Emergency relief and aid delivery
The main focus of Mary’s Meals is our school feeding programmes but we also have a long history of providing emergency relief to vulnerable regions around the world.
Mary’s Meals grew out of a response to the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s. Since then we have been involved in emergency relief work in countries including India, Burma, Thailand and Haiti.
Recent Emergency Relief Work
Somalia and Northern Kenya
Most recently, Mary’s Meals responded to the crisis in East Africa, where 10.7 million people were affected by severe food shortages and widespread drought. In Kenya, where we have been feeding children and helping to heal tribal rifts since 2004, we temporarily expanded our operation in the drought-stricken Turkana region to offer emergency feeding to 6,000 more nursery children. In nearby Somalia, we joined forces with our long standing friends in Malawi and a South African charity – Gift of the Givers – to deliver as much emergency food aid as possible to help keep over 40,000 starving people alive.
In 2011, we provided food, material and financial aid to the Mary’s Meals volunteers and their families who lost their homes due to a typhoon. Mary’s Meals also provided food aid in the Negros Oriental region after the earthquake shut down local schools and destroyed homes.
In January 2010 an earthquake ripped through Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. It wrecked the schools in Cite Soleil where we were providing Mary’s Meals to thousands of children living in terrible poverty. Our supporters have been extraordinarily generous and we were able to channel emergency help – food, medical supplies – through our partners within days of the earthquake. The work and rebuilding has now been successfully completed.
We had been working in India for some years when the Tsunami struck in 2004. We focussed our help on a fishing community in Tamil Nadu. As well as the loss of life the tsunami washed away homes and fishing boats leaving families without the means to support themselves. Our appeal raised funds to provide for the community’s immediate needs of food and shelter and we were then able to rebuild homes and purchase new boats.