Winner 2018: SimSimBalls

The winning team reports on the implementation of their project idea in the video. The students developed a recipe for a small snack, so-called SimSimBalls, consisting of millet, seeds and fruits. The balls are intended to supplement the one-sided menu of the children of the crisis house in Gulu (Uganda) with valuable vitamins and minerals and to permanently improve their nutritional status. 


Information about Hidden Hunger

Hidden hunger describes the chronic deficit of essential micronutrients. The lack of vitamins and minerals occurs independently of caloric intake and is rather related to an unbalanced diet based on starchy foods like maize, rice or cassava. Hidden hunger does not show clear symptoms over a long period of time, thus remaining hidden. Stunted growth is used as a proxy indicator.

On our website you will find detailed background information and latest scientific findings on the subject.

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The Initiative Students4Kids

An estimated 2 billion people, a good quarter of the world’s population, suffer from micronutrient deficiencies because they lack high-quality food. The situation is particularly critical in sub-Saharan Africa. Breaking the vicious circle of hunger and poverty requires complex and individual solutions.
From 2016 to 2018, the Assmann Foundation for Prevention, together with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, was annually looking for innovative concepts to combat hidden hunger in Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda. In October 2018, the last ideas competition for Uganda came to an end. What remains is a rich source of scientific information on the subject of hidden hunger. Read more in our archive.


Together against Hidden Hunger

Inessa Diesing, Managing Director of the Assmann Foundation for Prevention and nutritionist, explains why the Foundation is working together with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to combat Hidden Hunger: the consequences of a micronutrient deficiencies are particularly severe during the first 1,000 days of life and can even lead to structural changes in the genes – this creates a vicious circle: health, social and also economic damages of hidden hunger are immense.



Who can participate?

The competition was open to students of all disciplines, who were enrolled at a German, Ugandan or Swiss university at the time of submissions. Individual entries as well as team contributions were welcome.

Why Hidden Hunger?

Almost 40 % of Ugandan children have a vitamin A deficiency and over 30 % are stunted. Many of those affected do not even know about it. We want to make the hidden hunger visible and improve the nutritional situation through innovative ideas.

Who won?

The competition is finished. The winners of the competition, Jolien Maltzahn and Wieland Buschmann, will receive a subsidy amount of 10,000 euros for the implementation of their project “SimSimBalls in the fight against Hidden Hunger”.

“If we succeed in confronting hidden hunger in its regionally specific manifestation through intelligent, preventive solution approaches, we could hopefully save human lives and sustainably improve development opportunities.”


Prof. em. Dr. med. Gerd Assmann, FRCP
Chairman of the Board of Assmann-Stiftung für Prävention

See also: Interview with Prof. Assmann


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