Summary

Maria fled the war in South Sudan. In Uganda she has an opportunity for an education.

“When I eat, I’ll be okay. I will be telling answers to the teacher because I’m very strong now,” she says.

Her classmates want to become teachers, pilots, nurses or military officers. Maria aims to become a doctor.

She is eagerly soaking up her lessons, and the greatest is that her life matters.

Hear from Maria

As I came from South Sudan, I was not knowing anything, but when I came here, they teach me how to speak English and how to write. I know everything now. And I know how to speak English.”

~ Maria

Maria’s story

Maria fled to Uganda to escape the war in South Sudan, running with her parents and siblings to escape the shooting.

She says she was one of the lucky ones who made it out with her life. Her friend did not.

“We were the same age,” the 15-year-old says softly. “When she was trying to move… war was there. She died in that war.”

There was no war in the Ugandan refugee settlements but here they faced a dangerous new enemy – hunger.

A second meal per day was a luxury. There were many days when she ate nothing at all.

Despite her empty stomach, Maria walked to school every day and did her best to concentrate in class. She knew that education held the key to building a new future.

“I never went to school in South Sudan,” she says. “Now I enjoy study, because when I came to Uganda, they taught me how to speak English and how to write.”

Then, one day, it became much easier to concentrate in class – and her love for school grew even greater.

Maria became one of thousands of hungry refugee children to receive a hot, nutritious meal each day at her school through Feed The Hungry.

And you can help feed a child like Maria today. Your gift of just $6 on Take Away Hunger Day will feed a hungry child at school for a whole month. More than a meal, you’ll be helping provide children with an education and the opportunity to know God’s love!

A nutritious lunch at school changes everything for Maria. She explains the difference between hunger and a hot meal in her life, saying:

“When I feel hungry, I don’t talk to anyone because I have no energy to talk. I am very weak. Even what the teacher was saying, I could not understand because I was very hungry.

“But when I eat, I’ll be okay. I will be telling answers to the teacher because I’m very strong now. I will be talking with my friends, playing games or other things.”

Her classmates chatter excitedly about their ambitions to become teachers or pilots, nurses or military officers. Maria proudly declares that she is aiming to become a doctor.

“I would like to be a doctor in the future. When I finish at primary school, I will go to secondary and then college,” she says. “The reason why I want to be a doctor is because I want to save other people’s lives.”

She is eagerly soaking up her lessons, and the greatest one of all is that her life matters.

Maria is learning that she is loved – by God, by her family, by her teachers, and by an international community that is generously helping her to learn the skills she needs to thrive.