Life in Liberia: International School Meals Day

We take a look at a few of the special days celebrated in Liberia and why some are particularly important to Mary’s Meals.

Do you know that Valentine’s Day is actually named after a man named Varney? Or at least, it is in Liberia! 
 
Valentine’s Day isn’t a public holiday here even though all the recent celebrations made it feel like one. It’s not uncommon for me to be taken by surprise by the Liberian public holidays because they are so different from the public holidays I left behind in the UK – here there’s National Unification Day, Flag Day and holidays for the birthdays of former Presidents JJ Roberts and William Tubman, for example.
 
And nowadays in Liberia it seems like every day is celebrating something. I recently visited a school where the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) is growing pineapples to be sold to supplement school funds, and afterwards I learned that there is an International Pineapple Day. It’s 27 June, if you’re interested. 
 
But there are some days that have great relevance for us at Mary’s Meals.
 
International School Meals Day is 9 March and recently, on 1 March, we also celebrated the second annual Africa Day for School Feeding, organised by the African Union.

It’s no wonder there are two days celebrating school meals because, as we see in Liberia, Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works – from the increases in school enrolment and attendance, to the energy that enables children to study, concentrate and play, to their grades at the end of the year, and to the ability of their families to make their resources stretch that bit further.

At Mary’s Meals, we believe our international school feeding programme – which now reaches 1,187,104 children across four continents with a nutritious meal every school day – is made up of millions of small acts of love that connect those who are in need with those who have something to spare.
 
So whether it’s following the example of an enthusiastic PTA, our tireless volunteers or even a mysterious Liberian called Varney, it’s good to see the fruits that our little acts of love can help to grow.