Transforming lives in Zambia through support from the UK government

Transforming lives in Zambia through support from the UK government

More than 94,000 children in Zambia are receiving Mary’s Meals thanks to your incredible response to a previous match funding campaign by the UK government.

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More than 94,000 children in Zambia are receiving Mary’s Meals thanks to your incredible response to a previous match funding campaign by the UK government. 

The generous public donations received during our Double The Love campaign in 2018 were matched by the UK government, up to £2 million, helping us reach hungry children in the Eastern Province of the African country.

Support has allowed us to reach 94,994 children with nutritious meals each school day in 169 schools. Of these children, it is encouraging to see half are girls – often the ones who face the biggest obstacles to gaining an education.

The project is also bringing additional training to volunteer cooks in hundreds of schools in Zambia, strengthening community engagement and giving extra confidence to the teams of dedicated individuals who make this beautiful mission possible.

Since we began our three-year funded project in September 2019, we have been able to expand and strengthen our work in Zambia. In total, across the country, 191,434 children receive Mary’s Meals.

Schools reopened  there at the end of September 2020 after a period of closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time Mary’s Meals quickly adapted its model and worked hard to ensure that children still received nutritious meals at home instead.

Since then, children have been returning to the classroom, leading to encouraging increases in enrolment and attendance rates.

Veronica, 14, attends Mkanire Primary School, one of the schools receiving Mary’s Meals thanks to generous support from both our wonderful supporters and the UK government.

She told us about the important role that Mary’s Meals plays in her life and how much she loves eating the nutritious vitamin-enriched porridge every school day.

“I enjoy eating Mary’s Meals porridge every morning, it gives me energy to concentrate in class and to play netball with my friends,” she says.

“The porridge helps me a lot. Sometimes, I leave home without eating and it motivates me to come to school knowing that I will be fed.”

Veronica hopes to be a nurse one day so she can help others in her country.

Lukundo, 12, who attends another project school in Kasenengwa district, told us: “I love Mary’s Meals porridge. It gives me energy to positively contribute in class. The porridge has been very effective in improving my academic performance.”

The work Mary’s Meals is achieving through this project is having a significant impact on children, like Veronica and Lukundo, and their families across Zambia, making a real difference during this challenging time.

With this UK Aid Match-funded project due to be completed in August 2022, we are delighted to see how it is already demonstrating the real and lasting change that can be realised through community-supported school feeding for the world’s poorest children.

It costs just £15.90 to feed a child for a whole school year.