Partnership Working in Malawi

"The provision of porridge will support the nutrition of the children and help to keep them in school."

Back to all stories | Posted on 06/25/21 in NewsBlog

From mending roads and constructing kitchens to providing cooking equipment, ensuring handwashing facilities and equipping parens and volunteers through training seminars, there is a lot that needs to be done before a community can begin serving Mary’s Meals in a new school. This is what our newest partner MCSPA (Missionary Community of St Paul the Apostle) is undertaking in Malawi as we await the go-ahead from the government for in-school feeding to start again. Despite not being able to feed in schools yet, they are working hard to ensure our meals still reach the next child by running community distributions feeding 30,000 children.

“As an organization, we have been working in Benga Parish for the past eight years, working in the areas of nutrition and education, among others. Many schools have been improved and boreholes sunk, but we have seen that many children still staying at home due to lack of educational materials and also food.”
Father Steven Ochieng tells us more about the communities they serve: “The people here are very hard working with their main income depending on agriculture and a bit of fishing for those living around the lake. They rely mostly on one rain for their cultivation and hence one harvest a year. The love dancing, joy and are very friendly."

“At school, many learners have been dropping out of school due to hunger. There is also a problem with nutrition. In many homes, learners don’t take breakfast when going to school. The attendance rate for girls had been dropping due to early marriages, as well as a lot of household chores being allocated to them. When in-school feeding is happening, all learners are encouraged to stay in school. If children don’t go to school, we see girls being married too young or falling pregnant and boys becoming involved in burning of charcoal and selling of firewood which has led to deforestation in the area. This is a serious problem."

“The provision of porridge will support the nutrition of the children and help to keep them in school. Most of the time, the learners stay out of school because of lack of food. Most parents we met during the distribution were overjoyed with the supplement. This will, in turn, help improve the education standards in the area. School meals also ensure that parents come together, becoming more involved in their children’s education.”