School Lunches - Recipes for Smiles & Hope

Akili, 6 years old, is a little boy who survived the flood. 

He is a happy and curious child, loved by all who know him. Unfortunately, his life was turned upside down when a devastating natural disaster caused by torrential rains caused the riverbeds near his village to overflow. The catastrophic disaster claimed the lives of more than 450 people and left a further 5,000 missing.

In this disaster, Akili lost both his beloved parents. Their home was destroyed and everything he had ever known disappeared in a short moment. The day after the disaster, he found himself without parents and shelter.

Akili remembers his mother's voice telling him to leave the house and go and take shelter with the neighbours.

"I was with my two older brothers when Mum told us to start leaving for the neighbour's house. But the neighbour's house was also gone and we were rescued by the rescue workers at night. Mum and Dad stayed behind to save the livestock and items in the house, but they didn’t come back" he says.

He regrets not seeing them anymore.

 Akili, who felt lost and alone, finds comfort in the school canteen. Every day, he meets up with other children who have also experienced similar tragedies. Together, they share their stories, their sorrows and their hopes.

His teacher Lebon, who looks after him at school, shared that his behaviour has changed since the children started eating at school.

"There were times when I would find him crying and he would tell me that he was starving, but since the canteen started, I see him starting to smile more and playing with the others", he explains.

However, while the village remains stressful, a ray of hope has emerged thanks to the intervention of World Vision. A school canteen has been set up for children affected by the disaster which offers nutritious meals and emotional support.

The school canteen is a special place where children can eat a hot, balanced meal. It's a place where children can regain a semblance of normality, where they can laugh, play and rebuild their lives. 

Akili feels safe when he is surrounded by his classmates. He is still trying to overcome his grief and begin to rebuild his life. He has returned to school and has found comfort in learning and the new friendships he has made.

Akili has grown into a strong and resilient child, carrying with him the lessons learned thanks to the school canteen supported by World Vision. He is growing up with the memory of his parents in his heart. 

Akili's story is a powerful reminder of the power of love, hope and solidarity. It reminds us of the importance of reaching out to those in need and showing empathy towards the most vulnerable. Even in the darkest moments, there is always a light shining, ready to guide us towards a better future.

Thanks to the school canteen supported by World Vision, Akili and so many other children have been able to make a fresh start despite the tragedies they have experienced.


For many vulnerable children like Akili, school lunch is the only meal they get in a day.

A small act of kindness is enough to fill a child's plate. 
Support our Global Hunger Response 


Written By: 
World Vision Singapore