Star sisters act to ‘double the love’ for Mary’s Meals

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Film stars Emma and Sophie Thompson are taking centre stage for Mary’s Meals’ ‘Double The Love’ campaign, where every donation to the Argyll charity before the end of January will be doubled, thanks to a generous £1.6 million donation.

In countries across the world, the Dalmally-based charity provides one daily meal in a place of learning in order to attract chronically poor children into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

‘We have been enormously moved by the stories of the children who eat Mary’s Meals,’ said the Thompson sisters, who have starred together in the Harry Potter franchise.

‘Children like 11-year-old Failo, whose life is in some ways no different to that of children living here in Argyll and Bute. He enjoys playing football with his friends and, in class, loves reading and writing best.

Failo depends on his daily serving of Mary’s Meals at school.

‘But his life can be very hard. He lives in a rural village in Zambia where there is no electricity, and his windowless home is made from mud bricks. Food is scarce and Failo relies on a serving of porridge from Mary’s Meals each morning in school – often his first meal of the day.

‘More than two million children in 20 countries eat Mary’s Meals every school day. The food attracts them into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

‘Until January 31, donations made to this wonderful charity’s Double The Love campaign will be matched by a group of generous supporters, up to £1.6 million – meaning even more little ones will receive a nutritious meal at school. We hope readers will visit to donate.’

The Mary’s Meals campaign was born in 2002, when Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying from AIDS. When Magnus asked her eldest son, Edward, what his dreams were in life, he replied simply: ‘I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.’

Mary’s Meals now feeds more than two million children every school day in 20 countries: Yemen, Malawi, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Kenya, India, South Sudan, Niger, Uganda, Ethiopia, Benin, Lebanon, Syria, Myanmar, Thailand, Ecuador, Madagascar and Romania.

The average global cost to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year is just £15.90.