Ellas, 14, from Malawi

When war sent Ellas fleeing from her home, she lost everything. Now back in school and slowly rebuilding her life, she has dreams of being a teacher.

Ellas lived with her family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and went to school every day, like most children her age.

Then war changed her life forever.

“We were at home when some armed people came in. They shot my mother and father in front of me, but I escaped through the window.”

Ellas met a family who were also fleeing an attack and travelled with them until finding safety at a refugee camp in central Malawi.

Ellas says going to school helps her forget about her ordeal and her daily food from Mary’s Meals helps her to concentrate in class.

“When I take the porridge provided by Mary’s Meals before class, I’m comfortable for the whole day,” she says.

“Once I finish school I wish to become a teacher.”

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