Mary’s Meals adds 43,000 chil­dren to feed­ing pro­gramme

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

ARGYLL-BASED char­ity Mary’s Meals an­nounced this week that it is now reach­ing 1,230,171 of the world’s poor­est chil­dren with a nu­tri­tious daily meal in school.

This means that, ow­ing to the con­tin­ued gen­eros­ity of its sup­port­ers around the world, the char­ity has been able to add more than 43,000 chil­dren to its global school feed­ing pro­gramme since Septem­ber last year.

Mary’s Meals pro­vides sup­port to im­pov­er­ished com­mu­ni­ties across four con­ti­nents, set­ting up com­mu­nity-run school feed­ing pro­grammes that en­cour­age chil­dren – who may other­wise be forced to work, beg or for­age for food – to come to school and re­ceive a meal that helps them to con­cen­trate on their stud­ies.

The char­ity be­gan by feed­ing just 200 chil­dren in Malawi in 2002, amid a dev­as­tat­ing famine. And to­day it is pro­vid­ing much-needed sup­port in the face of an­other cri­sis in East Africa, where drought and con­flict have cre­ated a hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gency span­ning sev­eral coun­tries, in­clud­ing two where Mary’s Meals are served – South Su­dan and Kenya.

Across famine-hit South Su­dan – where a bru­tal civil war con­tin­ues to rage – and drought-stricken Kenya, more than 46,000 chil­dren have the cer­tainty of re­ceiv­ing one good meal ev­ery school day at this des­per­ate time.

More than ever, Mary’s Meals is not only a pow­er­ful in­cen­tive to come to the class­room, it is a vi­tal life­line for these vulnerable chil­dren in des­per­ate need of nour­ish­ment.

With millions across East Africa on the brink of star­va­tion, Mary’s Meals re­cently launched an East Africa Emer­gency Ap­peal to help lessen the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact of the cri­sis.

Moses Kop­urot Kenyi, who works for Mary’s Meals’ part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tion in South Su­dan, said: ‘Most of the chil­dren here are so mal­nour­ished and they have a lot of chal­lenges. To keep them in school, we need to pro­vide the Mary’s Meals feed­ing pro­gramme. With­out any meals, there will def­i­nitely be a very poor fu­ture for South Su­dan. We thank Mary’s Meals and we thank those who are help­ing Mary’s Meals.’

Mary’s Meals is com­mit­ted to keep­ing its run­ning costs low, with at least 93 per cent of do­na­tions be­ing spent on char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties. This is only pos­si­ble be­cause most of its work – from aware­ness and fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to the cook­ing and serv­ing of the meals – is done by an army of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing more than 80,000 in Malawi alone.

It costs just £13.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year. To find out more or to do­nate, please visit www.marys­meals.org.uk.

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