I've met so many children who benefit from Mary's Meals. For most of them, the only meal they will eat that day is the likuni phala that our supporters help us provide. The children often tell me; 'I am not hungry anymore', 'I am able to eat', 'I no longer have to work to afford food'.
By providing a daily meal in school, Mary's Meals is able to help these children gain the vital nutrients they need to grow. However, that's not all that benefits children who initially come to school to receive Mary's Meals...
I first met six-year-old Mayamiko during one of the charity's backpack distributions. The team were busy handing out backpacks stuffed full of essential school supplies to a Standard 3 class, which was filled with around 100 learners all aged between eight and 10 years old. Little Mayamiko was lost in the sea of excited children as they anxiously waited for their very own backpack-so lost, in fact, that the team almost didn't see him sitting in line!
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Noticing how small he was compared to the rest of his classmates, his teacher explained that although he was only six years old, he had been excelling in both the Standard 1 and Standard 2 classes, so the teachers agreed he'd be better suited in an older class.
After receiving his backpack, which was almost the same size as him, Mayamiko stood up confidently in front of his class and recited two paragraphs of English perfectly from the blackboard.
Children in Malawi currently aren't taught lessons in English until Standard 4, so for a six-year-old who has never been taught in English to be able to speak so perfectly, was incredible to hear.
Without Mary's Meals, little Mayamiko may never have gone to school and his natural intelligence and flair for languages might never have been seen.
Fortunately, he's doing very well in class, and very much enjoying the daily phala and his new backpack. It will be exciting to see how he proceeds with his education and I hope his love for school and learning continues to grow.