Discover how nutritious daily meals are helping a girl’s dream take flight.

Like many children who receive Mary’s Meals, Hellen’s day begins long before sunrise. She must tend to her chores and baby sister before she has a chance to get ready for school.  
 
Homework, school and household chores create a busy week for Hellen, but her weekends are kept free for singing and playing football. Hellen loves singing with her friends at church.  
 
She says: “Ired is my best friend. We are in the same class and live in the same village, so we are very close. We play together and go to the same church as well. Weekends make me happy because I get to sing on these days.”  
 
Seeing planes taking off from the airport opposite her school has nourished 11-year-old Hellen’s dream of becoming a pilot, which she sees as an opportunity to not only help herself, but also to improve the lives of her family and community.  
 
Hellen says: “I want to be a pilot because it’s a good job. I will be able to help my mum with finances and anyone else who is poor in the village.”  
 
Money is tight at home, with Hellen’s mother Matuola, raising nine children on her own. But Matuola understands the importance of education and has seen how Mary’s Meals is helping Hellen’s future ambitions take flight.  
 
“I hope Hellen will finish school, so she will be in a position to help the family,” she says. "It is important for Hellen to go to school, so she can have a bright future.”  
 
By eating the phala (porridge) served at break, Hellen gains the energy needed to concentrate in school and maintain her busy lifestyle. And the guarantee of nutritious school meals is also helping to ease the situation at home.