Message from Magnus: Crisis in South Sudan

As the situation worsens for children in South Sudan, our founder Magnus explains why help is desperately needed.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Mary's Meals founder and CEO

Back to all stories | Posted on 27 Jul 2018 in Update from Magnus

At just nine years old, John has been forced to flee his home, left disabled by a land mine and now lives with his mother in a camp for internally displaced people. They are among almost two million people in South Sudan who have had to flee in terror from this hellish war, to find relative safety in other parts of the country.

John could be described as one of the lucky ones because he attends school. Fewer than one in three primary school age children in South Sudan do, making it the country with the highest percentage of children in the world who do not attend school. And yet, we know that only in the classroom can peace be born and hope of a better future survive.

Hunger is perhaps the greatest reason why so many children are being robbed of an education. Today, six million people in South Sudan are in desperate need of food aid to survive and this enormous human catastrophe is set to worsen in the coming months.

John can go to school because, like 20,000 other children in the Lakes state, he eats Mary’s Meals each day. A plate of rice and beans – that is what hope looks like for these children. And the faithful serving of that daily food is a remarkable feat, amid the terror and chaos.

The men and women who oversee the food deliveries are heroic, walking up to 10km to some schools now that the rainy season is closing roads, to ensure that children are fed – and while doing so, they risk their lives.

And then there are the volunteers who give their time to cook and serve the meals, each one of them a hero too – like Betty, who explains why she makes this sacrifice. She says: “These children are mine and I have to give my best to love them and care for them.”

More than ever, we need to keep our promise to John and his friends. If funds allow, we also desperately want to begin serving Mary’s Meals in another five nearby schools, currently filled with children in urgent need of help.

With your support, we can do this, while continuing to expand our programme around the world to feed many more children.

John says that when he grows up he would like to be a doctor, so he can help others with disabilities. And so, for now, hope remains – hope of a better day, a day when he and his friends might know peace and the fulfilment of dreams.

  Donate now and help us reach children in desperate need.