Back in 1992, two brothers: Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow from Scotland, watched the TV news from the Bosnia conflict, and were so horrified, they sprang into action and took a jeep loaded with food and blankets to join a convoy of like-minded people. Returning home to work as fish farmers, they discovered so many further donations, Magnus took a year out to register a charity and thereafter these generous men worked and funded additional projects.
On a trip to Malawi, Magnus met a mother dying from Aids, surrounded by her six children and asked the eldest what he hoped for in life. "Enough food to eat and a chance to go to school one day." Basic, simple enough needs to those with money...His words stayed with Magnus. Returning to Scotland, and inspired by the lad, this led to the formation of the Mary's Meals campaign.
The premise was to give as many children as possible one meal a day in school to give them the stamina and encouragement to learn. In 2002, a one-off school feeding programme was initiated. Today 890,000 hungry children are fed daily. That's a lot of children. But then no child asks to be born, nor should he/she be hungry. The campaign gathered momentum and today provides meals to impoverished children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South Africa. It costs under ten pence to feed one child for a day, so the next time you go out for a meal, put 10 pence in a pot, and watch that pot fill up.
Mary's Meals takes only seven pence for governance costs from every pound donated. Compare this to any other charity you know, and you will realise how worthy it is. I give a donation for every copy sold of my last book: 'My Gentle War' (Memoir of an Essex Girl). Little acorns come to mind ...but they do grow!
You can make a donation by phone: 01838 200605 or 0800 698 1212
Text: MMSF14 70070
Or cheque: made out to: 'Mary's Meals,' Mary's Meals, Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Argyll, PA33 1AR.