COWDENBEATH Rotary Club members have decided to make a donation which will feed 11 children in the Third World for a year.

That was after hearing from John Helliwell, from Mary’s Meals, at Thursday’s meeting, how the Argyll-based organisation feed 2,429,182 children every day in countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

Set up by fish farmer, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, some years ago, Mary’s Meals serves food to children living in some of the world’s poorest countries with the plan being to provide a good nutritious meal daily, which plays its part in attracting hungry children into the classroom and give them hope for a better future.

Linlithgow-based John Helliwell promotes the work of the organisation in the Fife and East of Scotland area, and he explained that Magnus took the decision to help children in countries such as Malawi, after regularly taking a variety of desperately needed supplies to the war torn Balkans, in the late 1990s.

John said: “Magnus spent days, weeks and months taking supplies to Bosnia, at a critical time during the problems in the area, and when that was over he learned about the poverty issues in parts of Africa and wanted to do something to help children facing hunger.

“He spent time in Malawi and discovered the desperate hunger children were facing, and wanted to do something about it. He started to gather food items at his base in Argyll and saw them taken to Africa to be distributed to youngsters attending school, and it had the impact of ensuring that children who wanted to be educated received a meal.

“Things grew very quickly and amazing support from the public has helped Magnus establish something that is making a difference in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

John explained that a nourishing meal starts the day for the children and that often is their only one of the day, but added: “The key aspect is that a child can be fed each day of the year for a total cost of £19.15, and each day Mary’s Meals ensures that over two million children are fed at their school.

“Malawi is a country which sees a lot of children benefit from Mary’s Meals and the organisation gets a lot of support from within the countries that are benefitting, and in the UK we have received a lot of backing from rotary clubs for which we are very grateful.”

On hearing John’s comments the Cowdenbeath members took the decision to donate £200 to Mary’s Meals, which in effect will feed 11 children for 12 months.