Summary

“If there is no food, we feel hunger,” says 17-year-old Machar. “We can’t listen to our teacher.”

He pauses – then smiles. “If food is there, we can feel good!”

Thanks to friends like you, he receives a hot daily lunch at school to help him learn.

“I want to complete my studies so that I can go back to South Sudan, to my mother, and do something to help her.”

Hear from Machar

“Our country was not good, then we come in this country… Uganda is different from South Sudan because Uganda have peace.”

~ Machar

Machar’s story

As the minutes ticked by, agonisingly slowly, all 17-year-old Machar could think about was the ache in his belly. He felt drowsy and sluggish.

The drone of the teacher’s voice fell away, replaced by the daydream of a hot, delicious bowl of stew that never ran out.

He knew that when the school day finally ended, he could walk home … but there was no meal at home to look forward to. Only the ever-present ache of hunger.

“If there is no food, we feel hunger,” he says earnestly. “We can’t listen to what our teacher is talking about. We feel bad; we cannot feel well if food is not there.”

He pauses – and then a big smile breaks through. “If food is there, we can feel good!”

Like so many young students at his school in a Ugandan refugee settlement, Machar fled his homeland of South Sudan to escape violence. “I travelled with my auntie from South Sudan to Uganda. Our country was not good… No peace in our country. My father lost his life in the war. They brought me here when I was still young.”

Without the constant threat of violence, he could study. But life was far from easy. Learning on an empty stomach was extremely difficult. Many days he had only one meal – and some days, none at all.

Through the support of generous friends like you, Machar now receives a hot daily lunch at school – a fortified meal that fills his stomach and gives him the nutrition he needs to be healthy and strong. Best of all, it helps him concentrate in class.

“I feel okay. When I’m in the class, I can listen to the lesson, to what the teacher is talking about. I listen so that if the teacher asks me a question, I can answer. If exams come, we can pass. We cannot fail. We can pass very well!” he says.

Your support can make a powerful difference in the lives of hungry children like Machar! Your gift of just $6 on Take Away Hunger Day will feed a child for an entire month – giving them much more than a meal. You’ll be giving them an opportunity to dream of a new future!

As Machar interacts with his teacher and peers at school, he is driven to learn well by a secret longing. He wants to go back to his homeland and find his mother so that he can protect her and provide for her. He says:

“I want to complete my studies so that I can go back to South Sudan, to my mother, and do something to help her. Uganda is a peaceful country, but South Sudan still has some challenges of war.”

Thank you for your generous support to feed many vulnerable children like Machar – because a full life feels good!