Arriving at school in a crisp white blouse and neatly pleated skirt is an achievement for any small child, but in the case of young Massa Kamara from Liberia, it’s almost beyond comprehension.

Back to all stories | Posted on 6 January 22 in NewsBlogChildren's stories

At eight years old, Massa rises before the sun in the humble, one-room hut she shares with her parents and four siblings. 

She walks the long, dirt road to the local water station, where she pumps enough water to get her family through the morning and carries it back alone. Then she cleans clothes or washes dishes before finally changing into her pristine school uniform.

When she sets off from her home, eager to learn, it’s the curl of smoke above the corrugated iron roof of Vorkor school, rather than the lure of her lessons, that fills her with hope.

She has had no food yet today, and the smoke signals that Mary’s Meals volunteers Jenner and Hawa are already hard at work, boiling up water, rice, and beans – preparing the most precious school lunches for Massa and her friends.

Massa’s father, Abu Kamara, tells us school lessons are valuable, but the lunches provided by Mary’s Meals are priceless.

“Many of the families who come to this school are struggling to feed their children,” he says. “If parents know their children will get a good meal in school, they make sure they get here.  When their stomachs are full, they can pay attention to their lessons and learn.”

Massa’s impeccably clean school uniform is an outward sign of the importance her family places on learning. Of course, without food provided by Mary’s Meals, there is no capacity for learning. Without volunteers like Jenner and Hawa there is no school feeding program. And, without our generous volunteers and supporters, there is no Mary’s Meals.

Together we can safeguard the futures of children like Massa and future generations in Liberia. Mary’s Meals is currently providing food to more than 150,000 students in schools across Liberia each day. Our mission is to feed thousands more.