Ten years later, in 2002, MacFarlane-Barrow travelled to Malawi for the first time, to assist with famine relief. He met a woman dying of an Aids-related illness whose 14-year-old son told him that his one wish in life was to have enough food to eat, and to go to school one day. That encounter sparked Scottish International Relief’s evolution into a new school-based feeding operation, which MacFarlane-Barrow, a devout Catholic, named Mary’s Meals.
The charity now provides for children in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, at an average cost of £12.20 per child, per year. ‘I think the reason we have got so far is that we’ve found something that really works,’ MacFarlane-Barrow says. ‘It’s so simple. And it’s also been successful because it is the community who own this – they are in charge of providing volunteers to cook the food, and supervising it.’
To feed the hungry? And as one authority had it, what you do to the little children you do unto me.
A bonzer plan there, entirely bonzer.