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ex t ra e-magazine for mary’s meals supporters Issue no 1 - March 2009


welcome Welcome to the March issue (and the first issue) of Mary’s Meals Extra, our quarterly e-bulletin. As you probably already know the work of Mary’s Meals & SIR depends very little on paid members of staff like me and very much on the work of thousands of supporters who give their time and talents free of charge in order to raise awareness of our work and raise the funds that we need to save and help transform more lives through Mary’s Meals and other projects. The Mary’s Meals Extra is designed for those of you who want more information and is aimed in particular at those of you who fundraise and spread the word about Mary’s Meals. We hope it will be a useful resource that you can draw on. - You may want to reproduce parts of it for your own publications – great! - You may be able to share some of the stories in it with your colleagues/church /family & friends – wonderful! - Or, as the Mary’s Meals family grows in number, it might just be that you want to keep up to date with the news from other family members. However you choose to use the Mary’s Meals Extra we hope it will support you in all your Mary’s Meals endeavours! As always we welcome your feedback and any ideas on how we could improve things. It is through you that our dream of reaching every hungry child with a daily meal can be realised. Thank you!

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow Mary’s Meals & SIR CEO

CONTENTS Key Figures Project News Fundraising News Mary’s Meals & the Media News from the Mary’s Meals Family Contact Details Who We Are

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key figures 354, 733 Total number of children receiving a daily meal in school

£8.40 Average cost of Mary’s Meals per child, per year

£6.15 Cost of Mary’s Meals per child, per year in Malawi

76 million meals Meals served over the course of 2008

4p a meal Average price per meal in 2008

120,000 The number of Back Packs delivered to date

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project news

projects by numbers Number of children receiving a daily meal in their place of education at February ’09

Bosnia 73 Haiti 14770 India 1520 Kenya 4970 Liberia 15000 Malawi 307986 Philippines 750 Romania 20 Sudan 2500 Thailand 1000 Uganda 5634 Ukraine 400 Zambia 120

project visits In 2o08 members of staff visited Mary’s Meals projects in: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti (Cite Soleil, Gonaives, Hinche), Kenya (Mukuru Slum, Nairobi, Kisii),Liberia, Malawi.

Project visits for 2009: Haiti – a member of staff will spend 3 weeks in March reviewing the main projects in Haiti after the recent expansion in the work of Mary’s Meal there.

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total = 354733

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malawi children fed = 307 986 Population = 13 million Population undernourished = 35% Under 5 mortality = 125 per 1,000 live births Population on less than a dollar a day = 20% Population on less that 2 dollars a day (new poverty measure) = 62% Proportion of children to reach grade 5 (2004) = 45% Adult (over 15 yrs) literacy = 64% Earnings per head = $161 per year (around £100) Life expectancy (2005) = 46 years

Background Malawi is where the first Mary’s Meals project began in 2002, in response to widespread malnutrition and hunger. As poverty affects almost every child in Malawi, so the aim of Mary’s Meals is to reach every primary school in Malawi. Primary education is free in Malawi but poverty prevents many of the 3.2 million school age children from taking up their place.

The first Mary’s Meals projects in Malawi began in Blantyre and have since expanded to cover the entire urban Blantyre area, much of Southern Malawi and new areas of expansion in Northern and Central Malawi. As well as feeding in Primary Schools, we continue to provide Mary’s Meals to 42 Under 6 centres.

A Head Teacher Appreciates Mary’s Meals This letter arrived recently at our office in Malawi:

“I, Alex B Mabedi, head of Nansato (Luctheza) Primary School in Thyolo, on behalf of teachers, learners, chiefs and the community, extend our appreciation to Mary’s Meals Malawi for the assistance you have rendered to us in the year 2008. You provided us with Likuni Phala throughout the year from January to December. The provision of Likuni Phala was not during lessons only, but also during holidays. It has assisted many ways including the following: 1. It has reduced dropout rate of learners and has attracted those drop outs to rejoin school evidenced by the increase in enrolment.

2. It has assisted the school to perform better in national examinations (Maneb exams-P.S.L.C.E) because STD 8 pupils were attending lessons throughout the year including during holidays.

