initiative. We will donate VitaMeal to poor or malnourished children in Sabah," he said.

Pharmanex is a division of NSE, one of the largest direct selling organisations in the world with operations in 40 countries including Malaysia. The company is involved in nutritional supplements and personal care and high technology products.

"VitaMeal is a nutrient-dense food able to meet all the nutritional requirements of a malnourished child," said Dr Chang.

Each bag contains 30 child meals of nutritious, delicious food.

Dr Chang who is NSE Chief Scientific Officer explained that each VitaMeal has the following characteristics :

* A balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fibre

* Provides essential fatty acids required for normal brain development, skin health and immune defence;

* Provides electrolytes which are needed to maintain normal fluid balance and muscle function;

* Includes 25 essential vitamins and minerals;

* Provides Vitamin A, which is essential for normal sight and immune functions

* Provides bone nutrients for normal growth and skeletal development

* Ingredients can easily be added for every taste and culture

Dr Chang stressed that Pharmanex is not competing with any of the United Nations (UN) Food Aid programmes because these provide only rice, wheat or other foodstuff.

"But we in Pharmanex are giving a complete meal which no other organisation is doing right now."

According to him, Phar-manex's scientists teamed up with Dr Ken Brown of the University of California, Davis to create the ideal food for malnourished children.

"He is the chief doctor for Unicef and goes around the world treating starving children. So he knows best what children in Africa, for example, are really lacking in. Is it a particular vitamin? If so, then we should add more.

"It took the two parties two years to develop the food (VitaMeal)."

How does NTC work out?

"VitaMeal is a voluntary product donation contributed by NSE, its distributors and their customers towards the NTC initiative.

Our worldwide distributor force covering 40 countries is close to 900,000. Soon we will be reaching the one million mark," Dr Chang said, adding that over 100,000 bags of VitaMeal were purchased by distributors for Tsunami relief efforts in South Asia.

"That number of bags equates to about three million child meals with a value of more than US$2 million (RM7m)," he said.

However, NSE Malaysia's immediate focus for Sabah and the country as a whole, is to identify hardcore needy Malaysian children suffering from critical heart problems to be sent to Thailand for surgery.

This was made possible through the Southeast Asia Children's Heart Fund launched in August 2003 again under the auspices of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.

"So far we have helped save 1,000 children's lives."

Statistics show that every year, eight out of 1,000 newborn babies are born with congenital heart disease.

NSE Malaysia empowers its distributors and their customers to help identify such needy Malaysian children.

"As such, we hope that the Malaysian community will come forward in full force to help us with this cause."


Burglar who carted away RM37,000 shoes from ex-employer

KOTA KINABALU: A burglar who thought he could steal from his former workplace - a footwear storehouse at Jln Tuaran, Inanam - a second time could not have been more wrong.

Police, acting on a tip-off, ambushed the 26-year-old local near a hotel in Inanam Monday before he could escape with the items. The suspect had broken into the storehouse between Aug. 20 and Aug 22 and made off with more than RM37,000 worth of footwear.

City Police Chief, ACP Azizan Abu Taat said Chief Insp Cheong Soon Yew led the City Crime Prevention Unit during the 10pm ambush but an accomplice managed to escape in a lorry believed used in transporting the stolen items.

However, based on the information by the first suspect, police detained the 30-year-old lorry driver at a house in Kg Minintod, Inanam, soon after and also seized the three-tonne lorry.

Police also recovered 39 pairs of shoes and 110 pairs of slippers during a raid on the first suspect's residence at Kg Mapai, Luyang, here.

Azizan thanked the public for their help, adding that the duo have been remanded for further investigations.



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