child receiving serving of Mary's Meals

Transforming lives in Zambia through your kindness and UK government support

More than 141,000 children can look forward to a brighter future

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More than 141,000 children in Zambia are receiving Mary’s Meals thanks to your incredible response to a previous match funding campaign supported by the UK government. 

The generous public donations we 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.

This support has allowed us to reach 141,734 children with nutritious meals in 223 schools across five districts. Of these children, it is encouraging to see half are girls – often the ones who face the biggest obstacles to gaining an education.

Martha, 13, attends St Anne’s Primary School, one of the schools receiving Mary’s Meals thanks to generous support from both our wonderful supporters and the UK government.

Schoolgirl holds blue mug while sitting in classroom

Martha lost her arm in a car accident. She spent a year in hospital before adjusting to day-to-day life with just one hand, even learning how to write again. Despite her disability, Martha is determined to put her sharp mind to work and excel at school.

Supported by Mary’s Meals each day, she quickly outperformed her friends and has been awarded the accolade of best performing pupil in the school for three years running.

Commenting on Mary’s Meals, Martha told us: “The porridge at school is really helping me because at least if we have to skip breakfast and lunch, I have confidence we will have something to eat at school.

“It is very important to me to receive porridge. When I’m full I feel better. And there are nutrients in the porridge that give me more energy for my education.

“Education is so important to me. When I am educated, I will do things, I will provide for my family. It’s easier to provide for your family when you have a good education.”

Martha’s teacher Mr Mwaba agrees: “The food Martha receives at school is going a very long way in assisting her in terms of nutrition and in terms of energy levels in class.

“I see a very good future for her. Martha has proved that disability is not inability.”

UK aid logo

Our UK government-funded Double The Love campaign – which has now concluded – has also brought additional training to volunteer cooks in hundreds of schools in Zambia, strengthening community engagement and resulting in equal numbers of men and women preparing and serving meals to children.

Since we began our three-year project in September 2019, we have been able to expand and strengthen our work in Zambia. In total, across the country, 420,896 children receive Mary’s Meals.

Thank you to everyone who donated to Double The Love. Our work in Zambia is already demonstrating the real and lasting change for some of the world’s poorest children.

Child in Haiti with mug of Mary's Meals

It costs just £19.15 to feed a child for an entire school year.