Tom and Mary Lynn Moser, Directors on the Board of Mary’s Meals USA, report on their recent trip to Malawi where they saw Mary’s Meals providing meals and hope to children.
Tom Moser is a retired vice chairman of a global accounting firm and Mary Lynn Moser is a retired executive of a global banking institution. They learnt about Mary’s Meals from the CNN Heroes telecast in 2010, and then visited the charity’s founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow in Scotland to find out more.
Five schools in three days! What a wonderful opportunity for us to see Mary’s Meals in action. We’ll always remember three things the most…
First, the “seas” of Mary’s Meals blue mugs. The children treasure them and many wear them on cords around their necks, or tie them to their clothing, so they don’t lose them.
Also, the enthusiastic volunteers, who arrived very early in the morning to cook and serve the porridge, some with babies bundled up on their backs. They are so committed.
And, all those great, high-energy little children, with the biggest smiles.
Malawi is called “the warm heart of Africa”. We could see why when we visited the children… they were so friendly, so outgoing – yet polite – and so very happy when their turns come to receive their mug of porridge!
We know there are impressive statistics to show higher enrolments, attendance, and school performance after Mary’s Meals adds a school to its programme. Let us add anecdotal feedback.
As we rode along the narrow, dusty “roads” of Malawi and saw children who were not in school, we didn’t see those big smiles and energy levels we saw at the schools. That’s where we were reminded of the sad overall statistics that Mary’s Meals is trying to help overcome. There are so many more children who need that daily meal and the hope it brings.
We saw also the dramatic difference in the temporary kitchen straw shelters at some schools, and the permanent kitchen shelters, made out of brick, at others.
We visited the company that processes the likuni phala meal mix which is purchased by Mary’s Meals to support the local economy.
And we met those tremendously dedicated, bright and energetic Mary’s Meals staff professionals in Malawi who were small in numbers, but large in results. A wonderful group of people!
We wish all donors and potential donors could see what we saw. We were Mary’s Meals believers already, but this took it to another level. It is all so well conceived and well operated, so impressive, so impactful.
So far, around 550,000 children in this beautiful but impoverished country have hope and opportunity from that nutritious daily mug of porridge. Amazing!