Manuel Antonio and Amelia Mateus are both students at EPC Josina Machel, a school for grades one to seven outside Beira in Sofala Province, Mozambique. The school is a beneficiary of JAM’s Nutritional School Feeding Program, which supplies 382 013 children in Mozambique with a nutritious Corn Soya Blend meal every school day.
With an easy smile, commanding physique and soft nature, 15-year-old Manuel does not resemble vulnerability, yet in the depths of his heart he is a delicate teenage boy who worries about taking care of his ailing mother and two younger brothers. Although Manuel might be emotionally vulnerable, he is able to look after his family due to the strength building meal he receives through the support JAM gives to his school.
Like many children raised by single mothers, Manuel feels compelled to protect and support his mother and brothers; to do this he sells fish everyday after school. Though he is in his final year at primary school and is a little older than his Grade Seven peers, Manuel is seen to be a role model among other learners, as he is responsible and excels in Mathematics. He dreams to emulate his idol, rap star Jay-Z, by building his own business empire one day.
His schoolmate on the other hand, confident and bubbly 11-year-old Amelia Mateus, has also benefitted from receiving a nutritious meal everyday through JAM’s school feeding program. She still clearly recalls what it was like attending a school that didn’t form part of JAM’s Nutritional Feeding Program, where hunger pangs became a daily struggle.
Amelia is an art enthusiast and particularly loves the local music genre called Marabenta, with the singer Zico being her favorite. When she completes school, Amelia dreams of becoming a fashion photographer in New York City, USA.
With endearing smiles and warm personalities, Amelia and Mateus are the new faces of Mozambique. However, in order for the two children and their peers to reach their full potential, they require adequate nutritional aid because hungry children are left without much hope for a prosperous future.
It is by providing meals for children like Amelia and Mateus that JAM is Helping Africa help itself, with the aim to write a new and brighter future for Africa. Join us in helping more children like Amelia and Mateus by getting involved in our Nutritional Feeding Programme, or any one of our other programmes. Anyone who wishes to get involved with JAM Canada’s initiatives in Africa, can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.