3. As Likuni Phala is nutritious, it has helped to improve pupil’s health. We, at Nansato L.E.A School, would like to thank you Mary’s Meals Malawi for the job you have done and continue doing, we therefore ask you to continue supplying Likuni Phala to Nansato so that the quality of education at Nansato should continue developing.”

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Did you know that Mary’s Meals Malawi have their very own ‘Florence Nightingale?’

Malawi Blog site: You can read about Malawi and Mary’s Meals via the blog by Andrew Parker, Mary’s Meals Project Officer Mary's Meals in Malawi: http://marysmealsinmalawi. wordpress.com/

Meet Eunice Ghambi, SRN affectionately known as “AMAMA” (Mother) who is employed by Mary’s Meals Malawi to keep an eye on the 4000 needy and orphaned children in our under six feeding centers. With her motherly touch, she helps improve their quality of life. Eunice visits two or three under six centers almost everyday (distance and conditions permitting), for; medication, supervision or follow-up on special cases. Sometimes Eunice’s trained eye will just be there to spot a child not feeding or isolated from his friends – in which case she will probe and investigate home circumstances. Here are some examples of situations where Eunice’s intervention has made a big difference to the lives of suffering children: Alinafe and Ayetao, 3 year old twins who regularly visit our Ndirande Parish center came to us malnourished, with scabies and mumps. Although both parents are alive, they were brought to our center by neighbours where they were given clothing and bathed. Both children were treated by Eunice. They improved within four days. Gamezio Katembo has a deformity of the left leg due to the mal-union of fractured Tibia and Fibula – he is 13 years old. He was taken to Kachere Rehabilitation center which Eunice was able to arrange, and then to the Orthopaedic center at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for new shoes! Correct shoes were purchased and fitted. He is now walking comfortably and even plays football….. new shoes will be needed soon! Chisomo is a ten year old boy from Bangwe Parish and is unable to walk. He had always been carried on his fathers back since his mother died. A wheelchair was soon provided for Chisomo and thanks to this gift he is able to move freely to and from school.

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sudan children fed = 2500 Background Sudan suffered from 2 decades of civil conflict between the mainly Muslim north and the Animist and Christian South. A peace agreement was signed in 2005 that granted the southern region autonomy pending an independence referendum to be held in 2011. Meanwhile fighting broke out in the western region of Darfur, This conflict is believed to have displaced nearly 2 million people and cost the lives of an estimated 1.5 million. Peacekeeping forces are struggling and the instability has spread into neighbouring countries. The conflict has made providing help to the suffering people very difficult. We are currently providing Mary’s Meals to 2500 children in Yirol in southern Sudan and 166 children in Khartoum.

The Story of Majer “This year I have been impressed by the story of a boy called Majer. He was given this name because even as a small boy he was as strong as iron. Majer means iron. I think he is still very strong. Majer suffered from polio and has to drag himself from place to place as his legs do not support his body. His village is about 8 km from the school. Day after day I would see him dragging himself all the way to school. How long did it take him? His only complaint was the torment of returning home with an empty stomach. This year, thanks to Mary’s Meals, we had food every day and for Majer that particular torment was over. Majer’s school mates wanted to do something for him. They collected money for a wheelchair. I was able to add a little to make up the amount needed. Yesterday Majer was given his new means of transport.

Population = 37 million Poverty is widespread in Sudan. UNDP’s 2006 Human Development Report ranked the country 141st among 177 countries Internally displaced people = 4 million Proportion of children under 5 who are underweight = 41% Proportion of children to complete primary education = less than 20% Life expectancy (2005) = 58 years

statistics: UNICEF, UNDP

How beautiful it was to see him so happy. He really deserved it having scored the top marks in his class! “

photo: www.chrisleslie.co.uk

Fr Jose Javier Parlade, Project Leader, Yirol, S outh Sudan. Fr Parlade has worked in Sudan for the last 39 years.

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haiti children fed = 14770 Background We have been working in Haiti since 2006. Our two main partners are Caritas and Hands Together. We are working with Caritas to provide 3 000 children with Mary’s Meals in schools in the Central Plateau area around Hinche. Through Hands Together we provide over 9 000 children with Mary’s Meals at two locations; Cite Soleil and Gonaives.

