It’s been a difficult year for Malawi’s farming families, but Mary’s Meals is easing the struggle for parents and little ones.

Danasho wears his school uniform with pride – it has been lovingly mended many times.  

“School makes me happy because this is where my future is,” he explains. “I want to be a doctor. I want to help sick people.” 

Young Danasho is an orphan. The ten-year-old’s parents died when he was just a baby and he has lived with his elderly grandparents ever since.  

Like most families in rural Malawi, they grow their food on a small plot of land and depend on seasonal rains to water their crops.  

It’s not an easy life – their community has been hit hard by drought and flooding in recent years, and many families are struggling to make ends meet.  

Danasho helps with the farming at weekends and during the school holidays. He and his grandparents harvested six bags of maize this year – but it is only enough to last them six months and their supplies will soon be running low. 

For Danasho and his friends, the Mary’s Meals served at school is often their first meal of the day. Many come to school on an empty stomach.

“School is important because I want to be working,” Danasho says. “I was position three last term. Chichewa and maths are my favourite subjects. 

“If there was no Mary’s Meals, I would be struggling in class because I need something to fill my stomach. Phala helps me to grow well and makes my body strong.”

For families like Danasho’s, living in a harsh environment, Mary’s Meals offers a vital safety net.  

Parents and guardians can send their children to class knowing that, no matter how bad the harvest, they are guaranteed at least one good meal every school day. Thank you for putting their minds at ease.