Annie Lennox makes urgent appeal for Mary’s Meals

Annie Lennox calls for people to help feed hungry children this Christmas by supporting Mary’s Meals. 

Back to all stories | Posted on 9 December 20 in NewsBlogFundraising

Renowned Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox has gifted the use of her song ‘Universal Child’ to Mary’s Meals, and has urged people to make a donation this Christmas.

She said: “For many years now, I’ve been supporting the outstanding work Mary’s Meals does in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

The song features in a beautiful new video in which you will also hear from Amina Swedi, our Country Director for Kenya, as she shares an insight into the challenges and achievements of the last few months.

In Kenya, children who usually eat Mary’s Meals at school are currently receiving take-home rations as part of our Covid-19 respose. However, under current government plans, there is hope that schools will reopen in early January. 

Incredibly, this will not only see the return of in-school feeding for more than 66,000 children who were receiving daily meals before the closures. An additional 7,000 children in Turkana, who began eating Mary's Meals for the first time during the country’s lockdown, will continue receiving meals at school.

Amina Swedi, Country Director for Mary's Meals KenyaAmina shared some of the challenges and achievements of the last few months: 

“This year has brought immense challenges to the communities we serve and everyone who works so hard to make the school feeding programme happen. There was a lot of confusion and sadness at the start of the pandemic, especially for parents and guardians whose children depend on food from Mary’s Meals as their only meal in a day. We witnessed their relief when we were able to quickly adapt our programme to provide take-home rations for their children.   

“The team worked around the clock to ensure the distribution exercise was well coordinated and anchored on the community-led approach. The distribution was led by community volunteers in support of our school feeding officers, who did a wonderful job in managing crowds and ensuring that all beneficiaries were reached. 

“It wasn’t always straightforward, but we were determined to reach all the children. For example, as result of the lockdown and the borders being closed, one of the communities we support was raided by cattle rustlers from a neighbouring country, forcing families to flee to a safe location. In a bid to keep our promise, we worked closely with village authorities to locate the families and ensure that their children were fed.  

Children in Kenya are continuing to receive Mary's Meals despite school closures due to Covid-19“People feel assured of our commitment to the community. They understand that the child is the centre of the programme and that community involvement and ownership is at the heart of Mary’s Meals. 

“Owing to the level of illiteracy and poverty in Turkana, our partnership with the Ministry of Health created a much-needed platform for awareness raising on Covid-19. Most of the population do not have technology to help relay Covid-19 precautionary guidelines. Our collaboration brought the teachings to their doorstep and now we can see communities taking precautionary measures as advised by WHO and the Ministry of Health. 

“The meals we provide are essential to keep children from remote and vulnerable communities happy and healthy and so, no matter what, our work to reach them won’t stop. When schools do reopen, we’ll be there with communities helping to serve our meals again, in school, safely. Until then, we’ll keep providing home rations so the children don’t go hungry.” 

Make a donation today and help us feed more hungry children, in Kenya, and around the world.