Courageous Zambian school boy is using the power of education to transform lives

Grade six student Ngosa, 16, sleeps in a windowless room at his school in rural Zambia after his step-father told him to leave home because there were too many mouths to feed.

The pupil at Nsefu Primary School, who wants to be a pilot one day, said: “My father died in 2015 and my mother was married to my step father. He didn’t like me. Every time they had a quarrel, it was over me. I used to make them fight. My mother sent me to stay with my grandmother and my aunt.

“It didn’t make me feel good. It broke my heart. Their fights were about lacking food. There wasn’t enough food for everyone. My mother couldn’t look after me because she has other children to look after at home. The children were suffering so to cut the issue, I left.”

Despite his hard start to life, the youngster takes refuge in reading storybooks which he insisted will be the key to a better life.

Ngosa, who speaks to the Express in almost perfect English, told how receiving a cup of warm porridge from Mary’s Meals everyday was a huge relief.

He said: “It’s made a huge difference. The issue is we’re lacking food but when we have Mary’s Meals, we can manage a lot of the day without food.

“It takes a lot of pressure off. Sometimes I feel lonely because my situation is bad. But my future will be good because I want to prove that to my parents. They trust me that I can do well. I want to help them and show what education can do.”

Ngosa, who enjoys studying maths and English, is one of more than 2.4 million school children given a fortified cup of maize and soya porridge daily thanks to the UK charity.

Generous Daily Express readers have so far raised £4,400 for the organisation to continue doing its work in 18 poverty-stricken countries.

Ngosa said: “When people read my story, I want them to know what school can do to change a life. I want to show people that even if we don’t have parents who can help us, we can do good things in life.”

“When people help me, they help others. When I get help, I can help my mother and family. I just need help.”

As little as 10p can provide one nutritious meal for a hungry child.

Donations made to Mary’s Meals from now until January 22, including those from the Express Christmas appeal, will be doubled by a group of generous supporters – up to £1 million.

It costs just £19.15 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals every day for a school year. And this winter, a donation of £19.15 will feed two children.

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