As we take a closer look at Life In Liberia, bright, bubbly Marthaline agrees to share her world with us…  

Despite losing her mother to Ebola at a young age, Marthaline is determined to make the most of life.  

The energetic 11-year-old gets her vibrant personality from her grandmother, Ma Jumah, a strong, vivacious woman who has kept the family together through troubled times.  

Marthaline loves school. She hopes to become a doctor one day and help sick people in her neighbourhood.  

“If I become a doctor, I will stay here to work, because the community needs it,” she says. 

Marthaline and Ma Jumah make a living by selling brooms made from palm leaves, but like many families in Liberia, they are desperately poor.  

The Mary’s Meals Marthaline enjoys at school each day help her to listen carefully in class and study hard at home. Each plate of food brings her a step closer to realising her dreams.  

“Often, I don’t have anything to eat at home. I can feel my stomach pinching,” she says. “I feel fine going to school. When the teacher teaches, I can really pay attention.” 

Her head teacher, Mr Johnson, agrees that education is the key to a better life.  

He says: “Mary’s Meals is a great help to Marthaline and the other students. If she continues like this, she will have a bright future.”