Child holding food

“Hope Can Conquer Fear”

Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals, explains how we are bringing hope to vulnerable children.

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Today, as I read another stream of devastating headlines, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. The cost of living is rising, there are terrible wars in Ukraine, Yemen and Ethiopia, and hunger is increasing for the world’s poorest people.

Yet in the face of any temptation towards despair, Mary’s Meals remains a guarantee that hope can conquer fear. For just 8p a serving, we are feeding children in truly difficult circumstances, including in six countries affected by brutal conflict.

Justine is one of those children. Her life changed in a flash when soldiers invaded her village in South Sudan.

Justine in Ethiopia

“My neighbour told me soldiers were shooting at us,” she says. “We ran and ran and reached very far in the forest.”

Alongside other families, Justine, her mother, and her sister created a new life away from the fighting. They established a school and we started serving Mary’s Meals, filling empty stomachs and giving children the energy to learn. The rows of classroom benches became a beacon of hope for those rebuilding their lives.

“We were hungry. Now we have food in the school, and I am so happy to be there,” says Justine. “When I grow up, I want to become a teacher and tell the children fighting is not good. Let it not happen to others, what happened to us.”

Her determined words remind me of those from another child. Nearly 80 years ago, while hiding in an attic from those who would kill her, Anne Frank wrote: “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world.”

I feel reassured and inspired by both young women, who can teach us a lot about resilience and hope – and the need to act. Hunger is still an obscenity today. But Justine’s story is proof that it is not inevitable.

Mary’s Meals, as a provider of hope, is more important than ever. And so are each of our actions in support of this mission – no matter how small they might feel to us. They are not small! Our actions are truly enormous to the hungry child who knows a daily meal at school can transform their life.

Given that many of you face your own challenges, ensuring we can keep our promise to the 2,279,941 children who eat our meals may require even more love today.

So please, let us continue to do what we can to walk faithfully alongside those little ones facing the most fearful of circumstances, and bring hope to children who are at great risk of being forgotten.

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