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Boys pose together and have fun in Zimbabwe

One family’s joy

On International Day of Families, one family in Zimbabwe relays how the introduction of school feeding will ease the strain on their daily life.

Published on

A joyous cry of relief bounced off the walls in Tanatswa’s small home when her mother heard the news that Mary’s Meals would be serving food at her children’s school in Zimbabwe.

Five keen young minds to feed is always a stretch for this family, and it has proven even more so this year. Their village in Mashonaland East Province has suffered a significant blow as a result of tropical storm Ana, which ripped through several African countries in January. Vast areas of land were flooded and crops that would normally feed entire communities have been destroyed, meaning a particularly lean harvest for many families, including Tanatswa’s.

young girl drinking from a blue mug
“When I told my mother about the coming of the feeding programme, she was so pleased that we were going to have a meal at school, she actually screamed.” says grade seven pupil, Tanatswa. “This made me really curious about this programme and I have been really looking forward to this day ever since.”

Tanatswa and her four siblings are often hungry, especially after a long day at school without sustenance. From youngest to eldest they lovingly support one another on the long 45-minute walk home, in the hope of getting something to eat when they return.

young girl approaching two Mary's Meals staff members at a table outdoors

Now, in partnership with Mavambo Orphan Care, Mary’s Meals is serving daily food at their school, helping to ease the hunger they feel and remove some of the heavy burdens from their worried mother. Tanatswa says: “Walking from home to school will be easier with the arrival of these meals at school. I hope some of our challenges will be alleviated.”

Mavambo Orphan Care has been working with Mary’s Meals since 2020 primarily in Harare and the Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. Since then, the school feeding programme has expanded rapidly, with meals now being served to more than 85,000 children in the area.