MANI+ Malnutrition Project in Guatemala draws Vanderbilt faculty and student interest

Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies Director Ted Fischer developed a project called Mani+ in 2008 to combat chronic malnutrition in Guatemalan children. Several teams of Project Pyramid students from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, led by Bart Victor, recently helped develop a business plan for the project. Sarah Roper, Hudson Baird, Thomas Davis, Jillian Currie and Robert Tauscher were among an interdisciplinary group of Vanderbilt students who contributed to the business and implementation plans. The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) assisted with the project’s nutritional formulation and educational plan.

Mani+ has created a tasty ready-to-use supplementary food paste targeted toward children six to 24 months old. The paste is taken once a day for 18 months and contains calories, vitamins and minerals focused on eliminating the cycle of chronic malnutrition that affects 49.3% of Guatemalan children under the age of five.

The paste is composed of locally grown and prepared ingredients, providing opportunities for economic development. The project works with local farmers to improve crop cycles and assist farmers in entering new markets.

In addition, the Mani+ project features an educational program for mothers offered in their native Guatemalan language. The educational program assists mothers in making better nutrition choices for their children.

To learn more about the Mani+ program, visit the project’s web site.