The Power of Porridge | Jabulani’s story

Jabulani shares his story, describing the impact Mary’s Meals had on his education and the life-changing benefits of porridge.

Back to all stories | Posted on 13 September 21 in Blog


“Porridge is the greatest motivation to go to school for a lot of children. Without it, I don’t know if I would be here, I remember I had given up on school.”
Growing up in a remote village in Malawi, Jabulani had given up on education to follow in the footsteps of many children before him, working on rural farmlands in his community. Before Mary's Meals, Jabulani remembers thinking: "I shouldn't continue with school, it's not going to help me get where I want to be and most children in my village don't attend classes."

However, the power of porridge changed Jabulani’s story...
Jabulani was a young boy when Mary’s Meals first began feeding in his local primary school. This introduction of the meals was met with great excitement by him and his friends, but at the time they had no idea the impact that daily servings of porridge would have on their lives.
“After phala (porridge) was introduced, there was no way a kid would skip school because he knew that if he did, he wouldn’t be fed. Everyone in the village was attending classes every day, a lot of people are now educated, and the illiteracy levels have decreased. Education allows you to become a better version of yourself.”
"When I was a little kid, I used to watch movies. I would just stare at them and not really understand what they were saying because most of them were in English, but I was just really curious. I always wondered if one day I would ever get to speak English like that, it would be the greatest achievement in my life! So, for me, education has brought me this far, without education I wouldn't be where I am now."

Today, Jabulani is a waiter and barman working in Blantyre, the second largest city in Malawi. The number of children we are reaching in Malawi has grown since Jabulani was a student and his own primary school is now one the largest in the Mary’s Meals program, continuing to serve one daily meal to children every school day, to tackle child hunger in the country.

Daily school meals are already helping to change the story for 1,838,859 children. Through your support and generous donations, the life-changing benefits of porridge can help to turn dreams into reality for many more children still waiting for Mary’s Meals.