Chil­dren Still Need Our Help

Hard­work­ing Yvonne dreams of be­ing a teacher

My Weekly - - Helping Hand -

Yvonne would like to be a teacher when she fin­ishes school so that she can ed­u­cate other chil­dren grow­ing up in Malawi.

She recog­nises the im­por­tance of an ed­u­ca­tion, and her favourite sub­jects at her ru­ral Kalira Pri­mary School are English and Chichewa, the of­fi­cial lan­guages spo­ken in Malawi.

Yvonne (11) wakes up be­fore sun­rise and car­ries out house­hold chores be­fore leav­ing for school on an empty stom­ach.

At school, Yvonne re­ceives a daily mug of por­ridge from Mary’s Meals. The food is help­ing to at­tract chil­dren to the class­room where they are able to learn.

“Por­ridge makes me full. I don’t feel hun­gry any more,” said Yvonne.

“It tastes re­ally good. When I have eaten, I can lis­ten at­ten­tively in class, and I can un­der­stand what the teacher is say­ing.”

Yvonne’s fam­ily grow maize, sweet potato, ground nuts and pi­geon peas. How­ever this year’s har­vest wasn’t good and they of­ten strug­gle to find enough food to eat.

Even with Yvonne’s father work­ing away in Jo­han­nes­burg, it’s clear that re­sources are tight for the fam­ily.

The head­teacher of Yvonne’s school says that the hunger sit­u­a­tion is bad this year, given the poor har­vests.

When we meet Yvonne, she is wear­ing her school uni­form de­spite it be­ing a non-uni­form day, sug­gest­ing that she might not have an­other out­fit she could read­ily wear that day.

She has no coat, jumper or shoes on, even though it is rain­ing on and off and quite cold that morn­ing. Her uni­form how­ever is very neat.

Talk­ing about the fu­ture, Yvonne said, “The thought of fin­ish­ing school and get­ting a job makes me happy.”

Yvonne loves her daily mug of por­ridge

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