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B.Kind: Developing a locally produced probiotic product in Vietnam

Vietnamese children drinking probiotic yoghurt
Vietnamese children drinking probiotic yoghurt

Probiotics have shown promise in improving growth in undernourished children. However, in poor and rural areas, access is often limited. The B.Kind project is a collaboration between the Athena Institute of the Vrije University (Amsterdam) and Winclove Probiotics. Together we aim to improve health and reduce poverty in Vietnam by developing a locally produced probiotic product.  

Collaborating with local communities

The project, launched in 2020, aims to empower impoverished communities by training local micro-entrepreneurs. By collaborating with locals to develop probiotic products, the B.Kind project creates jobs and diverse income streams, breaking the cycle of poverty. Additionally, it ensures affordable access to locally produced probiotics for low-income families.

Employees of Winclove Probiotics visit the B.Kind project in Vietnam

B.Kind’s to do list

Project lead Anne van der Geest from the Athena Institute:  

“Before the probiotic soy drinks can attribute to the health of Vietnamese children, we have some steps to take with the local community. For example, by coaching farmers in the cultivation of the soybeans. We also need to teach the women how to make the product and how to run a company. Besides that, it’s essential to broaden the knowledge of health and the impact of the microbiome. To achieve this, we set some achievable goals for the years to come.” 

For 2024 we aim to help 200 children and their direct environment.  

Vietnam’s economic rise masks rural poverty

Despite Vietnam’s remarkable economic growth since the 1980s, many rural households still face poverty. Engaged in agriculture, these small-scale farmers struggle to provide enough food and income due to challenges like geographical isolation, limited education access, and malnutrition—particularly affecting children. Despite progress, one in four Vietnamese children suffer from malnutrition and stunting, hindering their potential to break the poverty cycle and contribute to society.