Scottish charity Mary’s Meals is to receive £5 million (MWK5 billion) in match funding from UK government to feed the chronically hungry children with one meal every day through school feeding.
The Department for International Development (DFID) uses its UK Aid Match scheme to match public donations to selected charity appeals, pound for pound, giving the public a say in how Britain’s aid budget is spent.
Mary’s Meals Feed Our Future campaign received an astounding response in which £5 million was donated by generous UK supporters, ensuring the maximum £5 million available in match funding from the UK government.
Using the £5m (MWK5 billion) cash boost from the UK government, the charity will expand and develop its school feeding programmes in Malawi and Zambia, focusing on four districts in Malawi and two districts in Zambia, as part of a three-year project to provide daily meals to thousands of children at school.
Making the UK match funding announcement for Mary’s Meals at their Glasgow office International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The UK Government Aid Match funding means that donations from the generous supporters of Mary’s Meals will make even more of a difference.
“Mary’s Meals is an inspirational charity, helping to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest children. Its work shows the importance of Scotland’s role in the UK’s international development effort. Working together we are helping to build a safer, healthier, more prosperous world. “
Head of DFID in Malawi, Philip Smith said: “By providing children with a meal in school, we and partners like Marys Meals are combating the short-term effects of hunger and food poverty. The promise of a daily meal also keeps children in the classroom, allowing them to gain the education they need to lift themselves out of poverty and to secure a bright future.”
Mary’s Meals was inspired by the words of a Malawian child. In 2002, its founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, met Emma, a young woman who was suffering from AIDS, and her family.
When Magnus asked her 14 year-old son what his dreams were in life, his stark reply was: “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day”. These words inspired the Mary’s Meals campaign.
Today, Mary’s Meals feeds 1,101,206 children every school day in 12 different countries, across four continents .It costs a global average of just £12.20 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year.
Mary’s Meals is a low cost charity, committed to spending at least 93p of every £1 directly on its charitable activities.
In his recent visit to Malawi, Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell visited a primary school in Lilongwe to appreciate the impact of school feeding programme being implemented by Marys Meals.