Gibson from Zambia
The world should be looking out for little Gibson Nonde from Zambia, because any four-year-old who has the courage and the motivation to enroll himself in school has the potential to achieve anything!
Through the window of Mshawa Primary School in the Kasenengwa district, the teacher would often see a small boy sitting alone, watching and waiting, all the while learning what he would need to join his classmates for food and lessons.
One morning Gibson woke early. He took a cup for his Mary’s Meals porridge and some books from his siblings and set off on the journey to school – a journey that changed his life. When the teacher looked out that day and asked him what he was doing there all by himself, he answered: “I have come to start school.”
She could only admire the persistence of such a young boy, when normally children would be brought for enrollment by their parents. The teacher welcomed him into class, where he eagerly found a seat and waited patiently for his meal.
The same teacher told us: “The Mary’s Meals school feeding program is what attracts children to the classroom.
“Especially in the lower grades, they are usually drawn to school for the porridge and in due course, as they are waiting to be fed, they learn and gain an education. In time, this education can become their ladder out of poverty.”
Gibson settled in with the lessons, paying attention to the teacher, but all the while asking when it would be time for his porridge. And all his observing of other pupils paid off at break time, when he rushed out, cup in hand, to queue up with his new-found friends for his long-awaited meal – he knew exactly what to do and where to go! And when he was asked how it felt to finally be part of school life, he smiled broadly and said: “I am fine. I have eaten porridge and I have books too.” Food changed the story for Gibson.