Products Tackling Global Poverty
People who live in poverty-stricken communities typically do not have access to simple products that can be the difference between life and death. Below are five products tackling global poverty.

5 Products Tackling Global Poverty

  1. The Shoe That Grows: The Shoe That Grows produces a shoe for kids living in poverty. It expands up to five sizes and lasts for years. Kenton Lee founded the shoe after he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya. He lived and worked with kids at a small orphanage and noticed that many of the children either had broken, worn shoes or none at all. He came up with the idea of a shoe that expands to prevent soil-transmitted diseases and parasites that can cause children to miss out on their education and even death. As of now, the company has distributed over 200,000 pairs of shoes to 100 different countries. The organization sent 30,000 of those to Ethiopia alone.
  2. NIFTY Cup: The NIFTY Cup is a device that some use to feed premature babies in Malawi and Tanzania who are unable to breastfeed. Unlike the metal cups and spoons that people in poverty-stricken countries often use, the NIFTY Cup contains durable, soft silicone that one can shape to allow all nutrients to reach babies’ mouths without causing them to cough or choke. The cup serves as a life-saving resource for mothers who do not have the necessary medical assistance necessary to keep premature babies healthy. Donors have made it possible to send over 6,000 NIFTY Cups to hospitals in Malawi and Tanzania.
  3. The Lucky Iron Fish: The Lucky Iron Fish is a tool used to fight iron deficiency in developing countries. Families place the iron fish in boiling water before cooking to add proper nutrients to meals. One of these iron fish is equivalent to five years of iron pill bottles. The Lucky Iron Fish company works on a one-to-one donation scale. This means that when people in developed countries buy one of the fish, the company donates another to a family in a developing country. As of 2018, the company impacted 54,000 lives because of the buy-one-give-one system. The impact fund has distributed the fish to Nicaragua, Tanzania, Cambodia, Haiti, Benin and more.
  4. Embrace Warmer: Embrace Warmer is a life-saving tool that developing countries use. In these places, newborn babies often suffer hypothermia due to being premature and low weight. The tool is essentially a sleeping bag that helps regulate the body temperature of newborn babies during their first few days of life. Embrace Warmer began as a class project at Stanford, when students had to design a cost-effective product to help battle neonatal hypothermia. Eventually, the product expanded to rural India and has now helped 200,000 infants in developing countries.
  5. Flo: Flo is a reusable menstrual hygiene kit that Mariko Higaki Iwai designed to provide a solution for women and girls in developing countries to take care of their bodies. The kit allows girls to wash, dry and carry reusable sanitary pads. This kit makes it easier for girls to stay in school, prevent reproductive diseases and illnesses and take care of their menstrual cycle in privacy. Flo is still a prototype but people working in the field in developing countries have been trying to make Flo available for their communities. The team is currently seeking manufacturers to make this possible.

These life-saving products are working at tackling global poverty, while also giving those who live in poverty-stricken communities a better chance at having a healthy lifestyle.

Juliette Lopez
Photo: Flickr


Malnutrition in Impoverished CountriesAnemia is the most common nutritional problem in the world. There are over two billion people that are anemic. Tackling malnutrition in impoverished countries can be difficult, but the creators of the Lucky Iron Fish hope to alleviate a worldwide issue.

When the creator of the Lucky Iron Fish, Christopher Charles went to Cambodia, he found that there were many people suffering from iron deficiency and anemia. About half of the women and children in the entire country was not getting the proper amount of iron in their diets. That caused many people to be tired, suffer constant headaches, and even made them unable to work at times.

When Dr. Charles visited, there were no real solutions to this problem. Iron supplements were not widely available and even if people could get their hands on them, the iron supplements were too expensive. Cambodians also did not want to take the supplements due to various side effects.

Dr. Charles wanted to come up with a solution to all of these problems. The Lucky Iron Fish is the solution Cambodians were looking for.

The Lucky Iron Fish is a small iron fish that can be used to infuse foods with a healthy amount of iron. Iron supplements tend to have too much iron in them which can be detrimental to your health. The Lucky Iron Fish infuses meals with about 75 percent of the daily recommended iron so people are not getting too much iron in their meals, so there are no ill side effects.

Another problem with iron supplements is that people usually just do not like taking them. The Lucky Iron Fish is made to be cooked in food that people were going to eat anyways. When using the fish, they just need to boil it for 10 minutes along with their food and the meal is now iron-rich. Not only that, but the iron is tasteless so it does not affect the meals.

Cost is a major factor when dealing with malnutrition in impoverished countries. High cost can end up making the product unavailable to those who need it most.

The Lucky Iron Fish costs about 30 USD. So it is not too expensive so it can be bought by many people. Not only that, but the creators of the Iron Fish have a buy a fish give a fish program. Anyone who buys a fish will also end up giving a fish to a family who needs it.

30 USD can end up looking expensive for some because people think they have to replace it every couple of months. A single Lucky Iron Fish can end up being used for five years before needing replacing.

Tackling malnutrition in impoverished countries can be a challenge. The cost and effectiveness of a product can really reduce resources for impoverished countries to use. The Lucky Iron Fish tackles all of these issues to make sure people are getting the best product to tackle anemia and iron deficiency.

The original target for the Lucky Iron Fish was for Cambodians. Now anyone can buy them and the creators are hoping to send one million fishes worldwide by 2020.

– Daniel Borjas

Photo: Google