Approximately 250 million children suffer from acute vitamin A deficiency worldwide. This deficiency is a severe concern in Africa and can lead to xeropthalmia, blindness, illness, and death, especially among children. Furthermore, the lack of vitamin A can cause growth disorders, disturbances in bone formation and weaken immune systems. The African continent and especially South Africa is severely affected by the deficiency. According to current studies, approximately 46% of South African children are suffering from vitamin A deficiency.
We, Vision A, have the goal of combating diet-related blindness by growing and distributing a specific type of orange-fleshed sweet potato (Bophelo) rich in vitamin A. The daily consumption of only 150 grams of this vegetable is enough to cover a child’s daily vitamin A requirements. To achieve this goal, we have developed a business model of producing and supplying sweet potatoes which is adding social value to the community while covering our initial investment (social business).
The project takes place in Nkwaleni, a town located in northeastern South Africa. This region was not able to profit from the economic upswing in South Africa. Most the population is working in the agricultural sector and is living under poor conditions. Due to lack of information, the community is not very informed about nutritional aspects of a healthy diet.
We will grow sweet potatoes in Nkwaleni with the support of a German partner and cooperating South African farmers. Then we will sell most of our crops to local primary schools in the region where the sweet potatoes will serve as a basis for a healthy nutritious lunch. Thereby we will not only directly reduce vitamin A deficiency among children but also raise awareness of a well-balanced nutrition in the population. The remaining part of our harvest will be sold on local markets.
Please support us in implementing our project, promoting health education and combating vitamin A deficiency in South Africa. You can support us by donating and by sharing our project on social media.
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