CDHIB hands over Mary’s Meals school kitchen constructed for Mbinda Primary at K13.8m 

CDH Investment Bank (CDHIB) has honoured the pledge it made to construct a modern and decent school kitchen to be used for Mary’s Meals school feeding program at Mbinda Junior Primary School in Blantyre.

The kitchen, constructed at a cost of K13.8 million, was presented on Tuesday and in addition, CDHIB also sponsored K3.1 million towards the schools feeding program that is managed by Mary’s Meals — making a total investment of K16.9 million.

Graced by various stakeholders — that included Principal Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Zelita Zamula as guest of honour — the investment complements Mary’s Meals program, which is reaching out to over 1.1 million children in over 1,000 schools across the country.

Group photo with some selected learners

In her remarks, chief human capital development officer for CDH Investment Bank, Ivy Kwatiwani said they were proud to invest in the school kitchen as well as the feeding program as it will increase access to education for young learners.

“Our relationship with Mary’s Meals helped us appreciate the work the project is doing in managing the largest school feeding program in Malawi and we decided to support the development of the kitchen as an area of need — to create value for the area and help young learners have access to improved nutrition that will help them as they learn and grow.

“The bank is excited to be part of this cause as it believes helping young learners will have a positive impact on the destiny of our country and help keep children in school.”

She added that CDHIB  is committed to creating value by improving access to education through the feeding program.

The guest of honour, Zelita Zamula first inspected the school’s old kitchen during a tour of the school and in her remarks, she applauded Mary’s Meals and CDHIB for the decent facility built for Mbinda Junior Primary.

The decent school kitchen

“The old kitchen was small and had poor ventilation and no storage,” she said. “We really appreciate the new investment that will help the young learners to focus on their education and grow. The key to development is through education.”

She further noted that the school has many needs such as new school blocks and teachers’ houses and called for other partners to help develop the area.

Also present at the event were representatives and staff from Mary’s Meals Malawi, the school committee, teachers, the school’s learners and members from the surrounding communities, led by their Village Head Mbinda, who expressed her profound thanks to CDHIB and Mary’s Meals for the gesture, saying it will play a huge role in attracting more children to go to school.

She said the structure will respond to the infrastructure challenges the school had and will go a long way in encouraging school attendance in the area.

Inspecting the old structure

Head of human resources for Mary’s Meals, Henry Mbenjere applauded CDHIB for honouring its commitment to partnership with them and supporting the projects feeding program with the largest donation in 2022.

Last month, when Illovo Sugar Plc committed a total of K109,925,400 by adopting 4 primary schools’ feeding needs in Chikwawa District in partnership with Mary’s Meals, Country Director, Angela Chipeta-Khonje appealed to wellwishers to continue coming forward to assist, emphasizing that costs of nutritious porridge ingredients have gone up tremendously that has slowed them down since there are over 3 million children who need to be reached out across the country.

She emphasized in partnering with Mary’s Meals, they would join them in their objective of contributing towards the country’s human capital development through education — while also stressing that enrollment has increased, school dropouts has decreased as “every child looks forward to attending classes with enthusiasm having the assurance that they receive a nutritious porridge”.

Mary’s Meals is a global movement that is carrying out its services in 18 countries feeding over 2.4 million school children globally while Malawi — being the largest program since the initiative was mooted out in this country, it is attending to over 1.1 million — which is a huge leap from the initial 200 when the initiative was rolled out in 2002.

Its now 21 years since Mary’s Meals opened its operation in Malawi when its Founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited the country during a famine and met a child, who — when he had asked him what his dreams were in life — he replied that he wished he had enough food to eat in order to go to school.

The school feeding programme initially aimed at feeding around 200 children in two Malawian schools in 2002 and what is of note is that the charity had humble beginnings as a one-off good deed from a shed in the Highlands of Scotland that eventually led to a small school feeding programme in Malawi.


The Founder, MacFarlane-Barrow wrote a bestselling book about the programme entitled: ‘The Shed That Fed A Million Children’ — which was written after Mary’s Meals reached out to over one million children.

When schools closed because of the CoVID-19 pandemic, Mary’s Meals continued to reach out to almost every child enrolled in its school feeding programmes through community distributions of food parcels and essential hygiene items.

This was to ensure that its work wasn’t interrupted during this challenging time by enabling parents or guardians to cook daily meals for the children at home, in their temporary place of education and reduced household hunger and fear.

CDH Investment Bank decided to partner with Mary’s Meals last year as part of commemoration of its 10th Anniversary activities — under the theme ‘Creating Value’.

It opened for business on April 2, 2012, following the successful conversion from Continental Discount House Limited, which had operated in the financial sector for 14 years since August 1998.

The bank has grown through leaps and bounds and contributed positively to growth of many individuals,organization’s and communities and ultimately the nation.

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