Essam Ghoneim

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Essam Ghoneim was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Malnutrition increases the burden of disease on children and hinders their intellectual capacities. In Egypt, it is seen as an unsolvable problem, but Essam has envisioned a solution. By introducing nutritionists as key participants in overseeing newly developed nutrition programs in nurseries and primary schools, Essam hopes to foster a more productive and engaged future generation. Already, his work has produced signs of success, with his pilot program effectively reducing the incidence of anemia in children from 49 percent to 15 percent and improving school performance by 30 percent over three years.
Essam focuses above all on the nutritional needs of children, and his program is the first of its kind in Egypt. With the aid of a number of businessmen, foundations, COs, and governmental bodies involved in the implementation of his pilot program, he will expand throughout Alexandria in the next three years. Additionally, his success gained much attention within the Ministry of Education, which has recently agreed to finance a larger project.
Essam’s program has been so successful, and so widely publicized, that three nurseries in Cairo are applying to participate. Essam has also been contacted by representatives of many COs in Aswan, Qena, Sohag, Fayoum and Beni Suef that are interested in learning more about his program and exchanging information.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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