Sounds like an extremely good use of £12

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.

47 comments on “Sounds like an extremely good use of £12

  1. Remarkable. It’s almost as if you don’t need a huge metropolitan central bureaucracy to manage the donations.

  2. Ridiculous! Feeding the poor is a waste of time if they’re going to be a tad inconvenienced by global warming (or not) in a few decades time. Far better to keep them poor by denying them cheap energy as the likes of Oxfam and many churches are trying to do.

  3. “…his one wish in life was to have enough food to eat, and to go to school one day. “

    Isn’t that TWO wishes..?

  4. As a Catholic who gnashes his teeth at CAFOD (think Oxfam with layers of added sanctimony, if that is possible) I cannot speak highly enough of Mary’s Meals.

    Modern ‘Catholic’ charities are so busy “working with people of all faiths and none” they are nothing more than lefty agitators, never lowering themselves to be named after a saint or anything base like that. The people of Mary’s Meals get on with living their faith and DOING SOME GOOD.

  5. The chief reason foe Africa’s poverty and difficulties are statism in general and socialism in particular. South Korea and other nations have built themselves from poverty to prosperity in less time than has elapsed since African states were released from colonial rule in the 60s. Many of them started with an reasonable economic base and every prospect for self-improvement. Things are improving somewhat –but not much compared to the Far East.

  6. Ironman/Dr Cromarty

    Yes, fantastic charity. I’ve done a few days voluntary work with them and intend to do more.

  7. Just tried to find them with Charities Aid Foundation website but couldn’t. Any idea how to give to them via GAYE?

  8. As a staunch anti-catholic who believes the church is (at least used to be) one of the most destructive forces mankind has ever invented, this charity gets a wodge of my wonga every year. I don’t believe you can actually feed a child for £12 a year (I’d like to see that spelled out a bit more clearly) but there is no evidence of 40% overheads consisting of first-class flights to five star hotels at poverty congresses.

  9. The “feeding” is a plate of mealie meal. Roughly, maize porridge with something else in it. Nuts, lentils, summat.

    It’s back to that point I keep making about food for the truly poor. It’s a whacking bowl of whatever’s the cheap carbohydrate in whatever society.

  10. Had the local Christian Aid woman round today. Are they a good or bad charity can anyone tell me, before I walk round with an envelope full of crisp oncers?

  11. @Tim yes I remember now…I shall still give something for neighbourliness but will mention Mary’s Meals to her.

  12. I had a university tutor who hated Christian Aid with a surprising, for him, passion. He accused them of advancing Marxist revolutionaries in South America, including supplying them with guns. Don’t know how true that was, considering that he was also a fan of Velikovsky.

  13. Just read their annual report. No climate change bollocks, no LGBTQWERTY bollocks, no crypto-Marxism, no public money.

    I bet lefties hate them. I’m going to give some more cash to them today.

  14. @Tim, yes, but can you anywhere actually get 3×365 bowls of local cheap carbohydrate for £12? Wholesale sure you can, but I still can’t quite credit that there is anywhere that’s economically fucked up enough (i.e. close to but not quite so fucked up that you can’t actually feed anyone) that you can get that kind of quantity piping hot on the table and ready to eat for that money.

  15. It’s one meal a day. All costs, other than the wholesale food and the inspectors to check that it’s not being diverted, are volunteers. So, yes.

  16. Dr Cromarty

    “I bet lefties hate them.”

    Amen. Why feed the hungry for £12 a year when you can feed them for £25,000 a year?

  17. A good charity then, but it should only be a stop gap. Trade not aid is the real solution to ensuring that African kids get fed well and educated. We didn’t give charity to the Asians, instead we used their cheap labour and look where they are now – power houses of industry with a booming economy and wages rising fast so that they are now looking for cheap labour, in Africa.

  18. Amen. Why feed the hungry for £12 a year when you can feed them for £25,000 a year?

    Indeed. Why feed the hungry at all when you can Challenge The System(TM) and stick it to The Man as CEO of a fake charidee on a 6-figure salary?

  19. @SBML

    Kids in poor countries are likely to be in a position to trade if they complete their education, however rudimentary.

  20. Thanks for drawing my attention to this, Tim. What’s not to like, as they say? So that’s one more lapsed Catholic signed up.

  21. @ PST
    No, no truth in it – it was part of a disinformation campaign by the South African government’s propaganda team because Christian aid provided food to refugee camps which included (among thousands of *undeniably* innocent victims of SA’s undeclared civil war) the families of a few ANC terrorists. It took a high degree of paranoia to equate feeding starving refugees with aiding an armed rebellion.
    FYI Liberation Theology in South America infiltrated the Roman Catholic Church, not the Protestants, the Roman Catholics have CAFOD, the Protestants have Christian Aid. So it wasn’t even a plausible smear.

  22. Mary’s Meals does an excellent job with even more benefit than many would expect because research in rich countries has shown that kids who get a decent breakfast learn better in school. So it not only feeds the poor but helps them to become better equipped to earn a living (or a better living because farmers who have no trouble reading the instructions produce better crops).