Population = 9.4 million Population on less than a dollar a day = 54%

Cite Soleil is the notorious slum shanty town on the outskirts of Haiti’s capital Port au Prince. It is home to nearly half a million people. They live on what is really a huge rubbish dump in tiny ramshackle huts made of rusting corrugated iron. It is controlled by armed gangs

Less than 2% of children will finish secondary school and only just over half of all primary school age children are enrolled in school.

Thanks to the dedication of Fr Tom Hagan, an American Priest who has spent many years amongst the poor of Haiti we are able to work with the local communities in Cite Soleil. The 8 schools here are like oases of peace and order amidst the chaos of this place.

Proportion of children under 5 who are underweight = 22% Life expectancy = 60 years

News from Hinche, Central Plateau, Haiti Since September 2007, the Mary’s Meal School Feeding Program, has been a God-sent presence in the Higher Central Plateau, Hinche- Haiti. It is the only one of its kind in this region of the country. With this program numerous indigent children are provided one hot meal a day.

statistics: UNICEF, UNDP

During the aftermath of the hurricanes that struck in September, the Mary’s Meals school feeding program was even more important in the eyes of the community, especially the very impoverished. The majority of the children who benefit come from families with very little incomes. For many of them, the only guaranteed daily meal is the one that they receive at lunch. Mary’s Meals has become an integral part of the community, providing an opportunity for parents and neighbors to gather together. Whole communities have come together and invested themselves wholeheartedly for the success of the program. Parents of the impoverished children and other community members volunteer their time to cook the meals provided to their children during lunch.

Through their active participation, these parents and other community members are empowered with an avenue to combat their poverty and directly contribute to the well-being and future of their children. Additionally, not only are their children being given a hot meal, but this is also an opportunity for the volunteers to have a hot meal themselves. Thus the Mary’s Meal program has become essential to the safety of many children from poor families.

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romania children fed = 20 Population = 20 million The poverty rate among children is particularly high at 25% (more than 1 million) with 8% (over 350,000) living in severe poverty.

Background Ibi Ungur, who looks after our projects in Romania, came and stayed with us for a few days and found time to visit our Glasgow office and warehouse where she spoke to the staff and volunteers and gave them news from Romania. The dream of helping the Hill Street Roma community by establishing a nursery has been made real through the Ioana Centre. Mary’s Meals are provided to around 20 children. The idea was that the regular meal would ensure parents sent their little children every day. It was also a way of trying to involve parents, who are unlikely to have attended school themselves, in the education of their children.

Poverty among Roma children is three times higher than among the majority population.

It was hoped that by introducing pre-school age children to nursery schooling it would be more likely they would attend primary school. Roma children often do not take up their places in the education system. It seems this project has been successful on all counts as Ibi explains:

Proportion of children under 5 who are underweight = 3%

“This year 10 children were integrated into primary school. It looks like they are doing much better and will not abandon school. This project has brought change in the Gypsy community in regards to attitude towards education, hygiene and relations in the family. I think it is an example of good practices and is a method of enriching the gypsy quality of life.”

photo: www.chrisleslie.co.uk

statistics: UNICEF, UNDP

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philippines

Population = 86 million Population on less than a dollar a day = 15% Proportion of children under 5 who are underweight = 28% Life expectancy = 71 years statistics: UNICEF, UNDP

children fed = 750

Background Mary's Meals are given to the street children of Dumaguete City and to 600 malnourished pupils from three different Elementary Schools located in poor areas of the city. Three times a week parent/volunteers cook and serve nutritious meals to these children. This feeding program is coordinated by the indefatigable Viriginia Villahermosa from the Medjugorje Peace Center Apostolate of Dumaguete city. Visa applications permitting we are all looking forward to seeing Viriginia at the Mary’s Meals Conference in Medjugorje in June this year. But, if you can’t wait till June you can at least ‘meet’ Virginia and her team through the latest film clip from the Philippines.

You can watch the film below by clicking on the play button. Or view online - http://www.marysmeals.org/short_films.html

Did you know that: You can watch a selection of films about Mary’s Meals on the special Mary’s Meals YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user /marysmeals

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liberia children fed = 1500 Background Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita gross domestic product of US$135.

