We recently received an update from Mary’s Meals and the Changalu school we are sponsoring in Malawi, Africa. It’s exciting to learn how our support is helping the children and the whole community of Dowa, Malawi!
This past summer we made the decision to sponsor a school by providing lunch (vitamin-enriched maize porridge) for an entire year to students in one of the most impoverished countries in the world: Malawi. Changalu Primary School is located in Dowa, which is in Central Malwai.
Changalu Primary School currently has 1,026 students enrolled, including 294 boys and 532 girls. This represents an enrollment increase of 5.7 percent since Mary’s Meals first began feeding students in the school in September 2014.
School life at Changalu
The school day begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 1:40 p.m. Students fill eight classrooms; the Mary’s Meals kitchen doubles up as a classroom when it is not being used to prepare and serve food. The students are taught by 11 teachers who are assisted by eight teaching assistants. The school’s water source is a borehole in the school grounds. On-site are pit latrine toilets, which are split evenly between the boys and girls.
The impact of Mary’s Meals
Here are awesome quotes from a student and a teacher at the school:
“I love porridge because it helps me to get energy. I come to school without taking breakfast. When I have eaten the porridge and return home in the afternoon, I normally take one piece of msima or I do not even bother taking lunch at all. So my parents do not have to keep a lot of food for me because my stomach is already full with the porridge I have taken at school. I would like to be a doctor when I finish my education.” – Radudi Lindadi, 11 years old
Jumilani Chikuse, a 35-year-old Head Teacher at Changalu Schools, stated: “The program has helped our learners in the following ways: enrollment has increased, absenteeism has reduced, punctuality has improved and the nutritional level of children has improved. Many children have returned to school because of the porridge, there is a reduction in sickness of learners, and many learners are always playing around after classes. The community appreciates and thanks Mary’s Meals for the support and their commitment for the food supplies.”
More help is needed
Unfortunately, there are still millions of children around the world going without the nourishment they need every single day.
Mary’s Meals is a nonprofit program. Donors can feed a child for a year for less than $20. The program has made great progress but the volunteers at Mary’s Meals admit they have a long way to go to reach every hungry child. Every donation they receive gives a child a chance at a better life.
Get involved today and make a difference! We are!
Photo credits: Mary’s Meals