Mary’s Meals Students Go for the Gold at Special Olympics

Mary’s Meals seeks to enable the students in their feeding programs to not only receive the nourishment necessary to grow, but also to chase their dreams.

Back to all stories | Posted on 07/20/23 in Blog

The students Mary’s Meals serves have endless potential. Two students in Malawi, Patrick and Hannah, competed in the Special Olympics in Berlin and won a gold medal in doubles and Patrick his own gold in the men’s singles, exhibit the success the over 2.4 million children Mary’s Meals serves are capable of.

Patrick, who is 16, picked up tennis from school and shares how transformative it is, “Tennis has changed my life. Without tennis, I would never have known I could do anything really well. My dad passed away when I was really little. But I think my mum is pretty proud of me. And so is my teacher, Mr George. I played tennis with him for the first time.”

Patrick struggles academically but has found his passion in tennis. The Special Olympics provides him with a platform to explore his passion and be recognized for it. The experience allowed Patrick to compete, travel and experience new things.

The Special Olympics is the world's largest inclusive sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities and this year hosted over 7,000 athletes from 190 countries. Enid Mauluka, National Director Special Olympics Malawi, sheds light on the opportunity the games provides and Mary’s Meals’ part, “For Patrick, if he can't be in the classroom, then he can't be on the playing field. Children are not motivated in sports or even in school unless there is a meal, because if you're hungry you have no energy to participate… Mary’s Meals school feeding program has made a big difference.”

Mary’s Meals is proud to be part of Patrick and Hannah’s stories and to see them reach their potentials.

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