Providing a brighter future for 707 African pupils
At Newman Stewart we live by a strict set of values. Those values not only dictate how we do business with candidates and clients, but also how we conduct ourselves in the wider community. Through our ongoing support of the charity Mary’s Meals, we strive to enrich the lives of youngsters in the poorest parts of Africa, by providing them with food and education so that they have the chance of a brighter future.
Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works – by providing a daily meal in a place of education, chronically poor children are attracted into the classroom where they can gain a basic education. Research shows that schools that serve Mary’s Meals have better attendance and better academic performance.
The school that we sponsor is Mzuzu Primary School, in Mzuzu, Northern Malawi, where we provide vitamin enriched maize porridge to 707 pupils, including Alice.
Higher Enrolment, Better Attendance, Improved Performance
“I know that school is very important for me because I know that if advance with it I will be able to be independent and self-supporting. I would like to thank Mary’s Meals for the food and I am really grateful. I would like to be a nurse so that I will be able to assist sick people when I finish my education.”
–Alice Mwasinga, aged 17, Standard 7, Mzuzu Primary School
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries, with one in four people living in extreme poverty. It is also one of the worst hit by HIV and AIDS. More than a million children in Malawi have been orphaned by the disease.
Malawi was the first country to benefit from Mary’s Meals and it remains the largest programme country. Today, Mary’s Meals are served to 928,551 children in Malawi every school day. With our help, they’re providing meals to 30% of all primary school aged children across the country!
Philip and Eveless’s Stories
Philip, 8, who lives with his grandparents, is one of them. Thanks to the food he receives from Mary’s Meals, Philip is thriving. It gives him plenty of energy to learn and play.
He told us: “I am becoming healthy because I eat the porridge. Phala helps me to work hard in class.”
In Malawi, more than 80% of people are smallholder farmers, who grow the food they eat on small pieces of land and depend on seasonal rains to water their crops.When the country recently suffered the worst drought in 35 years, these farming families were among the worst hit. Rains did not fall, harvests failed and families were left with nothing to eat.
In these troubled times, the guarantee of a daily meal in a place of education became far more than just a powerful incentive to come to school. For children like 12-year-old Eveless, who’s family only harvested two bags of maize last year, it was a vital lifeline.
She told us: “The phala gives me nutrients and makes me healthy and strong. If there was no phala many kids would be weak at school.”
Thankfully, the situation in Malawi is improving, but for many families, Mary’s Meals remains an important safety net, feeding 1,230,171 children in 15 different countries around the world every school day. We are proud to support such a great cause, rooted in our core value to always strive for better, and take inspiration from these children every day.