“This meal makes a big difference.”

In Lebanon, Mary’s Meals offers refugee children like Fadi an escape from hunger and the chance of a brighter future.

Fadi hopes to become a hairdresser and move to Canada when he finishes school. 

“It’s a nice job,” he explains. “I want to learn this profession. I would like to go to Canada, I don’t know a lot about it, but I hear lots of people saying that living there is very good.”

Fadi’s dream of a career in a salon is a far cry from the horrors he left behind when his family fled the civil war in Syria for the safety of neighbouring Lebanon. 

The 10-year-old now lives with his mum, dad and two brothers in a refugee settlement in the city of Aley. Like many Syrian refugees in Lebanon, they face a life of poverty and hardship and Fadi’s parents sometimes struggle to put food on the table.  

Mary’s Meals offers Fadi and his friends an escape from hunger with the promise of a nutritious daily meal at the education centre within the refugee settlement. The healthy sandwich wrap and piece of fresh fruit, served every lunchtime, fills Fadi’s empty tummy, helping him to concentrate in class and gain an education, which could make his future dreams a reality.  

“Mary’s Meals food is very delicious,” Fadi says. “The cheese sandwich is my favourite, and the apples are my favourite fruit.

“School is very important to me,” he adds. “I really like drawing and English. I’m learning to read new English words. My role model is my older brother, because he is a hard worker and he is very smart.”

Fadi’s mum, Fatima, is one of the volunteers that helps to prepare daily meals for the children. 

“I am very happy to prepare the food here,” she says. “This meal makes a very big difference. Most of the children come to school without food. If there was no meal here at the centre, they would attend less. This meal supports them, so that they will not feel hungry and they will be happy. I hope they will be able to have a better future.”

For children like Fadi, who have faced so much upheaval at such a young age, school offers a safe space where they can enjoy their childhood. 

“I am happy to play with my friends in the centre,” he says. “Karim is my best friend, we come to school together and we play together. I like to play football.”

Thank you for giving Fadi and his friends the hope of a brighter future.