Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Hope in Flight

Hope in Flight

Competition Year: 2013

Hope in Flight uses Black Soldier Fly larvae to efficiently process waste into economically-profitable animal feed.

Education and Training Energy and Environment Water and Sanitation Agriculture and Processing

  • Team Members
  • C. Oh
  • R. Jiang
  • Y. Xing
  • J. S

Quick Links

Our Pitch

Problem According to a 2010 UN report, 80% of the waste generated in northern Ghanaian villages and towns consisted of organic waste -- most of which are not properly collected or disposed in a safe and healthy manner. One of these villages is Taha, our target community of about 600 people. Such accumulation of waste promote infectious diseases and the contamination of precious water supplies.

Solution Hope in Flight utilizes a low-tech optimizing system that exploits the natural capabilities of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), a species native to Ghana and other areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, to efficiently process organic waste. BSF larva turns every kilogram of organic waste into 29 US cents worth of protein meal! The collected BSF pre-pupae can be processed into profitable, safe, and nutritious animal feed.

Our Business Model Using a rent-to-own model, Hope in Flight will lease the specialized waste bioconversion systems to entrepreneurs in northern Ghana, starting with the village of Taha. The entrepreneurs will use the systems to produce protein-rich BSF meal from organic waste, and earn a steady income by selling their farmed product to us for further processing. Hope in Flight will process and sell the BSF meal as high-quality animal feed to egg, poultry, and fish farmers.

We aim to resolve the massive sanitation problems facing many developing world communities while providing local entrepreneurs with a new and socially-beneficial revenue stream.


To address the problem of waste and fecal accumulation in a village of 600 people.

Who We Are

We can be reached at: Or visit our Facebook page:

Coyin Oh is a third year undergraduate from Malaysia in the Department of Biological Engineering. A member of iHouse, Coyin received the Legatum Center Seed Grant in her freshman year to teach local schoolchildren English, Science and Engineering in rural Mexico. That trip inspired her to use her engineering skills to tackle sanitation issues among underprivileged communities; she came back from Mexico and took the D-Lab Dissemination WASH class and got involved in Hope in Flight in Spring 2011. Coyin thinks that the idea of using Black Soldier Fly in waste management is not emphasized enough, and she hopes that through Hope in Flight, she will be able to offer an innovative engineering solution to the pressing sanitation issues that plagues developing countries.

Yiping Xing is a second year undergraduate from Columbus, Ohio in the Department of Biology. As a member of iHouse, Yiping has long been interested in sustainable international development. After living in seven different places and being exposed to a wide range of qualities of waste management systems in different locations, she understands the importance of reducing organic waste in impoverished areas. Yiping has been involved with Hope in Flight for a year now and is currently taking D-Lab Dissemination WASH. She hopes to use simple, low tech, but high impact technologies to tackle on some of the world’s greatest waste problems.

Jillian Katz is a freshman at MIT from Chicago. She is planning to major in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She has always been concerned with the quality of nutrition and sanitation in developing countries, and is now in the D-Lab Dissemination WASH class because she wants to learn how to make an impact. She has experience fundraising for many clubs and causes during high school, including The Solar Cooker Project, and she is currently establishing a composting program for her dorm. Jillian enjoys learning about biological processes, such as those relevant to the black soldier fly's consumption of waste, and she has an interest in human factors psychology, which considers how to organize programs and tools for greatest ease in human usage. After working in a petting zoo for three months, she doesn't mind working with flies and larvae! Jillian is excited to see Hope in Flight take off.

Rachel Jiang is a senior at Harvard University majoring in Economics. She has worked on projects for education in Zimbabwe, as well as nutrition education and mobile health clinic ventures in Uganda. A current student in Susan Murcott’s D-Lab Dissemination WASH class, she is excited about the prospect of using simple, biological, self-contained technologies to resolve tremendous sanitation problems while providing local entrepreneurs with new avenues of income generation.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

Pure Home Water


Tamale, Ghana


Pure Home Water is a social enterprise and non-profit organization based in Tamale, Ghana that sells KOSIM ceramic pot filters, along with providing training, service, distribution, monitoring and emergency relief services.


  • Service Location
    Tamale, Ghana
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Comments and Support

  • Hi Evelyn, sorry we just saw this message! Thank you very much for getting back to us. Can you let us know your contact email? You can reach us at hopeinflight [at] mit [dot] edu. Thank you! -Coyin (Hope in Flight)

    Posted by C. Oh on Mon, Jul 22nd 2013, 09:18 Report Abuse

  • hi thanks for the information and the invites...would be glad to help and support these wonderful sciences project jeered in solving problem related to health and sanitation. Am also into nuclear sciences and have worked with these wonderful creatures that naturally decompose organic waste..hope to share useful knowledge n experiences together

    Posted by evelyn otoo on Sun, Jun 30th 2013, 16:48 Report Abuse

  • Thanks for the support guys! - Hope in Flight

    Posted by C. Oh on Wed, Apr 24th 2013, 17:13 Report Abuse

  • I support Yiping's pprgram

    Posted by Suqian Lu on Wed, Apr 24th 2013, 11:27 Report Abuse

  • Go Yiping!

    Posted by Kyle Tong on Wed, Apr 24th 2013, 08:29 Report Abuse

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