During our recent visit, we had the honour of visiting the Mary's Meals feeding programme at Nansato Primary School. Established over eight years ago, the programme continues to feed children a simple meal of likuni phala (porridge) each day.
Mary’s Meals is initially organised by the school’s head teacher, who then meets with the school’s committee and people from the surrounding neighbourhood. A team of volunteers are then drawn from the local community. They are split up into teams and each team takes a slot in the rota to cook the school meals. In Nansato, many of the volunteers are parents of the children at the school.
Volunteers often arrive at the school as early as 5am to fetch water, get the pots ready and start cooking. A vat of porridge takes about three hours to cook on a rocket stove. The porridge is then put into buckets, before serving to stop the children crowding around a hot stove where they could get burned. The Likuni Phala porridge is then served to long queues of children all eager to get their daily Mary’s Meal. The entire process normally finishes at about 2pm. As you can see, Mary’s Meals cooks take on a big commitment and the whole system would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteer cooks.
Patricia explains why she volunteers as a cook at Mary’s Meals at Nansato Primary:
‘We cook because it is our way of appreciating what Mary’s Meals is doing for our children.’
Mary’s Meals began feeding at Nansato Primary School in February 2007. Head teacher Mr Persie Namaona describes the benefits that Mary’s Meals has had on the school;
“Children turn up for classes in high numbers daily and it is all because of the Mary’s Meals porridge”