THE PROBLEM: Malnutrition and poor health is a huge issue amongst children in poor and rural communities in South Africa and around the world.
THE CHALLENGE: When children are malnourished it can negatively affect their growth, development, and learning abilities. In poor areas it can be expensive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, let alone have enough food to sustain oneself.
THE INSIGHT: By increasing the nutrition of the food already being consumed in poor rural communities, the Spiruteens realized they could help battle malnutrition in a cheap and sustainable way.
THE SOLUTION: The Spiruteens aim to combat child malnutrition by producing Spirulina, a micro-algae super-food that is 60-70% protein. Spirulina can be incorporated it into everyday meals, like soup and bread, and distributed to poor communities. In order to produce is sustainability on a large scale, the Spiruteens will teach local people how to grow it in their homes or places of work. Some of the product will be sold commercially in supermarkets and health stores in order to raise funds for the project.
THE IMPACT: Rather than replacing the foods already being consumed in poor communities, Spirulina can add nutritional value to meals. This could be a revolutionary product for poor communities around the globe.
THE INNOVATORS: Ijaaz Sayed, Bonolo Matjila, Zene Merton, Rori Philips, Abdul Muhaymein Salaam
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PROGRESS: The team has produced 50l of Spirulina in their school lab. They have done user testing with their Spirulina smoothies at their school and have sold smoothies and salad dressing at a Saturday market. They have run their Spirucation project, teaching other schools how to grow their own Spirulina at several schools.
“I have come to learn to be patient and not to give up too quickly. It takes patience and persistence to bring a new and innovative product and ways of doing things to a community.” – Bernice Dapaah, co-founder of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative in Ghana
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