My Social Entrepreneurial Project

I am part of a mission to eliminate global malnutrition and nourish 5 million children. We call it Mission 5 Million or M5M.

MALNUTRITION

THE PROBLEM:

Malnutrition is not the same thing as hunger, although they often go together. People who are chronically malnourished lack the nutrients needed for proper health and development. People who are malnourished are more likely to get sick, have stunted growth, reduced brain function and, in severe cases, die.  In Year 11 and 12 at school, I studied a unit on Malnutrition and Poverty in 3 Unit Home Science and it had a lifelong impact on me.

Every 6 seconds a child dies from malnutrition and related causes. Acute malnutrition impacts 55 million children in the world, with about 19 million suffering from the most deadly forms. Malnutrition contributes to 53% of the 9.7 million deaths of children under five each year in the world. Some 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs, a “terrible indictment of the world in 2007,” the head of the U.N. food agency said.

 

Let me put it another way… my son is in Kindergarten. Imagine a class of 25 Kindergarten children disappearing every 2 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. WOULD PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE? WOULD ANYONE CARE?

WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!! These children don’t have a voice.

RELIEF EFFORTS FALL SHORT

The problem is that although there have been major relief efforts for decades now focusing on alleviating starvation and hunger, new evidence shows that this strategy is doing little to reduce the growing incidence of malnutrition in third-world countries. The world-acclaimed relief organisation, Medicins Sans Frontieres, better known as Doctors Without Borders, has launched a global campaign titled, Food Is Not Enough. Quoting from their website “Donors and UN agencies continue to ship hundreds of thousands of tons of fortified blended flours to be distributed as supplementary foods, even when the effectiveness of this strategy has proven to be limited. Fortified con soy blend, for example, contains a number of elements that limit the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients that are present.” In other words, filling a child’s stomach not only fails to correct the problem, but it serves as only a temporary fix to a much bigger problem.

For years, hundreds of thousands of tons of grain-based cereals have been donated to feed these children, but they are still dying from Malnutrition. They need nutrient-dense nutrition.

In the light of these new facts, the World Health Organisation has made new sweeping adjustments to its recommendations for relief food efforts to incorporate more nutritionally sound food products. Doctors Without Borders has requested the development of nutritionally dense “ready to use foods” RUF to best support the diets of these malnourished children.

 

ADVANCED NUTRITIONAL SOLUTIONS

Some companies are teaming up with not-for-profit entities that have the on-location infrastructures in place to provide ongoing nutritional support. One of these companies is the not-for-profit company Valid Nutrition, a charity registered in Ireland, which is active in producing nutritionally dense food products in a number of countries where better nutrition is needed. Its goal is to not only get their food products closer to the children in need, but also to help provide new jobs in those regions of the world. Nutriset, a french food company, has developed a therapeutic RUF called Plumpy’nut that blends peanut butter, powdered milk and other nutrients into an individually packaged nutritional support product. This is one of the ready-to-use food products that has been effective in the efforts of Doctors Without Boarders to combat malnutrition.

However, one of the most scientifically advanced approach to finding the solution to malnutrition, has come from a nutritional research and development company called Mannatech. Doctors Without Borders are having great success fighting malnutrition with this product. They have created a ready-to-use, nutrient packed complex, called PhytoBlend. Based on Real Food Technology solutions, PhytoBlend powder can help provide children with their daily nutritional needs and, most importantly, help combat the devastating effects of malnutrition. Since PhytoBlend powder is organic, synthetic free and contains nutrients from natural plant sources, children can now get standardised and nutritionally effective amounts of vitamins and minerals from Real Food Technology solutions in a way that has never been possible before. Its powder form makes it flexible in use, providing a practical and easy way to make any meal nutritious.  So far, they have provided more than twenty-six million servings of nutritional support to children in 83 countries around the world. They have a goal to connect millions of consumers with millions of malnourished, at-risk children around the world.

Please don’t look at this and say…the problem is too big, I can’t help. You can help and it is simpler than you think to make a difference.

I love earning an income while doing something of significance that makes an impact in the lives of these children. That is what being a social entrepreneur is all about –  rewarding ordinary people for making an extraordinary impact on the world. I am building a team of people who want to help me champion the cause of malnutrition while building an income.

If you would like to know more go to the page, Nutrition with Purpose.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply