MS Gemura Kitchen Social Enterprise

A profitable initiative that will enable Solid'Africa (NGO) to feed the most vulnerable and in need patients in public hospitals for free.

Photo of Isabelle Kamariza
7 9

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Solid'Africa

Year founded

2010

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • Rwanda

Headquarters location: City

Kigali

Location(s) of impact

Rwanda, Kigali

Website

www.solidafrica.rw

Facebook URL

www.facebook.com/solidafricarwanda

Twitter URL

https://twitter.com/solidafrica

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

There are significant food security challenges in public hospitals in Rwanda and across the region. The Rwandan government provides healthcare to the most vulnerable and poorest portion of the population. Once admitted many of these in-patients do not have funds to buy meals or family to bring regular meals to them. Nutritional and well-balanced meals are a key component required to aid the healing process. Many children, women and men are suffering from malnutrition due to lack of access to regular healthy meals.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

We are currently building Rwanda's first industrial kitchen that will cater to vulnerable patients in public hospitals. The professional kitchen will be completed on 30 March 2018 and will have the capacity to produce 15,000 meals/day and will feed over 1,000 patients 3 meals/day. We will supply the 5 main public hospitals in Kigali. This unique solution is new to Rwanda and the intention is to replicate a sustainable social enterprise throughout the country, the region and continent that will provide a solution to this widespread issue. In order to make this project viable, the kitchen will use the profits generated from providing professional catering services to several organizations, including a teaching university and other public organizations that have shown interest in meal delivery, primarily for lunchtime. A large scale service like this one will fill a gap and respond to a Kigali's catering market need. The model is based on generating 3 free meals for every 2 meals sold.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We have been feeding 300 patients daily from 2010 - 2014. Since 2014, we have been feeding 400 patients everyday. We have also installed water purification systems at 3 hospitals that has the capacity to produce 2,000 litres every 3 hours, providing free clean drinking water to thousands of patients and families a day. In addition to our Gemura program, which provides food for vulnerable patients we have added value to our services by supporting with medical bills and hospital expenses that many patients just cannot afford to pay. In addition we help patients with transportation home. We also provide hygiene materials. Although our primary focus is meeting the nutritional needs, the combined elements of our programs all contribute to aiding an improved healing process for vulnerable patients. To increase our environmental impact, we are building a green kitchen using solar panels to heat water and to power the kitchen, low carbon footprint bricks, water and garbage recycling.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

In 2016 Solid'Africa raised: Private Donations 42%, Donations-in-Kind (& own farming produce) 46%, Member Contributions 8%, Fundraising 4%. The funds to build the kitchen donated by Imbuto Foundation, has allow us to construct and equip the kitchen. The surplus production will go towards providing 3 meals/day free to patients across public hospitals, with a capacity to feed a min of 1,000 patients/day. This initiative will support itself & its beneficiaries through sales. We estimate that by year 2 we will breakeven & in year 3 (profit) we will scale up to other districts public hospitals. Lack of start funds can impact negatively our objectives, & we could only deliver on a artisanal level, and not exploit fully the infrastructure and equipments available.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

This is 100% unique to Rwanda. Since 2010, we have been the only organization focusing on nutrition for vulnerable patients in hospitals. No other group is providing meals to the number of patients that we reach on a daily basis, with the exception of informal groups/volunteers. Economy of scale: We have sales competitive advantage on the local catering market as we are buying and cooking in bulk, from our own farm's produce and using a professional industrial kitchen with a good mission.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

We have been feeding patients from a domestic kitchen since 2010. It is artisanal hard work and not very efficient. In 2012 we were brainstorming about taking our initiative to the next level. We realized that being too dependent on donations and fundraising was time consuming and unreliable. Our primary goal was always to become self sustainable so that we could reach more patients in more districts. Then the idea struck us! Why can't we build and manage our own Industrial Kitchen as a social enterprise. By generating our own income, we expand to feed more patients in need. After doing more research we discovered that this issue is recurring across the continent. That is when we realized that our solution has potential to create positive impact and scalable. This initiative will serve our beneficiaries in hospitals while providing affordable and healthy meals to workforce in Kigali.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Participated in previous CSV Prize competitions

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 66.7%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 33.3%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 66.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Dear Isabelle Kamariza,

I just went through your application and really liked your idea. Since this competition gives points for peer review, I was wondering if it would be possible for you to evaluate our submission as I too will be doing the same for yours. As you would have noticed in the design quotient you have marks for EVALUATION which you get when you review other applications. When others review your application you get points for IDEA. To find my application you will have to Select ‘‘PHASE> Prize entry’’. On the right section of page, under the heading ‘‘FOCUS AREAS’’ click on "WATER". Go to Page 3> Click "Evaluate" on application titled "Turning the tables for Temiar tribe of Malaysia". I would also appreciate if you either applaud us or leave a comment on our page if you deem us worthy.

Thank you very much.

Spam
Photo of Cintia Jaime

Dear Isabelle,
Your project is deeply inspiring! As you write many patients in hospitals in certain countries do not receive enough or the right food to get well. Your message as expressed in your video "Love can turn around situations and if you help somebody they are also likely to help another human being" is wonderful!

Your initiative of planning the plantation and production of the food itself will be a good complement to your program. This will also allow you to choose the type of foods and be sure they are of good quality.

Do you work in cooperation with the administration of the hospital and the government? There must be many patients in need and difficult to choose who can benefit from the program. Do you use specific criteria to select who is included in the food program? Who can benefit from support of costs and transport?

Regarding the expansion, I wonder if you have in plan to scale up, and also if you plan to share your experience in other countries facing similar difficulties.

I wish you all the best for the future and hope you can convince more people to work on your initiative! The only caution is perhaps that local and government authorities do not decrease their involvement and take on less responsibility.

Kind regards,

Cintia

Spam
Photo of Isabelle Kamariza

Dear Cintia,

Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to review our work.
We work closely with hospitals administration and each ward have a social worker with whom we team up in identifying beneficiaries. In our food program each hospital ward has a list of the most vulnerable patients and we also have three full time employees working in the hospital to ensure that the most in need are our priority. We prioritize children and mothers before other patients in any of our program. When it comes to the other programs, an other aspect come in place which is the level of illness of the patient, the most urgent cases are the one we take care of. We currently provide a full service to the biggest hospital, and to 3 more hospitals we provide them some of our programs that are within our current means. We are planning to reach a full service level upon the completion of this project.

We will expand, first in different districts hospitals around Rwanda where we will put in place a small kitchen in the hospital and co-managing it with them and the community. We will then try to expand to our neighboring countries.
We are always eager to share our experiences and also learn how other countries are dealing with this issue of nutrition in public hospital.

The government is working tiressely to provide a good healthcare, their involvement will not decrease. From where we were over twenty years ago to now, it is a miracle as everybody has access to healthcare. We provide services that our universal healthcare cannot yet include in its coverage.

Kind regards,

Isabelle

Spam
Photo of Cintia Jaime

Dear Isabelle,

Thank you for your answer. I am very happy for your positive news. All the best!

Cintia

Spam
Photo of David Strelneck

Thank you for this work. Some of the social entrepreneurs in our network have shown how truly nutritional meals, rich in bioavailable nutrients, increase the success of more mainstream medicines in treating sick patients. We cannot treat nutrient rich foods and healthcare as separate fields!

Spam
Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

One suggestion, please research the public health systems of Taiwan, Switzerland, China and also United Kingdom. In an era in which health is a topic of debate in many countries, the system of these countries is working for those with low or moderate incomes as well as for the rich. For many families, health insurance is a major burden in the budget, and the government provides full patient care.

Spam
Photo of Isabelle Kamariza

Dear Mouhamadou,

Thank you for taking the time to review our work.
In December 2004, Rwanda implemented a new national healthcare system known as “Mutuelle de sante" . This system would allow citizen’s health insurance and medical bills to be subsidized by the government. As of today, the system works under four social categories. The first category ( the most poorest of the population {extreme poverty line} whom in 2014 were representing 16.3%) is entitled to receiving full government coverage for health insurance, the second and third category paying 3,000 RWF (3.5 USD) a year for health insurance, and 10% of all hospital bills. The fourth category pays 7,000 RWF (8 USD) a year towards health insurance and 10% of any hospital bills they incur. We have one of the most affordable and inclusive healthcare system in the world considering that 39.1% of the population is living under the poverty line ( in 2014) and that the government pays full coverage for those living under the extreme poverty line. As Solid'Africa, we realized that some of the needs were not covered because of how affordable the public insurance is. That is how we came in place with programs that help patient"s recovery while in public hospital like food delivery, drinking water distribution and many more... to support the government efforts to have every citizen access to healthcare ( In 2012, more than 90% of the population had an insurance).

Best,