Celtic Quick News will be 10 years old next year and to mark the occasion, through Mary’s Meals, we’re going to construct a kitchen and shelter facility at the Kholoni Primary School in Mchinji, Central Malawi, which currently has no food preparation facilities.
A brick-built building, the kitchen will consist of one main cooking area with two small locked storerooms. In one, firewood for the stoves will be kept and, the other will store food and utensils. The kitchen will be fully equipped with stoves, pots, serving equipment, mugs and spoons and the 1221 children will be provided with a daily meal of a vitamin-enriched maize porridge. The kitchen will also have teaching facilities, to allow it to be used as a classroom outside meal times.
17% of people in the world live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day) but there is plenty of good news, the proportion of world living in this condition halved in last 20 years (this was a UN Millennium Development Target). Life expectancy (at birth) of low income people in 1990 was 52, but in 2011 it was 60. Infant mortality dropped by a third during this period and maternal mortality almost halved.
Since humans first walked the earth a significant proportion of them have lived in extreme poverty, but while someone once said, “the poor will always be with us”, for the first time ever the decades ahead could see all of humanity escape from extremely poverty.
Malawi, according to the UN the 17th least developed nation on earth, is one of the world’s extreme poverty front lines, but even here, the trend is encouraging. In 1990 child mortality between 0-5 years was 244 deaths per 1000 live births. By 2000 this had dropped to 174 per 1000. Last year the figure was 71 deaths per 1000 from 0-5 years. The UK passed that figure more than 70 years ago, but the rate of improvement in Malawi is nothing short of incredible. It is fertile ground for the right kind of help.
Mary’s Meals, a Scottish charity established in 2002, feeds 822,142 kids in 16 countries every day. They keep costs low and employ local staff in kitchens, ensuring 93% of money donated reaches those in need, possibly the highest rate of any comparable organisation. It costs £7 for Mary’s Meals to feed a child in Malawi – for a whole year. 20% of Malawi’s children (600k) are fed by the organisation, often their only meal of the day.
In 2012, a sample of 44 schools found that enrolment had increased by 30% two years after the introduction of Mary’s Meals. Academic achievement improves too. The benefit is not just escape from hunger, it is access to education for children who would otherwise have to work for food. It also provides an increase in productivity and economic capacity when the children enter the workforce.
CQteN St Patrick’s Day Party
The kitchen will cost £7000 and I’ve told Mary’s Meals we’ll raise enough money by St Patrick’s Day, which gives us three months. We have a lot of work to do but the focal point will be the CQteN Dinner on Friday, 14 March 2014, which will be the biggest and best St Patrick’s Day Party in Scotland.
We’ve hired the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park. Tickets are available for £50, tables of 10 are also available. To reserve a ticket or table email me, email@example.com. The event has been discussed in the comments section for some weeks without a formal launch and we quickly sold out the smaller capacity of the Kerrydale Suite. We have now taken the entire suite so additional tickets are available.
Between now and then there will be the odd auction to help us along, and we will continue to support the work of the Celtic Foundation (who have a Children’s Hospice Association Scotland auction on now), the Kano Foundation, and the many needy causes a lot closer to home than Malawi.
The UN are currently considering Development Targets for 2030, with the eradication of extreme poverty likely to feature. Poverty is a complex subject, so even after 2000 years development, we know there will always be comparative poverty, but within our Generation of Domination, extreme poverty, less than $1.25 per day existence, could be eradicated.
There is no more appropriate way to mark the 10th anniversary of the blog. This will be our payback for all the hours, days, weeks and months of pleasure (and toil) we’ve gotten out of the these pages over the years. Put 14th March 2014 in your diary, we’re having THE St Patrick’s Day party!
For more information on Mary’s Meals take a look at the video below:
Get your CQN Annual below. From now on £5 from every Annual sold will go to the CQN Malawi School Kitchen appeal.