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How a leading U.S. paper company is helping millions of children in poor countries get proper medication

More than a decade ago, Sappi Fine Paper North America launched Ideas That Matter – an annual grant program that recognizes and supports designers who donate their time and talent to a wide range of charitable activities. Since its inception in 1999, Ideas that Matter has funded over 500 non-profit projects, contributing $12 million worldwide to various altruistic causes.

sappibaodesign-inOne ongoing project we wanted to update you on was Bao Design Lab, a company that employs design to address serious challenges in the world’s poorest countries. Its goal is to improve the well being of people in areas where resources are scarce. In 2010, Bao Design Lab won a $40,000 grant for the implementation of Project Dose, a program that addresses issues of improper medication delivery that affects millions of sick children in developing countries. Project Dose is a paper-based system developed by Bao Design Lab and funded by Sappi, in collaboration with partner Technology for Tomorrow of Uganda.

The initiative uses a paper/prototype system that enables nurses, pharmacists and parents to safely and reliably divide and re-package adult tablets into smaller doses for children. As a result, this program is providing children with the dosage they need to stay protected from life-threatening diseases such as malaria and HIV infection. Project Dose is also instrumental in educating parents in Africa on how to cut tablets precisely into even portions for children. Sappi recently launched an inspirational video to showcase the story behind the creation of Project Dose. You can view it at: http://vimeo.com/67679666.

Individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups, who are performing pro-bono work for a non-profit organization, can apply for an Ideas That Matter grant. Awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 per project and may be used to cover project implementation and out-of-pocket expenses. Sappi Fine Paper North America is headquartered in Boston.

More information: www.sappi.com.