ZAMBIA: More than 2,900 youth and families impacted by Feed My Starving Children rice-meal donation
(MissionNewswire) More than 2,900 people, including youth, families, grandmothers and orphaned children, have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The rice-meal donation was provided and distributed by Salesian Sisters who operate the City of Hope in the capital city of Lusaka in Zambia. The City of Hope received three shipments of 40-foot containers of rice-meals in 2019.
“We are very thankful for the donation of rice-meals for our students,” says Sister Prisca Mwila, who is in charge of the City of Hope. “Most of the rice is cooked at our schools and centers but from time to time we have given something to the families who are struggling to survive. They are instructed as to how to prepare the rice so as to get the maximum benefit from these rice-meals.”
For some students, the meals they receive at the City of Hope centers are the only meals they have each day. Provided to students during the school day, the food aid serves as an incentive for families to send their children to school. As a result of the donation, students are thriving. Many have gained weight, suffer fewer illnesses and are more focused on their studies.
“Eating well, means studying well,” says Tapiwa, a grade three student and a beneficiary of the rice feeding program. “The rice-meal donation helps our students have an education, school meals, good health and a balanced diet.”
Jane Bwalya, a survivor of sexual assault, is another beneficiary. The lifesaving meals have provided a balanced diet so she does not have to go out looking for food, which puts her at risk of further assaults and exploitation. Thanks to the rice-meals, Bwalya is more settled and has even returned to school.
Another beneficiary is a woman with diabetes and HIV who, since eating the rice-meals, has become stronger and healthier. She is able to do go about her daily duties, feed her family and send her grandchildren to school well-fed instead of hungry. She says, “Thanks to your donation, I can stand and smile today.”
Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.
Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Zambia
UNICEF – Zambia