Loise from Liberia shares her thoughts on singing, schoolwork and her musical ambitions.

Loise loves to sing. The musical 13-year-old is one of 115,717 children in Liberia who receive Mary’s Meals each day at school. 

This is her story, in her own words: 

I love to sing. I’m always singing. I’m the only person in my family who loves to sing.

I love Gospel. I just love to sing the word of God. Before, when I was living in town, I was in a choir, but the church I attend here has no choir.

My friends love it when I sing for them. They say I’ve got a beautiful voice. All my friends here are Muslim. I always like to encourage them and teach them how to sing, because some of them say they don’t like singing.

It takes me about an hour to walk to school. Sometimes I sing while I’m walking. At the moment, I’m practising a song for the end-of-term performance, so I am singing a lot. 

I love English and maths the best. If you know maths, you can calculate anything, and if you learn English, you know how to speak well. Anyone who goes to school can learn to speak well.

Sometimes, I can feel weak if I don’t eat. I didn’t eat anything this morning, but I’m feeling all right. 

I’ve got three brothers – I’m the only girl. I’m the oldest. 

The person I most admire is my mother. If it wasn’t for her, I would not be here. She loves me and always comforts me. She is called Satta Sombolah and she is 33. She is a teacher. She loves teaching. It’s what she’s always wanted to do. 

My dream is to become a Gospel musician, but if that doesn’t work out, a bank accountant. 

If someone came to visit, I would introduce them to my family and I would show them around the town – the mosque, the church, the farms, and people’s vegetable gardens.

In Liberia, poverty prevents many children from going to school. Others leave lessons early to go in search of food. The promise of a nutritious daily meal in their place of learning helps students like Loise to gain an education and follow their dreams.