|On Tuesday 18 October, the organisation “Ondernemers voor Ondernemers” (Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs) orgnanised the third edition of the trophy for the most sustainable entrepreneur. The event highlights the work undertaken by Belgian businesses that promote in a sustainable way entrepreneurship and economic growth in developing nations. SCK•CEN was one of the lucky nominees with its project called Inspiration.
Inspiration was launched by SCK•CEN in cooperation with ngo Congodorpen (Congo villages) to combat chronic malnutrition of children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the cultivation of spirulina, a type of algae that is rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
"At the present time, around 40% of children below the age of 5 years in Congo are suffering from chronic malnutrition and this is resulting in child mortality on a large scale," explained the SCK•CEN Director-General, Eric van Walle. “As a dietary supplement, spirulina forms a tangible step forward in the battle against malnutrition. We study spirulina for over 20 years as part of our space research. Now we use that expertise for the benefit of a humanitarian project and we place great emphasis on knowledge transfer: we reach out not just the spirulina, but learn how the Congolese can cultivate it locally with limited resources and how they can integrate it into their daily diet."
After the launch of the spirulina culture at 50 Congolese families, Inspiration, in collaboration with the local health centre, will introduce spirulina in the diets of 300 children. Afterwards, the project can be extended to other regions.
Alongside the winner - the company DEME - and the other finalists, SCK•CEN was praised for its work in Congo by Alexander de Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister for Development Cooperation. "All the projects selected for this trophy demonstrate the importance of investing time and energy in initiatives capable of creating a new dynamic in developing countries," says Eric van Walle. "This nomination is a great reward for all the work done by our volunteers."
For more information about the project, please visit our website.