Mary’s Meals talk for Ellon Probus

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At the meeting of Ellon Probus Club on 14 February President David Couzin introduced local husband and wife duo, Paul & Jo Costello.

Paul and Jo gave a detailed and sobering account of the history and work of the Scottish humanitarian charity ‘Mary’s Meals’. This is a small-scale Christian charity initially set up in 1992 to supply aid to Bosnia. In 2002, following the success of the Bosnian operation, ‘Scotland International Relief’ adopted the name ‘Mary’s Meals’ and re-directed its work effort to the setting up of school feeding projects for children in some of the world’s poorest communities.

‘Mary’s Meals’ is based in Argyll, that continues to rely heavily on the dedication of its founder, Magnus MacFarlane- Barrow. The charity operates extensively, in countries such as Haiti, India and the Philippines but predominantly in Africa. In Malawi alone ‘Mary’s Meals’ caters daily for over half a million children, in other countries it is lesser numbers. The message of the charity is simple - come to school and we will provide you with a meal and an education.

The success of Mary’s Meals is dependent on its voluntary involvement of local people, particularly mothers, to cater for the children. Wherever possible foodstuffs are sourced locally, with hardware provided. Administration costs are kept low with 93p per pound going direct to project work.

The vote of thanks was given by Peter Elrick, and next meeting is on 28 February when Graeme Nicol will talk on Aberdeen Incorporated Trades.