Mary’s Meals, a charity organization that provides daily meals to primary school children in the country, has received a boost as it will be given K5 billion (£5 million) by the UK government.
The additional funding will go towards a three-year project to expand and develop the charity’s existing school feeding programmes in Malawi and Zambia.
Mary’s Meals currently provides more than 1.1 million of the world’s poorest children in 13 countries with a daily meal in school.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary’s Meals founder and chief executive said the funding will ensure thousands more children will benefit from the charity’s programmes.
She said: “Wherever we begin serving Mary’s Meals, more children start attending school every day and children who were previously in school but too hungry to learn become able to concentrate in class.
“While we are delighted that this funding boost will allow us to reach children in these particular districts in Malawi and Zambia, we remain painfully aware that many more are still hungry and out of school, not just in Africa but all over the world.”
UK international development secretary Justine Greening said: “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, 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.