Liberia currently stands as the sixth worst country in the world for hunger. The challenges facing the country after civil war (which ended in 2003) are enormous. These factors exacerbate the low school enrolment, high drop-out rates, especially among girls, and high rates of illiteracy.

Mary’s Meals Food insecurity is widespread. 64 percent of the population are poor. The child mortality rate is among the five highest in the world. 39 percent prevalence of chronic malnutrition in children under 5 is reaching critical levels.

We have been working in Liberia for over ten years, and introduced Mary’s Meals in 2004, shortly after the end of the civil war that had devastated the country, including the education system. The war forced children into becoming soldiers during the conflict which has left a devastating legacy for their lives and the country. It is a priority for us to provide school meals for children in schools in Tubmanburg (also known locally as Bomi Hills) in the west of the country, and in the surrounding villages and region. It is a privilege for us to have worked alongside the local people of Liberia and Fr Garry Jenkins, a priest who has risked his life to help the Bomi community. We have now established an office in Tubmanburg and with our Country Director, Liesbeth Glas, deliver a variety of projects including; St Benedict’s Techinical School, the Oscar Romero residential school for deaf children and a health clinic in the remote Belleh District. The main focus of our work remains getting children back in to school by offering them Mary’s Meals. Click here Find out how you can help through Sponsor A School

Liberia’s 2008–2011 Poverty Reduction Strategy recognizes school feeding as essential for expanding access to education World Food Programme Development Project in Liberia. http://www.wfp.org /eb/docs/2008/wfp176808~ 2.pdf

New Project in Liberia – A Clinic for Belleh. Mary’s Meals/SIR first got involved in Liberia during the 1990 civil conflict by supporting a mobile health service that operated in Bomi and Grand Cape counties at a time when there were little, if any, alternative sources of health care. Thankfully over the last few years, Liberia has enjoyed peace once again and the resilient people are rebuilding their communities. In Bomi Hills (Tubmanberg) where St Luke’s clinic is based, the government-run hospital is functioning again and there are more opportunities for the local people to access health care.

Mary’s Meal/SIR have been asked by our friends in Liberia to scale back on our support for St Lukes and instead help them to set up a health post in Belleh District, Gbarpolu County. This is a remote area where the nearest hospital is a 10-12 hour walk through the bush. One of the main services the health post would offer is support to Traditional Birth Attendants. Liberia Blog site: Our projects in Liberia are coordinated by Liesbeth Glas. Read more about why this clinic is needed through Liesbeth’s blog: http://marysmealsinliberia. wordpress.com/

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At present a woman experiencing labour complications has to be carried in a hammock along bush paths if she wants to receive medical help. To set this health post up - staff, train and equip - will cost around £10,333 per annum. We have no doubt about the need for this project and the difference it will make to this isolated community and so have said a big, ‘yes’ , to this request from our Liberian friends.

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photo: John Beechcing

fundraising news

We b elieve in the willingness of people to give freely of thei r money and goods to those living in poverty and so we aim to provide a variety of effecti ve ways in which they can do this. Extract from Mary's Meals & SIR Statement of Values

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sponsor a school now on offer in Liberia All Sponsors receive: - An information pack on the programme and their school when they join the scheme. - Photos of the school and their sponsor sign when they reach their target.

Sponsors who choose to fundraise to cover the feeding costs at a school receive: - An annual update on the Mary’s Meals project at that school.

Many of you will have heard about our Sponsor A School scheme (formerly called School Assignment!) Up until now we have only offered Sponsor A School in Malawi so we are delighted that this year the scheme includes schools in Liberia too. Malawi Sponsors can fundraise to: - Build and equip a school kitchen (£7 000) - Cover the annual cost of providing Mary’s Meals in a school (£6.15 per pupil) - Build and equip a school kitchen + cover the annual feeding costs (£7 000 + £6.15 per pupil)

Liberia Sponsors can fundraise to: - Cover the annual cost of providing Mary’s Meals in a school (average total cost = £6 000) (There are no kitchen building costs to cover in Liberia because resources are more plentiful and the local community donate their time to build the simple structures that act as kitchens here)

photo: www.chrisleslie.co.uk

Sponsor A School is proving very popular with Mary’s Meals supporters. All sorts of people and groups have participated parishes, businesses, families, work colleagues, schools. They have all enjoyed receiving information about a particular school and the set of photos that show the difference their support has made.

