Blog Post 3

  1. The Malnutrition in Children Under Five in Sierra Leone project has many stakeholders that are interested in our venture.
    • World Hope: World Hope is the organization that we will work with on our project. They are a NGO that works with vulnerable communities to reduce poverty through entrepreneurial innovations that are empowering and sustainable in the community. They have many nutrition focused projects and our project of creating sweet potato muffins will add to their scope. Our project fits perfectly into their mission.
    • Lehigh University / Creative Inquiry: Lehigh and the Creative Inquiry program want our project to be reflective and successful. Their motivation is to have their students make an impact through an innovation, and are concerned with the processes that we will go through and the outcomes that we will reach. Lehigh wants to facilitate creativity through CINQ projects and give students real life experience through their field work.
    • Mothers / Grandmothers: Sierra Leonean culture values maternal figures (mothers and grandmothers) in a unique way. They are at the top of the hierarchy and want the best for their children. Many children suffer from stunted and wasted growth in addition to developmental disorders due to micronutrient deficiencies, so mothers want a supplemental, nutritious food that will prevent their child from illnesses caused by severe malnutrition. They are interested in the cost of the product, because they will not want to spend more than 25 cents on it, and on the taste because they want their children to eat it.
    • Sierra Leone’s government: The high rate of micronutrient deficiencies in Sierra Leone is severe and debilitating. It compromises individuals who do not have the right nutrients to the point where they might be disabled and unable to contribute to society, reducing the possibility of economic growth. This also causes healthcare costs to increase. The government of Sierra Leone is interested in our project because it is improving the health of children and therefore will improve the economy.
    • Potential sellers: Street food is an important part of Sierra Leone’s culture. Many women sell food at markets, so we decided that our sweet potato muffin would fit in with this cultural practice. Potential sellers would be interested in learning the benefits of our product so that they could make them, sell them, and make a profit. They are especially interested in lowering the cost of production as much as possible so that they can make a large profit.
  2. It is important to validate our project so that it is credible and doesn’t seem like we “pulled in out of thin air”. We have been collaborating with nutritionists and will be reaching out to sensory scientists at Penn State in order to make sure that we are producing a product that is of high quality and will be successful. Speaking to professionals will enhance our credibility because we are building off of their knowledge. Second, we will be collaborating with World Hope International, an NGO that specializes in healthcare innovations in Sierra Leone. Their previous experience with nutrition in Sierra Leone will allow us to confirm that our information is reliable. Additionally, our field work will validate our entire project. We will be on the ground in Sierra Leone interacting with locals to see how they sell street food and their different capabilities, wants, and needs. By talking to them, we can see how viable a sweet potato muffin would be in their community. We can ask them if they have any suggestions, because they know their country better than we do and are likely to have important input that can help our sweet potato muffins to be successful. This will ensure that our work is purposeful and effective. We want to reduce the rate of malnutrition in Sierra Leonean children and we want our work to be valid so that we can reach our goal.. It is so important to partner and collaborate with individuals who have expertise in the subject at hand or views that are different from your own in order to make any research or venture credible.


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