Every day hundreds of children are being drawn to the classroom with the promise of a meal thanks to our small community of 1% givers.

Chitakale Primary School in Blantyre, Southern Malawi is one of the three schools we sponsor through the Mary’s Meals feeding programme.

Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works – by providing a daily meal in a place of education, children living in extreme poverty are incentivised to stay in school where they can gain a basic education that provides an escape route from poverty. Where possible, the food they eat comes from local sources. This supports the community and its farmers as well as the wider economy.

Malawi, where two of our sponsored schools are based, was the first country to benefit from Mary’s Meals and it remains their largest programme country. Today, Mary’s Meals are served to 928,551 children in Malawi every school day reaching 30% of all primary school aged children across the country.

At Chitakale Primary School the 231 students are served a vitamin-enriched maize porridge prepared once a day by volunteers from within the community.

There are 4 permanent classrooms at the school and the Mary’s Meals sponsored kitchen doubles up as a classroom when it is not being used for feeding. Due to a lack of indoor space, some classes are taught under trees in the school grounds.

Chitakale Primary School’s pupils are taught by a total of 7 qualified teachers. The school’s water source is a borehole in the school grounds which is very close to the kitchen and there are 2 pit latrine toilets on site which are split evenly between the boys and girls.

Rose Mphoka is a mother of 5 and volunteer cook at the school. She says, “I am happy to cook for the learners because they get happy and smile when they eat. Two of my children also benefit from the meals here. I am happy that Mary’s Meals came to rescue us with food. In times of hunger parents and Teachers do not worry about children not eating because they eat porridge.”