From Hollywood to Haiti – Gerard Butler reaches out with Mary’s Meals

Gerard Butler talks to Momolu in Liberia as part of a visit to Mary's Meals projects. Photograph: Chris Watt.

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Gerard Butler with Mary’s Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow in Liberia. Photograph: Chris Watt.

Scottish actor Gerard Butler features in a new film about Dalmally-based global charity Mary’s Meals.

Love Reaches Everywhere follows the Hollywood star as he travels to Liberia and Haiti with the founder of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.

In the film Butler says: ‘Going on this journey hit me from so many different angles – emotional, spiritual and physical.

‘I make movies about heroes, but often they’re in big, over-the-top settings… and then you go to Liberia and Haiti and you see that the teachers in the schools are heroes, and the kids that come here on empty stomachs every day to get an education are all heroes too.

‘Every meal served by Mary’s Meals is a piece of charity and a little piece of love. And that all passes down into the families and communities and gives that sense of hope.

Wisler and Victoria in Haiti.

Mary’s Meals usually serves its nutritious meals in schools, attracting impoverished children to the classroom where they can gain an education that will one day be their ladder out of poverty.

‘It’s the difference between a kid saying, ‘I want to survive tomorrow’ and ‘I want to be a doctor,’ added Butler.

Love Reaches Everywhere was filmed before the Covid-19 pandemic caused schools across the globe to close. The charity has been quick to adapt, working with governments and local communities to ensure families can continue to
feed their children at home.

Despite the significant challenges caused by the pandemic, Mary’s Meals is still reaching almost all the children who rely on its meals – sometimes the only food they receive in a day.

Parents have been invited to collect emergency food parcels from schools, maintaining social distancing and hand washing as part of the collection process. A carefully constructed plan to provide food for the children the charity usually feeds in Liberia is also in place.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said: ‘As a charity that is committed to feeding children in some of the world’s poorest communities, it is more important than ever for Mary’s Meals to keep its promise and support those children by delivering food to them in their
communities and homes, which are their new places of education.

‘By sharing his experiences with Mary’s Meals through this film, Gerry is helping us to shine a spotlight on the children we feed and ensure their voices aren’t lost.

‘It was a great joy to travel with him to Haiti and Liberia and we are profoundly grateful to him for his invaluable support.’

The 30-minute film can be viewed on the charity’s website –  marysmeals.org.uk/lovereacheseverywhere