Alice, 17, from Malawi

Alice had a child when she was just 14 and thought she would have to give up school. Now back in the classroom, she is learning skills for a brighter future for her, and her daughter.

Alice became pregnant when she was just 14 but her boyfriend was unable to support her as he too was still at school.

Several months into her pregnancy, Alice found the 8km walk to and from school each day was too much for her and she stopped attending.

After giving birth to her daughter, Alice has been able to return to school because every day she goes she knows she can eat Mary’s Meals.

Alice says the ‘phala’ (maize and soya porridge) she receives at school keeps her strong so she can be a good mother to her little girl.

“The phala I get at school plays a big role because sometimes we go to school without food.

“My boyfriend and I decided that I should continue going to school so I can become skilled, and one day we will be able to speak to each other in English.”

Meet the children coping with the realities of extreme poverty and hoping for a better future.