These eight-year-olds come from different countries, backgrounds and cultures, but age isn’t the only thing they share.

When you’re eight, life is full of possibilities – from playing games with friends and testing homemade toys to dreaming about the job you’d like to do in the future. 

Together, we’re helping to fuel these hopes and dreams, and giving vulnerable children a better start in life with the promise of daily school meals. 

Jennica lives with her aunt and four cousins in a small timber-framed house in a remote part of rural Haiti. Like many Haitian families, they often eat just once a day at home. 

Before Mary’s Meals arrived in Jennica’s community, few children went to school. Now the classroom is buzzing with life.  

Open quote mark The food makes me healthy. I want to be a chef when I finish school. I want to work in a restaurant. Close quote mark
Jennica, from Haiti

School gives Walid the chance to enjoy a good meal, learn, and play with his friends – things every eight-year-old should have the opportunity to do. 

Walid and his family fled the war in Syria. They now live in the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee settlement in Lebanon, where families live in cramped conditions with few facilities.

Open quote mark I don’t feel hungry when studying anymore. The cheese sandwich is my favorite, and the banana is my favorite fruit. English is my favorite subject. In the future, I would like to be an English teacher. Close quote mark
Walid, from Lebanon

Martha likes nothing better than playing netball with her best friend Grace. They live on the hard-to-reach island of Chizumulu Malawi, where the dry, sandy soil makes it difficult to grow enough food. Supplies are delivered from the mainland once a week by boat and most families fish to earn a living. 

Open quote mark School is important because it teaches me how to read. Porridge helps me concentrate. I’m able to pass my exams because I’m not hungry in class. Close quote mark
Martha, from Malawi

Like many eight-year-olds, Andrea loves playing football with his friends. But in Turkana, northern Kenya, toy stores are few and far between, so they make their own footballs from scraps of material tied together with plastic bags. 

Turkana is one of the driest and poorest parts of Kenya; food and water shortages have left many families struggling to make ends meet. For children like Andrea, Mary’s Meals offers a lifeline.

Open quote mark I like to come to school early in the morning, because I know there is porridge. When I eat it, I feel happy. Close quote mark
Andrea, from Kenya