Dunfermline Press

Donations to the charity Mary’s Meals are being tripled


I RECENTLY visited north-west

Turkana, an extremely remote and vulnerable region of Kenya.

Malnutriti­on is all too common here. Drought has been killing livestock – people’s main source of income – and forcing them to depend on others for their basic needs.

I work for Mary’s Meals, the school feeding charity that provides meals for 2.4 million children every school day, across 18 countries.

The promise of a nutritious meal brings children into the classroom and gives them the energy to participat­e in lessons and work towards a better future.

We provide training, equipment, ingredient­s and support so communitie­s can run the school feeding programme themselves, with volunteers turning up every school day to cook and serve the meals.

In Kenya, our programme reaches more than 100,000 children living in poverty and facing food insecurity.

My visit took me to Akalaliot preschool in Turkana, where around

300 children receive Mary’s Meals every school day, and it was a hive of activity.

I wondered where everyone had come from, since for several miles there were no buildings or dwellings in sight.

I was told Akalaliot is situated between a few small villages, roughly two to three miles away. And for those living on the other side of the mountains, it’s a five or six- mile walk.

Despite these vast distances, the children had come for the nutritious meal of maize and beans.

As they cleared their plates and bounced to their feet with renewed energy, it was amazing to see the difference these meals are clearly making.

Being able to offer a meal to children, consistent­ly, at school and equipping them to learn and gain skills for their future has a transforma­tive effect on communitie­s made vulnerable by poverty, conflict, and climate change.

It costs just £ 19.15 to feed a child for a school year with Mary’s Meals, so even small donations can have a big impact.

Until September 29, if you’re able to set up a regular gift to Mary’s Meals, your first three donations will be tripled ( by a group of generous donors, up to £ 150,000).

I’d like to invite your readers to visit marysmeals. org/ tripled to find out more about our work – and help to bring hope to more hungry children like those I met in Kenya.

Thank you.

Alex Keay,

Director of Programme Affiliates, Mary’s Meals Internatio­nal.

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