Mary’s Meals brings hope to crisis-struck Yemen

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A charity founded in a Dalmally shed is bringing hope and daily meals to 4,000 children in Yemen.

Mary’s Meals has announced it is now working in its 20th country, serving up nutritious food to schoolchildren affected by one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises.

Yemen in the Middle East has been devastated by conflict for several years, hitting the economy hard and causing high levels of poverty and food insecurity.

Approximately 21 million people, about 70 per cent of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance – this includes more than 11 million children.

Millions of people have fled homes in search of safety and many children are malnourished. Since the conflict began in 2015, the number of school-age children not in education has doubled with many having to work to survive.

Malawi, Haiti, Ethiopia, Syria and South Sudan are just some of the world’s poorest countries where Mary’s Meals already provides daily meals, helping attract hungry children to the classroom.

Mary’s Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said: ‘Mary’s Meals always has a desire to support those in the greatest need. Given that Yemen can be described as the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, and so many children are suffering, we are delighted to begin serving our daily school meals there – meeting the immediate need of the hungry child and, crucially, at the same time, enabling their education.’

In Yemen, the charity is serving pitta bread sandwiches, filled with various ingredients to suit local tastes alongside fruit and vegetables, to more than 4,000 children at four schools every school day.

The charity is working in partnership with established international non-governmental organisation  Yemen Aid to reach children living in the Al Mansoora district of Aden, an area home to a large number of internally displaced people and other marginalised populations all experiencing high levels of hunger.

Mary’s Meals began in 2002 by feeding 200 children in Malawi. It now reaches more than two million children every school day in 20 countries around the world.

The charity now reaching out to more than two million children every school day is currently running a match funding campaign called Double The Love. Donations made until  January 31 are being doubled by a group of generous supporters with up to £1.6 million available.

Magnus added: ‘Feeding children in Yemen is an important moment in our mission but we are always thinking of the next child waiting for our nutritious meals. That’s why I’m so pleased that donations made to Mary’s Meals this winter are being doubled by a group of generous supporters – meaning we can reach even more hungry children around the world with a life-changing meal at school.’

For more information on the work of Mary’s Meals and to donate to Double The Love, please visit marysmeals.org.uk