Dreaming of buildings that touch the sky

Walid from Lebanon shares his thoughts on food, family and his future ambitions.  

“If I could go anywhere in the world, I would like to go to Dubai, says 10-year-old Walid. “I would like to see the nice buildings touching the sky.” 

With Mary’s Meals, Walid is closer to following this dream. He has hopes of building a better life one day, despite the daily challenges he and his friends currently face.  

Many of Walid’s classmates are Syrian refugees who have fled the brutal civil war in their home country. Others are from poor Lebanese families, struggling to put food on the table.  

“I live with my grandmother and my father,” he explains. “My father is my role model because he is very respectful, and he cares a lot about us. 

“When I finish school, I’d like to work in sales, selling clothes – and if I have free time, I’d like to work in a centre like this, doing activities with the children.” 

The ‘centre’ is an informal place of education on the outskirts of the city of Aley in Lebanon where Walid and his friends come every weekday for school.  

“School is very important to me,” he says. “We learn all the subjects and we learn to respect others. I like to play football and tennis. I also like to dance, but when there are lots of people, I feel shy. 

“Rima and Tania are my best friends, we play together. Rima is my cousin. She is younger than me, I take care of her.” 

The lunch Walid and his friends are served at school – a wrap made from local ingredients and a piece of fresh fruit – is lovingly prepared by a dedicated group of volunteers, including Walid’s grandmother, Niserine.  

“The food we eat at school is very tasty,” he says. “The cheese sandwich makes me stronger and the thyme is very good for the memory.” 

Walid is one of 1,755 children in Lebanon who will eat Mary’s Meals at school today. Thank you for giving him the chance to learn and thrive.