A step in the right direction

The promise of Mary’s Meals is helping Sarah on her path towards a brighter future.

On a good day, it takes Sarah three hours to walk to school. She sets off long before the sun rises to follow a narrow mud path that winds through fields and around trees and bushes.

If the weather has been dry, Sarah can cross the streams and rivers she encounters along the way, but sometimes when it rains, the route becomes so muddy and waterlogged that she is forced to turn back. 

When there is food at home, Sarah eats peanuts or roasted maize as she walks. She arrives at Chisengu Primary School very tired and hungry, eagerly awaiting the porridge promised by Mary’s Meals.

“I’m shy about saying this, but before Mary’s Meals arrived, I used to skip school because of hunger,” she confides. “After my long walk, I used to feel too tired to concentrate in class, so I would go looking for food.

“I really enjoy the porridge as it sustains me and helps me do the work that is required.”

Like many families in Zambia, Sarah’s parents grow food on a small patch of farmland, but their last harvest was poor, and their crops have all been eaten.

Knowing that his children will receive at least one good meal each school day is a great comfort to Sarah’s father, Samsung.

“I worry about failing to support my children,” he says. “I want them to have a bright future. I think about Mary’s Meals and the difference it is making and that helps me feel less worried.”

Despite the difficulties she faces just getting to school, Sarah is determined to gain an education and carve out a better life for herself and her family.

“School really makes me happy,” she says. “I want to be a teacher one day. I dream of building my parents a house, so they don’t have to depend on farming.”

Thank you for helping Sarah on her path towards a brighter future.