by Simon Duke
ROTARY Clubs in Scotland, led by Duns Rotary, have recently completed a project that has delivered two pickup trucks to support Mary’s Meals much needed school feeding programme in Liberia.
The project involved 17 Rotary clubs and district Rotary personnel from Scotland, The Rotary Club of Sinkor (Liberia), Rotary International (US) and Mary’s Meals collaborating to raise money and utilise the new Rotary Global Matching Grant facilities to raise $48000.
Duns Rotary has been working in support of Mary’s Meals for the past three years and only last year they donated funding to the cause to fund the building of a kitchen at a school in Kabango, Malawi.
Their fundraising for this project co-incided with various changes in Rotary organisations and an increased awareness within the Rotary of Mary’s Meals work which created a platform to encourage the various parties to work together to help with the school feeding programme.
When asked, Mary’s Meals identified that they needed help in Liberia where they provide a nutritious daily meal for approximately 24,000 children in 108 schools. The Mary’s Meals approach is based on the premis of providing a child with a free meal at school; in doing so the child has better concentration, attends school on a regular basis and receives a better education.
Over time this approach will help children escape from poverty and unfortunately youngsters who do not benefit from this approach are often left begging for food. Mary’s Meals needed help in Liberia particularly as two of their three vehicles were close to the end of their serviceable life.
One was 22 years old, leaking oil and was only capable of doing up to 20mph. The other was 18 years old and in constant need of repair.
Thanks to funding from the Rotary clubs, the Mary’s Meals Liberia project has provided a brand new Izusu Pickup and a second hand Mitsubishi Pickup and a fund to help ensure to keep the vehicles on the road.
Mary’s Meals are delighted with the support they have received and the fact that the pickups are in action. The increased reliability of the support vehicles will enable them to expand the school feeding programme. They are looking to include a further 6000 children in the programme within the next 18 months.
The project was led by Jeff Abbott from Duns Rotary, who said: “It’s been a challenge, but a fantastic one, to pull together this project that makes such a difference to so many children. I am so grateful for all the support from all the Rotary Clubs and the various people involved throughout the process.
“Mary’s Meals is a great charity and will make the best possible use of the support from Rotary.”