05 February, 2011

This is charity at its Noblest

With food becoming more and more expensive; with the world's poor and hungry in their hundreds of millions, and daily increasing in numbers; with thousands of children dying every day due to hunger  - nothing can be as humane and noble as feeding some of our less fortunate human kind. Except if: those being fed are children. That's precisely what a Scottish based organization: Mary's Meals is doing. It is feeding half-a-million children every school day, in several continents and countries; in: Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Albania, Ukraine and more. What is even more pleasing and heartening about the project, is that: the children are fed when they are in school.

In Malawi, where the whole project began nine years ago, as an experiment aimed at helping a handful of African orphans - the organization is feeding almost 400,000 children every school day; in Kenya, it feeds 17,000 children every school day; 17,000 of the poorest, mainly from slums. Kenya’s slums are among the worst in the world, and Mary’s Meals is assisting children in the densely populated Mukuru slums of Nairobi. The highly motivated teachers and volunteers who run the program are dedicated to ensuring that children’s right to education and adequate food is fulfilled. At Kwa Njenga Mary’s Meals is helping to attract children to school and to keep them coming every day making this school one of the best performing in Nairobi, despite its dire setting. The beauty of this project, is that: by feeding the children when they are at school, more children can be encouraged to study.

Nine years ago, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow founded the charity after visiting Malawi and meeting a 14-year-old boy called Edward whose mother was dying from Aids; he established Mary's Meals as a result of the teenager revealing his dream in life: to have enough food to allow him to attend school. And so, the project was started. Says Magnus: "In this world of plenty, it's mad that millions of children are dying of hunger-related causes, or are out of school through poverty. Reaching half a million children is a significant step and we are grateful to all the volunteers and supporters whose efforts have made it possible for us to help them."

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