By: Berlinda Fortin

Before the sun rises in the morning, Justin is up and studying. 

“I usually wake up at 4am and start revising at home before I come to school. I revise until 5 o’clock; from 5 o’clock I prepare myself and start the journey from home to school.”

This dedicated young man is determined to make the most of his opportunities. A South Sudanese refugee, he is painfully aware of how quickly life can change and opportunity can vanish. Six years ago, he fled the war in his homeland with his mother and siblings, arriving in Uganda with no belongings and no idea what to do next.

But he quickly discovered that education could be a pathway to a better future.

“School is important because it will make me be somebody – somebody deserving a better future. I get a lot of things from school that can help my future. That makes it very important to me.”

Justin’s Schooling Will Benefit the Whole Family

Now, at 17 years old, he knows that his success in the classroom will benefit not just himself, but his mother and his siblings, too.

“School gives me more courage to work hard for my future. I want to become a doctor… For someone like me, who’s got no father, education will help me support myself, and do what I can to take care of my mum, my younger brothers and sisters.”

There are many barriers in his way – a lack of stability, and resources, and opportunities. Yet the barrier that looms largest is the most basic: hunger.

Without enough food to eat, he struggles to concentrate and learn.

Justin explains, “Studying without eating food is very difficult. When we are in the class and the teacher is explaining, you can’t focus on studying. You are focusing on home, like, ‘When am I going to be at home to get something to eat for lunch?’”

But you can help to solve the problem of hunger for Justin and many more like him as you partner with Feed The Hungry.

Feed The Hungry is on the ground among refugee and vulnerable families in Uganda, providing fortified, nutritious meals to protect children against malnutrition. Fortified meals help them to grow and give them the energy they need to concentrate in the classroom.

And you can help to feed a child like Justin today. Your gift of just $6 on Take Away Hunger Day will feed a hungry child at school for a whole month. More than a meal, you’ll be helping to provide children like Justin with an education and the opportunity to know God’s love!

With a full belly and the nutrition he needs, Justin can focus on learning – and continue to build a better future for him and his family.

“I feel very happy when they provide lunch here. Because when I eat, in the afternoon lesson at least I can concentrate on my studies.”

In the evenings, Justin is often the last to bed as he helps his mother care for his younger siblings before completing his homework. But before the household wakes in the morning, he will be up and preparing for the day’s lessons.

It’s just another small step forward into a better, brighter future.

Article supplied with thanks to Feed The Hungry.

Images: Supplied