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Mary’s Meals in the media “Mary’s Meals is a shining example of a charity encouraging education in the poorest countries by providing food within the school.” UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown

We believe in the willingness of people to respond generously when informed of the needs of those suffering extreme poverty. We strive to communicate those needs on behalf of the poor. Extract from Mary's Meals & SIR Statement of Values

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Daily Telegraph Christmas Appeal We were absolutely delighted that the Daily Telegraph chose Mary’s Meals as one of 3 charities to benefit from their 2008 Christmas Appeal. The coverage was extensive and included articles on our work in; Haiti, Romania, Ukraine and Liberia and a piece by Prime Minister Gordon Brown praising the work of Mary’s Meals. There was also a feature based on an interview with Magnus that explained the story behind Mary’s Meals. As well as raising valuable funds (the total was a fantastic £268 900) the Appeal has done much to raise awareness of Mary’s Meals across the UK. It has already ‘opened doors’ to other fundraising opportunities and gained us many more supporters.

Granada TV In January Granada TV broadcast a news item on the Back Pack project using footage we supplied from Malawi. It incorporated shots filmed in St Peters Primary School in Blackburn who have been faithfully collecting Back Packs for the several years now. Our thanks to the school staff and pupils for their co-operation and to Celia and Peter Burton who have done so much to get things going in this part of the world. We hope the coverage will encourage many other schools to get involved.

Reporting Scotland Those of us lucky enough to live in Scotland were able to view a great piece about Mary’s Meals that was included in the news bulletin on 11 February. It was filmed at the Head Office in Dalmally and painted a very positive picture of the charity.

Austria A recent visit to Austria by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow CEO Mary’s Meals and Milona Von Habsburg, Mary’s Meals Ambassador, sparked off a good deal of media interest. A variety of publications included coverage among them; Krone Zeitung, Zenit, ORF (main Austrian Radio), Radio Stefansdom, Radio Omega, Radio Maria. As a result many more people now about the work of Mary’s Meals.

Pages from the Telegraph: All these articles can still be viewed (as well as a little film they made) at: http://www.marysmeals.org/ telegraph_appeal.html

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news from the global mary’s meals family Mary’s Meals International Family Gathering Just a reminder that the next international conference will take place in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, running from 15th-19th June 2009.

More info from: http://www.marysmeals.org/ latest_news.html

We aim to be open and accountable to all our supporters and those involved in our work. Extract from Mary's Meals & SIR Statement of Values

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Austria There have been a number of individuals and groups in Austria who have supported Mary’s Meals for some time. Now they have decided to take the next step and set up a formal structure. They have embarked on the process of registering as a charity. A recent week long visit and series of talks by Magnus and Mary’s Meals Ambassador, Milona Von Habsburg generated a great deal of media interest that included coverage by: Krone Zeitung, the online newsletter, Zenit and radio station, ORF, Radio Omega and Radio Maria. As a result many more people in Austria now know about Mary’s Meals. Watch this space…..! There is also a website in progress W: www.marysmeal.at

Germany There’s Gold in them Teeth! Mary’s Meals Germany recently received €4,600 from a dentist who, when extracting teeth containing gold fillings, suggested to her patients that they allow her to sell the gold and pass on the revenue to Mary’s Meals…. E: Stephan.scholz@marysmeals.de W: www.marysmeals.de

Ireland The Mary’s Meals Ireland team are looking ahead to another busy year. Their main focus remains churches as they present Mary’s Meals and distribute material in the course of their parish mission work. They are also keen to develop the Back Pack Project further. Magnus will be visiting Ireland to talk at an event in Limerick on 14 March organised by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. E: info@marysmeals.ie www.marysmeals.ie

Italy Thanks to a huge amount of translation work by Augusto Monacelli and his friends the Italian Mary’s Meals website is up and running! Italian publicity material is also being produced and should be available soon. There is also a facility in place that allows people to donate to Mary’s Meals through the Italian Post Office. W: www.marysmeals.it E : info@marysmeals.it

