"I feel good about eating Mary's Meals"

Back to all stories | Posted on 3 November 21 in Children's stories

Baby Sangbah, now fifteen years old, tragically lost both of her parents in 2014, leaving her grandparents to look after her and her siblings. Baby’s grandmother, Anna, took her to Gbarnga to attend school. Her brother and two sisters live in the bush with her grandfather and work on a farm.

Baby and Anna have looked after each other for the last six years, but with Anna’s eyesight beginning to fail, Baby has taken on responsibility for more and more of the household chores. As well as this, once she has finished school for the day, she goes out to sell fufu (a doughy staple made from pounded cassava).

The onset of the Covid19 pandemic made life even tougher for Baby and Anna. Baby is going out to sell for longer, but trade has been slow. “Baby has to go out and sell before we can eat,” Anna says. “Sometimes she brings home 100LRD (around 50p), sometimes 75LRD (35p) and sometimes nothing.”

Even when she was staying home due to the pandemic, school was never far from Baby’s mind. “The hardest thing about Covid-19 has been the selling business. I want to get money to buy my uniform and shoes,” she explains.

At home, they only eat once a day, when Baby returns home from selling fufu. However, when she is in school, Baby also eats during the day, as Mary’s Meals has been providing food at her school for the last two years.

The head teacher of Macedonia Baptist and Elementary High School, the school Baby attends, knows how vital the school feeding programme is for the students. “[This year], Mary’s Meals will be more important than ever. It is our only hope. The children will eat and keep strong.”

Baby tells us: “I feel good about eating Mary’s Meals, because when I go to school, I am hungry. I want to be a nurse. I see my friend working in the hospital and I want to do that too. I want to be saving people’s lives.”