Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has enjoyed a mug of porridge and a game of football during a visit to a Malawi primary school, where the children eat Mary’s Meals every school day.
Gordon took time out during his holiday in the African country to join community volunteers in serving the nutritious phala (porridge) to the children at Mbinda Primary School in Blantyre. The boys and girls then had lots of energy to enjoy a game of footie with the Scotland international goalkeeper.
Gordon said: “It was great to see the work of Mary’s Meals in action and to meet some of the people who make it possible.
“It’s a very well-run school and a huge amount of phala was made. It tasted good! After that there was time for some ball games which of course I had to join in with!”
Mary’s Meals currently provides 1,425,013 hungry children with daily life-changing school meals in 18 countries around the world, including Malawi, Zambia, South Sudan, Haiti and India.
The meal attracts children in some of the world’s poorest communities to the classroom, giving them the energy and opportunity to gain an education that can one day be their ladder out of poverty.
The programme is supported by an army of kind-hearted volunteers – including more than 80,000 in Malawi alone – who carry out lots of little acts of love on behalf of Mary’s Meals.
Daniel Adams, UK executive director for Mary’s Meals, said: “We are delighted that Craig has been able to see Mary’s Meals in action in Malawi, the country where we began by feeding just 200 children in 2002.
“As Craig has seen, a simple mug of porridge can make a big difference – giving children the energy to concentrate in class and, on this occasion, enjoy a game of football with a Scotland international player! Mary’s Meals gives children the chance to gain an all-important education and to realise their dreams… perhaps even that they too might play football for their country one day.”
Malawi is home to Mary’s Meals’ largest school feeding programme, reaching 32 per cent of primary school aged children across the country. The country remains one of the poorest in the world and faces huge challenges in education, access to healthcare and widespread child malnutrition.
Research shows that in schools where children receive Mary’s Meals, enrolment increases, attendance improves, drop-out rates fall, and children are happier, healthier and do better in class.
To find out more about Mary’s Meals see: www.marysmeals.org.uk
Picture: Craig Gordon meets children at Mbinda Primary School in Blantyre. (Mary’s Meals).