She's a bright, beautiful young lady who loves to play sports, go to school and spend time with her family, who lives in Tanzania’s Kiluvya ward. She's a smart girl who ranks second in her class of 60 students, an achievement that will surely help her fulfill her dream of being the “richest woman in the world” when she grows up.
“Life here at Kiluvya is challenging. My parents are working hard with multiple businesses just to put food on the table. Sometimes if we cannot afford to buy food for lunch, we drink porridge and some snacks we get at school. Sometimes we have leftover food from the night before if there is any.”
A full stomach is a key ingredient for a child's success in school. No matter how much potential a kid has, they will struggle to keep up if they're hungry and don’t know when they’ll get their next meal. Malnourished children also miss more school days than their well-fed peers due to illness, often because they lack access to clean water.
Children in Leah's community rely on school meals and clean water tanks to help them succeed throughout the day. Donors and partners make it possible for Leah and her peers to get two or more meals a day and clean water they can take home for their families.
“Most parents cannot afford two meals per day, and some cannot afford even one meal. The porridge and snacks help our children stay full all day. Also, water treatment has helped reduce the rate of stomach diseases among children at school,” Leah's mother says.
As Leah works toward her dream of becoming the wealthiest woman in the world, she knows her success wouldn't be possible without the care provided and education made possible by donors. Her community and school benefit from programs that teach kids the importance of proper hygiene and nutrition. And adults receive training on how to create and sustain businesses and farms.
“We benefit greatly from the school meals program. We get free porridge that helps us stay full during class hours and helps many students attend school. Our grades improve yearly because all the children are healthy and active in class,” says Leah.