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Yemen Aid staff working to serve school children with Mary's Meals.

A Mother’s Dream Come True

Serving a daily meal in a place of learning doesn't just address the immediate need of hungry children - these meals can be life-changing for whole families.

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The work of Mary’s Meals goes beyond addressing the direct need of the hungry child. The ripple effects of a daily meal in a place of learning for hungry children spread far and wide – not least among parents whose struggles to provide for their families are, at times, overbearing.

In a small room in the Al Mansoora district of Aden, Yemen – an area where many internally displaced people (IDP) and marginalised groups have set up home – lives Amani Yasser with her husband and three children, Aiham, Tawfik and Dunia. The family were forced to uproot and move to the area in 2018 when fighting broke out in their hometown. The impact of the family’s displacement was felt most severely by Amani’s husband, who became so unwell that he was unable to work. Following years of unemployment, the family struggles to have more than one meal each day and relies on support from their neighbours, who share their food supplies with them.

Amani Yasser from Yemen with her three children who now receive Mary's Meals every school day.

Mary’s Meals began serving meals in Yemen last year and currently reaches chronically hungry children like Aiham, Tawfik and Dunia in four schools located in the Al Mansoora district. A few years before the feeding programme began at their school, Amani’s boys stopped attending classes because of their situation – they were hungry and lacked adequate school supplies and clothing – but they are now making up for lost time.

Amani says: “We could not afford medication for my husband. My kids used to tell me that they did not want to go to school because they had no breakfast, and I could not help by giving them food to eat at school.

“We just get some food from our neighbours. We usually get one meal during the whole day.”

Now that her children attend school and receive a nutritious meal every day, Amani says she suffers less as the burden of not being able to feed her children before school has been relieved.

She says: “What made me feel so sad is that my children used to go to school without breakfast or any meals, but the school meals programme from Mary’s Meals was very supportive and helpful for us and others. It was like a dream for us.

“Having school breakfast for my children reduces our suffering. I am happy that my kids are not hungry at school.”

Right now, we know food is helping to change the story for millions of children we reach every school day. However, we need your support. Help us reach more children. 

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