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From Dalmally To Malawi

Join our journey From Dalmally To Malawi this June

Be inspired by the Mary’s Meals story and help us to feed hungry children like Flora

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On 1 June, our active challenge, From Dalmally To Malawi, begins! Look no further as we tell you all you need to know about Dalmally, Malawi and how your miles will help Mary’s Meals feed hungry children.

This virtual journey will take us from Dalmally, the village in the Highlands of Scotland where Mary’s Meals was founded, to Malawi, where we served our first life-changing school meals. Watch a recap of last year's journey below!

Before Mary’s Meals, a charity called Scottish International Relief (SIR) was set up after Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow and his brother Fergus took aid from their home in Dalmally to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, during the conflict in 1992.

The amazing generosity of the people of Dalmally, who diligently donated food, blankets and other items of aid, which were then stored in the family shed, helped SIR to grow and support people in need across the world. That same shed still serves as the global headquarters of Mary’s Meals to this day.

Mary's Meals founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow standing outside The Shed, the global HQ of Mary's Meals.

In 2002 SIR became Mary’s Meals. Magnus visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying of AIDS. When Magnus asked her eldest son Edward what his dreams were in life, he replied simply: “I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”

That moment was a key part of the inspiration which led to the founding of Mary’s Meals, which began by feeding just 200 children in Malawi in 2002. Today, we feed more than 2.4 million hungry children every school day across 17 countries.

And that’s why our virtual journey begins in Dalmally and ends in Malawi. We’ll retrace the steps of the Mary’s Meals story as our supporters travel a cumulative 7,000 miles via London, Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and more!

A young girl, Flora, sits in her wheelchair, while her friend Olive is next to her

Your miles will help Mary’s Meals feed children like Flora, 13. She is a pupil at Chipini Primary School in Malawi, one of the schools where we first began our school feeding programme 22 years ago. As the eldest of four children in a household with minimal income, Flora often goes without eating at home.

Flora is also a wheelchair user and says that without the free meal at school, she would struggle to find the strength to keep coming to class. She says: “Maybe yesterday I didn’t eat supper, but I can come here and have porridge. That is what gives me the courage to go to class and continue learning.”

By taking part in From Dalmally To Malawi and asking your friends and family for sponsorship, children like Flora can continue to enjoy their serving of Mary’s Meals every school day, setting them up for a better future. Every mile counts towards Malawi, just as those of the parishioners of St John the Baptist & St Kentigern RC Parish did during the inaugural From Dalmally To Malawi challenge last year.

Supporters getting photographed on top of Easter Craiglockhart Hill Edinburgh while wearing blue Mary's Meals t-shirts

This incredible group of 15 supporters took on the challenge by hiking The Seven Hills of Edinburgh, walking over 25 kilometres and climbing more than 700 metres to reach summits at the likes of Arthur’s Seat, Castle Rock and Calton Hill. Each member asked friends, family and fellow parishioners to sponsor them, and by the end of the challenge, they were able to give an incredible £5,552.20 donation for Mary’s Meals.

You can follow in the footsteps of the parishioners of St John the Baptist & St Kentigern RC Parish by joining us this June and helping to write the next chapter in the Mary's Meals story! Simply decide how many miles you want to cover, set up a fundraiser and ask your friends and family for sponsorship. The money you raise will help to feed hungry children living in the world’s poorest countries, like Flora.

You can take part in any way you choose – walk, run or swim, it’s up to you! Sign up today and get a free Mary's Meals tote bag!*

Fancy a challenge? This year we have a number of unique challenges you can take part in during the From Dalmally To Malawi campaign. Here are all the different ways you can add your miles this June!

*terms and conditions apply

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