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two girls outdoors posing for a photo

Just One Meal a Day

The only food Abak and Aping eat in a typical day is a simple bowl of maize and beans served by Mary’s Meals at their school.

Published on

For two growing pre-teen girls, one meal is hardly enough, but it gives them the strength to learn and to do the work needed to help their grandmother at home.

The girls were abandoned by their parents at a young age when their father became unable to provide for the family. They started attending school last year when Mary’s Meals began feeding there. “The only food we get in a day is from Mary’s Meals,” says 12-year-old Aping, who is in Primary 2. “That is what made us join the school since we don’t have food at home.”

Their grandmother Achiek is weak and ageing, but she does her best to provide modest shelter and love for the two girls who help tend a very small patch of land growing vegetables. When they are lucky enough to get a small harvest, they sell what they have to buy soap and salt.

The girls’ story is all too familiar in a country living on the edge. Persistent violence in South Sudan and climatic events are causing huge waves of internal displacement. More than half of the population has insufficient food intake, and 2.2 million children are unable to go to school, choosing survival over education.

Abak and Aping’s school serves Mary’s Meals with the help of our faithful partners, the Diocese of Rumbek, who make sure there is food for almost 65,000 school children every school day in their area of South Sudan.

We are determined to keep our promise to the children we serve, not just in South Sudan but in all 20 of our programme countries. The world is experiencing an unprecedented hunger crisis and we urgently need your help to reach the next hungry child waiting for Mary’s Meals, then the next….and the next. Please give what you can today to change a child’s tomorrow.

Learn more about the global hunger crisis