Project Lishe (which means nutrition in Swahili) is a food nutrition program designed for a weakened and marginalized HIV positive mother who needs a healthy food program that supplements her family’s carb-heavy diet with vegetable and protein sources. A strong nutrition regimen is necessary for her health care as an HIV positive woman, so therefore, her children and her health absolutely depend on this enhanced nutrition. The program’s goals are twofold: 1) Lower the cost of acquiring healthy food through group purchasing, and 2) Inspire a woman and her family to eat a balanced diet. There are five key players going forward: the CDC and CFK who will help kick-off the program and provide high-level support throughout its lifecycle, agricultural wholesalers with whom we will negotiate in order to achieve discounts, agricultural suppliers who will negotiate the prices and distribute the goods to mothers, the participating mothers who will act as the inspiration and guiding force behind the program, and the Patient Care System, which is an existing IT system run by the CDC which tracks residents of Kibera from the health perspective.

The program involves multiple steps:

  1. CDC nutrition assistant performs a health interview of an HIV-positive mother interested in the nutrition program
  2. CDC nutrition assistant enters her information into the CDC Nutrition Database
  3. Mother signs a contract of commitment and receives an identity card for the program.
  4. Suppliers collect fees and mother and CDC suppliers go to the market to set purchase price for bulk goods.
  5. CDC suppliers set up multiple pick-up locations in Kibera and
  6. When a mother picks up her food, she texts the CDC to report pickup. This is used to ensure that the food suppliers are accountable
  7. Mother and family enjoy healthy food at home
  8. Community cooking programs teach mothers how to cook nutritious food and also helps mothers bond
  9. Education programs teach mothers about balanced nutrition, food type characteristics, etc
  10. CDC performs spot checks of food suppliers around Kibera to ensure integrity
  11. Mother makes her monthly visit to the CDC, where she gives the assistant an update on her and her family’s nutrition and consumption progress. The assistant gives the mother feedback on her diet so far, both qualitatively and via the mother’s historical data. The assistant takes anthropometric measurements of the mother and other family members.

To fund this program, we anticipate collecting a weekly membership fee from mothers which will fund not only the food purchased, but also the salaries of a nutrition assistant who will determine food allocations based on the particular needs of families, a program manager who will handle overall logistics, and dedicated suppliers who will work exclusively with this program. We believe this program will work because of the partnerships we have formed with partners such as Agneta and because of proven models such as that of Positively Africa.

Our Team:

Min Liu is an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Google in corporate finance and later at a mobile startup, Loopt, as a product manager and marketer. She will spend her 2011 summer as a business design intern at IDEO. Min is passionate about design and mobility. She visited Kenya and Rwanda for a global study trip with the Stanford GSB in 2010 and was touched by the people she met there.

Jon Elist is a joint MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and MPA (Masters in Public Administration) candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to graduate school, he worked at McKinsey in Los Angeles and Washington, DC where he focused on healthcare and public sector clients in the US, UK, Bahrain, and Iraq. He spent a summer at Endeavor Argentina supporting high potential entrepreneurs and a summer at Goldman Sachs in Sales and Trading.

Audrie Lin is a PhD candidate in the Stanford Microbiology & Immunology Department. She studies gut microbiota. In 2010, she was a research fellow at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR, B) working on a Gates Foundation health impact study of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions on environmental enteropathy, child nutrition, and parasite prevalence. In 2012, she plans to return to Bangladesh and Kenya to begin a UC Berkeley-ICDDR, B joint postdoctoral position managing the field sites in the Gates water, sanitation, and hygiene study.