USA Mary’s Meals USA was only set up last year but they have got off to a flying start in 2009. Magnus and Mary’s Meals Ambassador, Milona Von Habsburg, visited earlier this month to do some talks and presentations in Miami, Palm Beach and Chicago. A website is in place with an online donation facility. W: www.marysmealsusa.org E: info@marysmealsusa.org

Wales/Prydau Mary Cymru Wales like Scotland, England and Northern Ireland is a country within the UK. Wales has a population of just over 3 million. It is a country with its own very special culture, language and traditions. Mary’s Meals has been active in Wales since 2006 thanks to efforts of a dedicated band of volunteers led by Geoff and Anne Edge. As the levels of activity and donations have increased over the past year it was decided to appoint a new member of staff as Regional Coordinator. Nick Barton has been appointed in this role and will work with the Regional Advisory Group established by Geoff to develop Mary’s Meals in Wales. We wish Nick every success in his new role. A dedicated webpage will be in place soon that will provide supporters in Wales with news particularly relevant to them. Tel: 01633 420321 Mob: 07824536745 Email: nick.barton@marysmeals.org Skype: nick.barton1marysmeals

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UK News Schools, Back Packs & Mary’s Meals Over 33, 500 Back Packs were sent out in 2008 – more than ever before. Not only schools, but all sorts of community groups took part. We also broke the record in monetary donations received from schools (over £118, 000). It is great to think of so many young people learning about the poverty faced by so many around the world and who are then moved to try and help. Wherever possible, we will provide a speaker, one of our team of volunteer speakers, to visit any school interested in the work of Mary’s Meals. This team of volunteers now stretches from Inverness to London (with a few gaps in between!). And now, in Wales we have Nick Barton heading up fundraising and support for that area.

The visits made by this dedicated and hardworking group of volunteer speakers make such a difference to schools, for whom these talks really make the work of Mary’s Meals come alive. For those schools beyond the reach of our team of speakers, we have an information pack and DVD, which in the absence of a speaker tells about the work that we do and the difference it makes, and includes a useful FAQ section. Looking ahead we intend to start work soon on improving and developing our online schools’ resources available through www.marysmeals.org For more information on the Back Pack Project and Mary’s Meals in Schools please contact: schools@marysmeals.org.

Material Aid gets off to a flying start in 2009 In 2008 the material aid department managed to send out 15 loads to various overseas projects, and we are hoping that in 2009 we will be even busier. We have already managed to get two loads out, the first to Malawi on the 22/01/09, and the second to Liberia on the 5/02/09. The Malawi load consisted only of backpacks, and is due to arrive in our warehouse in Blantyre on 28/03/09. The warehouse in Glasgow was fit to burst as donations of backpacks have been flooding in since we sent the last load of 2008, so we were pleased to get this one away as it gave us room to breathe! The Liberia load was slightly more complicated to organise because as well as the usual items such as backpacks and toiletries, we also had quite a mixture of ‘other items’ to send like bikes, medical supplies and sports equipment. This is due to arrive at the port in Monrovia on the 13/03/09, and will travel up to our project in Tubmanburg about a week or so after arrival. Looking forward we hope to send two loads in quick succession to our projects in Uganda. One to Kampala and one to Masaka. We are still making preparations for this, but it should hopefully be at the end of February or the start of March. If anyone has any questions on the loads that we send, or anything related to material aid please call Stephen on + 44 (0) 141 336 8474 or email at Stephen.cox@marysmeals.org.

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Mary’s Meals One-Day Conference A gathering for supporters from London, Brighton and south east England, will take place on Saturday 14 March at the Cassidy Centre Surrenden Road, Preston Park, Brighton BN1 6PA. The aim of the day will be to bring supporters up to date on the work of Mary’s Meals and how they can help. It will also be a great opportunity for Mary’s Meals supporters in this part of the UK to come together, meet each other and share ideas.

Registration will be from 9.30am for a 10am start. The day will consist of; a talk by Magnus in the morning, input from Imogen Walsh, Schools Coordinator, Geoff Edge and Nick Barton, Mary’s Meals Wales, workshops and a plenary session. The event will finish around 4pm.

