Mary's Meals is already feeding 70,000 children and hopes to expand its work.
A Scottish charity has launched an appeal to expand its work providing school meals for desperately hungry children in South Sudan.
Mary’s Meals has put out a call for help for children affected by conflict in the country with the world’s highest rate of children out of education.
Learning across South Sudan has been drastically hindered by years of violence and upheaval, with survival often taking priority over children attending school. Internal displacement, deep poverty and hunger mean that life for families is a real struggle.
Over 70 per cent (2.2 million) of primary school aged children are not in education, with girls more likely to miss school.
More than half (55 per cent) of people have insufficient food intake, with a further third (31.3 per cent) of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition.
Mary’s Meals is already feeding around 70,000 hungry children every school day in South Sudan.
The Scottish-based charity is appealing for support to reach even more hungry children with a nutritious meal at school.
Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals, said: “Our nutritious meals are giving children in South Sudan the energy to learn, hope for a better future and some respite from the immense difficulty of everyday life.
“Mary’s Meals is one of very few organisations delivering desperately needed food to schools in this country.
“We are already feeding around 70,000 children every school day – and we are determined to reach even more little ones with our life-changing meals. To do this, we need your support.”
Mary’s Meals provides school meals for children living in some of the world’s poorest countries – including Malawi, Haiti, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen.
The promise of a daily meal attracts hungry children to the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.
In South Sudan, the charity works in partnership with local organisations, Diocese of Rumbek and Mary Help Association, to serve maize and beans to pupils at 114 schools in the Warrap and Lakes States regions, where thousands of people have fled to seek refuge.
Moses, who works for Mary’s Meals’ partner Diocese of Rumbek, said: “Many schools were destroyed by the conflict. I have visited new primary schools that have been built far away from the towns, in make-shift sheds and under trees.
“I was there when we took the food to these communities. Words are not enough to describe the happiness of the children. They jumped with joy – dancing, singing and shouting. They were so eager to learn and attendance at the schools is rising because of the promise of a good meal.”