As families across the US give thanks to the role mums play in their lives this Sunday, Mary’s Meals has paid tribute to the thousands of mothers around the world who help us make our work possible.
In Malawi, for example, we have over 65,000 volunteers – many of whom are mothers – who help us prepare, cook and serve the daily meal to 686,451 children in school every day.
Rose Kadabwa, a single mother of five, is one of those volunteers.
She was forced to bring up her children alone after her husband left her because he wanted two lives. “My children were suffering all the time,” she says. “I ran a small business making bread to try to make money, but there were days they’d go without a meal.” She explains there were times she thought her children would die because they were so malnourished.
Her son Issac, had to be admitted to hospital when he was seven-‐years-‐old because he was so emaciated.
He spent three months on a drip being constantly monitored by the doctors. “I feared he wouldn’t make it,” she says.
But life changed significantly for Rose and her family when Mary’s Meals came along.
The promise of a hot school meal each day means that she no longer has to struggle to feed her children.
She could send them to school knowing they’d be fed and be receiving an education at the same time.
She explains that Issac, who is now 13, is a different boy from the frail seven-‐ year-‐old. “His body is changing every day, he can concentrate at school and he wants to come in everyday to learn.” Rose now volunteers at the Khola school just outside of Malawi’s commercial capital Blantrye.
She gets up every morning at 5am to make the school meals for more than 1,016 children who attend the primary school. “I’m so happy to be a volunteer, to know my children are coming to school and getting fed.” “I will remain a volunteer forever,” she laughs. “Even when my children have left school I will stay to help feed these children.
I encourage other mothers to get involved with the Mary’s Meals school feeding programme.” The endless love and support from mothers like Rose is helping to educate Malawi’s next generation and provide them with a ladder out of poverty.
For more information about Mary’s Meals work visit our website marysmeals.org, follow us on Twitter @marysmeals, or like us on Facebook.