Although one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest, most troubled countries there is. Its most challenging problem is malnutrition, a condition that refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. As opposed to hunger, a situation in which one does not have enough food, malnutrition refers more specifically to a deficiency of nutrients hindering the body’s proper function and development. As a result, the immune system deteriorates, and the body becomes more susceptible to other diseases and health complications.
Over six million children under 5 in DRC (43%) suffer from chronic malnutrition (stunting or low height-for-age) and nearly 2 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (weight-for-height < -3 z-score), which accounts for 12% of SAM cases in the world!
Africa 2030, with its local partner, the Pole Pole Foundation, produces a highly nutritious "superfood" called spirulina, a micro-algae, which is the richest food nature has to offer and the most effective solution to malnutrition. We grow fresh spirulina in two large pools in the Mululu village in South Kivu province. The spirulina is harvested daily, dried and stored for further use. The spirulina is then made into a paste which coats biscuits, which are given to 160 malnourished children daily. The children’s health situation and progress is monitored by a professional nutritionist. A special fund has been established to pay for the treatment of acute health situations such as malaria, typhoid, acute diarrhea and other health complications. The fund covers the costs of medication and hospitalization which are not subsidized by the government at all. Thus we provide 160 malnourished children with a comprehensive safety network ensuring their survival and well-being. Even once the children recover from malnutrition they continue to attend the center daily because if they don’t, they will undoubtedly fall back into malnutrition within several months due to the extreme poverty of their families