Generous players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £2.7 million for Mary’s Meals, which is helping the charity transform the lives of hungry children with the promise of a daily meal in school.
Thanks to the support of Postcode African Trust, Mary’s Meals has been able to reach more children in places including Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
Mary’s Meals provides one good meal every school day for children living in some of the world's poorest countries. The promise of these meals attracts impoverished children to the classroom, where they can gain an education which can help them escape poverty in later life.
More than two million children, across the 19 countries where the charity works around the world, currently receive a life-changing daily meal.
And now people can make their donation go even further. The charity has launched its Double The Love campaign which will see all donations made before 31 January 2022 doubled. This is all thanks to a group of generous supporters who have promised to match donations, up to £1.6 million.
Zambia is just one African country where Mary’s Meals is making a big difference thanks to player support.
Sibongile,13, and Sarah,10, live with their mother, as pictured, and siblings in a farming village near the border with Malawi. The sisters look very alike but while Sibongile – a star student and top of her class – is outgoing and laughs a lot, her younger sister is very quietly spoken.
The girls face many struggles – such as the four-hour round trip they must make to walk to school. Sibongile has black pumps that are too big for her and Sarah wears rubber sandals.
In November the area usually floods, making the journey even more difficult. But both walk to school knowing that they can fill their stomachs with a nutritious meal which will help them to concentrate on their lessons.
Sibongile says: "I eat my porridge at 11am. If there’s no leftover food from the night before that will be the first time I eat."
It’s not just the sisters that make the long daily journey – their uncle Zulu is one of 10 volunteers who cook at the school to ensure all the children are fed.
He explains: "In the absence of Mary’s Meals most of the pupils wouldn’t be going to school. It’s really attracting the pupils and improving the attendance."
Sibongile dreams of being a nurse so she can help people and look towards a brighter future. The incredible generosity from players is helping Mary’s Meals keep its promise to children like Sibongile and Sarah.
Players have raised £2.7 million for Mary's Meals.