BY Daniel Harkins | May 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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SCO-backed Mary’s Meals campaign raises £4 million for hungry children

A campaign by Mary’s Meals that was backed by the SCO has raised an incredible £4 million towards feeding and educating children in Zambia.

The charity, which was founded by Scottish Catholics after being inspired by a trip to the Marian pilgrimage site at Medjugorje, raised £2 million with their Double the Love campaign that launched in December with support from the SCO.

That money will now be doubled by the UK Government thanks to aid match funding from the department for international development.

The funds will be used by Mary’s Meals to reach an additional 95,000 hungry children in Zambia.

 

Aid matching

Secretary of State for international development Rory Stewart announced the £2 million in UK Government match funding during his first visit to Scotland last week, where he met with Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals UK.

Mr Adams said: “The generosity of our supporters across the UK, who have responded overwhelmingly to this match funding campaign, will help us to transform the lives of many, many more hungry children with the gifts of food and education.

“Double The Love was marked by a huge outpouring of love and generosity from our supporters.

“Their unwavering commitment to our mission gives us a wonderful opportunity to create an even bigger impact in Zambia where children who will receive Mary’s Meals can grow up—better nourished and better educated— to become the men and women who will lift their communities out of poverty and end their reliance on aid.

“The fact the remarkable kindness of our supporters can unlock additional funding from the UK Government, through the UK Aid Match initiative, to reach more hungry children is a huge boost.

“On the Secretary of State’s first visit to Scotland in his new role, it was a pleasure to offer him our most sincere thanks.”

 

Food and education

Rory Stewart, said: “I am delighted the UK Government has matched the first £2 million to Mary’s Meals’ Double the Love campaign, helping them to raise a total of £5.5 million.

“This will pay for school meals in Zambia, giving its children a chance of a decent education.

“I hope the success of this Argyll-based charity encourages other Scottish organisations to apply for UK Government funding through schemes like UK Aid Match and the Small Charities Challenge Fund. Their work is making a significant and lasting difference.”

 

Suffering

Zambia suffers from high rates of malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity. More than 360,000 primary school-age children are out of school, and those who do attend are often so hungry they don’t have the energy to concentrate and learn in class.

Eight-year-old Tasila is in grade two in Msoro, Zambia. Eating Mary’s Meals each school day gives her the energy to play and learn.

She said: “Phala [vitamin-enriched maize porridge] makes me feel good, it takes away my hunger. It gives me energy to run, and to listen to the teacher and answer their questions in class.”

Mary’s Meals has been working with communities in Zambia since 2014 and is now feeding 119,315 children there every school day.

For more on the Double The Love campaign and Mary’s Meals, visit www.marysmeals.org.uk

 

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