Mary’s Meals feeds more than 3,500 children every school day in Benin

Life in Benin

Benin is currently ranked 166 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI).

Food insecurity, low-incomes, malnutrition and gender inequality are just some of the key challenges facing impoverished people in Benin. Almost 20% of the population is currently living below the International Poverty Line ($2.15 per day). An estimated 60,178 primary school age children remain out of school in Benin. Almost two thirds of the population is unable to read and write.

The official language in Benin is French, but a diverse range of more than 50 indigenous languages are spoken. Most of the population lives on the southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea. Benin is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso to the north-west, and Niger to the north-east.

Mary's Meals in Benin

Mary's Meals has been serving school meals in Benin since 2011, working closely with the Sœurs de Marie de la Médaille Miraculeuse. We feed children living in severely impoverished communities in five schools across the country. All five schools are in communities that are severely affected by food insecurity and hunger. One of the schools is in Hondji, located to the northwest of the capital city of Porto-Novo, and supports vulnerable children, many of whom are critically ill or have been abandoned.

The other schools benefiting from Mary’s Meals are in Biro, in the northeast of Benin; Adido, near Savé in central Benin; and in Hozin and Akpadanou, which are areas in the south of the country. Our partner reports that many children attending these schools receive little food at home.

We are serving more than 3,500 children every school day.