The Review Yes, it has finally arrived - the new look Mary’s Meals Review. This is our annual newsletter and we hope you like the new format. If you are on our mailing list you should either have a copy by now or be just about to get one.

Contact us if you are feeling left out! We are always keen to hear from people who are willing to distribute copies in their workplace, church, club…. info@marysmeals.org

Tesco Tesco are interested in developing their support for Mary’s Meals. In 2008 Tesco gave us a grant of £38 000 to build and equip a kitchen at Ntambanyama Primary School in Malawi and to provide Mary’s Meals for the 1700 pupils for 3 years.

The venue can hold 70 and there are still some places left. If you are interested in attending please contact the local organiser, Chris Rooke: cdrmagpie@ntlworld.com The Cassidy Centre is within walking distance from the Preston Park train station on the direct London to Brighton line.

Mary’s Meals International Conference This conference aims to celebrate the work of Mary’s Meals by bringing together supporters and project representatives from around the world. Medjugorje is a place of pilgrimage visited by millions every year. It is also the place that inspired members of the MacFarlane-Barrow family and led to them to set up Scottish International Relief (SIR), a non-denominational charity that reaches out to the poor, particularly through Mary’s Meals. For this reason it seemed appropriate that Medjugorje should be the venue for our international conferences. Mary’s Meals now provides 340 000 children with a daily meal in school in; Malawi, Liberia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Zambia, Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Bosnia, India, Philippines, Burma (Myanmar), Haiti and Bolivia. This remarkable achievement is due to the many people who offer their time, skills, money and prayers in support of the work. We hope this conference will be an opportunity for all of us to meet some of the amazing people involved in Mary’s Meals and to learn from each other. The last such conference was in 2007 and judging from the feedback was a great success. Please visit www.marysmeals.org for the latest information

Now Tesco have given us a grant for £88, 372 spread over 3 years. This will fund new Mary’s Meals projects in Kenya, Thailand and India.

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who we are In case you are reading this without any prior knowledge of the charity and wonder who we are, here is a brief summary Mary’s Meals is a movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hungry block children from gaining an education. This movement is administered by the charity Scottish International Relief (SIR). SIR came into being during the Bosnian conflict in 1992. Two brothers, Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow, were so moved by the scenes on TV that they decided to organize an appeal for blankets and food in their local area, Argyll, Scotland. They quickly gathered a jeep load and joined one of the convoys leaving the UK and delivered the aid to Medjugorje in Bosnia, a place of international pilgrimage they had visited with their family years previously. Believing their good deed done they returned to Scotland expecting to resume their jobs as fish farmers. However they came home to discover the public had carried on donating aid in their absence filling their parents' garage with goods. Magnus decided to give up his job for a year to drive the aid out for as long as the public kept donating. The public did not stop and it soon became necessary to set up a registered charity. The charity began to work in Romania, building homes for abandoned children, and in Liberia, helping returning refugees by setting up mobile clinics, while continuing to deliver material aid to Croatia and Bosnia. In 2002 Magnus met a family in Malawi that led to a whole new area of work. The mother was dying of AIDS and lying on the floor of her hut surrounded by her 6 young children When Magnus asked her oldest son what he hoped for in life, his stark reply was, 'To have enough to eat and to go to school one day," This encounter prompted the campaign, Mary's Meals, that aims to help children like this by providing a meal a day in school. In this way the children are encouraged to gain the education that can lift them out of poverty in later life. This simple but effective idea has gathered momentum and today provides daily meals for over 350 000 of the world’s poorest children. Our headquarters is still situated in the grounds of Craig Lodge, Argyll, but support groups are springing up around the world.

Mary’s Meals HQ at Craig Lodge, Dalmally In Scotland

mary’s meals extra

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our vision Is that all those who have more than they need, share with those who lack even the most basic things, and that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education

Marys Meals is administered through Scottish International Relief A company limited by guarantee. Coy No. SC265941 Registered Charity SCO22140

Craig lodge, Dalmally, Argyll, PA33 1AR Tel: 0800 698 1212 Email: info@marysmeals.org

www.marysmeals.org


MARCH 2009_Issue1_new cover pic_with video