  23. @ Dr Cromarty
    A couple of years ago I received out of the blue a pushily personalised letter from, I think, Centre Point, signed by their chief executive not just asking me to contribute a four-figure sum to a project but strongly implying that i had a obligation to do so. I looked them up on the Charity Commission website and then wrote back pointing out that if he waived his salary for a year and a bit that would provide them with the sum that they said that they needed. He didn’t reply to my letter …

  24. @ Interested
    Christian Aid Week this year is (was) May 10th-16th – she should have been round sometime between Monday morning and Saturday evening.
    When reading the accounts don’t be misled by the sums donated by the UK government – some years ago UKG promised to match £ for £ the amounts raised from the public by the Disasters Emergency Committee which comprises 13 Charities, including Oxfam, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, CAFOD (the Catholic equivalent), and TEARFund, the Evangelical alternative, for special appeals for e.g the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Ebola, the Nepal earthquakes. So that does not imply that Christian Aid is in the pocket of the government. The CEO gets paid c.0.1% of revenue, an order of magnitude smaller than in the case of Centre Point.
    Things have deteriorated since my youth or when I was a relatively active volunteer when I was half my current age [fund-raising costs were less than 10% of funds raised despite the inherent inefficiency of delivering envelopes to every house in the land and getting coppers in lots of them – I used to carry more than my own weight in coppers to the nearest bank (and give credit where due: the staff at that NatWest branch were totally helpful to a burdensome non-customer although the local CA committee banked at Midland and I banked at Lloyds) and CA’s full-time staff were totally dedicated: our liason interpreted solidarity as not owning a house and only eating one meal a day], but I still think Christian Aid is worth supporting.

  25. John77 –

    Thanks for confirming what I suspected re Christian Aid.

    He was a brilliant, kind, and exceptionally well-read man, but his hatred for Socialism in general, and Communism in particular, tended to cloud his judgement at times, leading him to see conspiracies and plots where they (probably) didn’t exist. That aside, he was still one of the best lecturers I’ve ever had.

  26. @DrCromarty, which is why I said it should only be a stop gap – to get them started. But how much education do kids really need to do labouring work or for entrepreneurs to start/run a business in a country which doesn’t have loads of forms to fill out?

  27. @ PST
    I can understand that.
    A perfectly rational hatred of communism led millions of people in central and eastern Europe to support the even worse alternative: since Stalkin killed more Ukrainians thah Hitler killed Jews, it was logical for a Ukrainian division to join the Wehrmacht and fight the Red army.

  28. John77

    Thanks for reminding me of the seriously harmful influence Liberation Theology has had on my church. Just don’t kid yourself the CoE has got away with it.

  29. All this talk of giving to charity by neo-liberals; if Richie stops by his head will explode.

    Keep it up, noting like killing two birds with one stone.

  30. @john77, in this country you need top level education to understand badly designed forms. I’ve only got university level education so have problems with HMRC forms.

  31. john77 – “A perfectly rational hatred of communism led millions of people in central and eastern Europe to support the even worse alternative: since Stalkin killed more Ukrainians thah Hitler killed Jews, it was logical for a Ukrainian division to join the Wehrmacht and fight the Red army.”

    If you were Ukrainian, supporting Hitler was the better alternative. How could it not be? Why do you think it wasn’t? If you were Jewish, obviously not. But the Balts and maybe even Czechs got a better deal out of Hitler than out of Stalin.

  32. @ SBML
    I’m not Isaac Newton so I’ve had problems with HMRC forms – on occasion I’ve had to cross out numbers because something showed that the words didn’t mean what someone with English Language would think that they meant.
    [I gather that Isaac Newton would have told them exactly what top do with badly-designed forms].
    Actually top level education is a handicap – what one needs is an education dumbed-down to the level enjoyed by the designer of the forms, which is below mine (and, I presume yours).
    I immediately apologise for sounding insolently arrogant – that is solely because all contributors to Tim’s site are expected to be pendants.

  33. @ SMFS
    I think National Socialism was even worse than Communism. It was racist (one of the few good points of communism and Marxist-Leninism was that it was race-blind); personality cult was core rather than an aberration. It, especially the personsality cult, also led to a war that any sane man would realise was unwinnable. For Germany with a population of 60-odd million toi attack Russia with a population roughly double that and then declare war on the USA. Secondly Hitler viewed all Slavs as being an inferior race, sub-human.
    Stalin was the saner of the two psychopaths

  34. john77 – “I think National Socialism was even worse than Communism. It was racist (one of the few good points of communism and Marxist-Leninism was that it was race-blind)”

    I don’t. I think they were equally bad, or, if it comes down to it, Communism was worse. It depends what Hitler would have done had he won the war. It was racist. That is true. Which means Hitler would have run out of Jews a long time before Stalin and his merry friends ran out of counter-revolutionaries. It means the majority of Western Europe had nothing much to fear from Hitler.

    If, suppose, we had allied with Hitler against Stalin and destroyed the Soviet system, which is not likely, and Hitler had gone on to kill every Jew and Gypsy he could catch, that would be, what? 15 million people at the most. The Chinese Communists could not have won without Stalin’s help and they went on to kill 40-60 million or so. I really don’t see how it is much comfort to know you are being murdered because your father had two cows rather than your father had two cows and was Jewish.

    In passing it is interesting how the Left has won – in convincing everyone that common sense views a generation ago are now the ultimate sin. The Bible does not, after all, condemn racism as such, and an opinion held about other people’s genes does no one any harm whatsoever. But the Left has convinced the world that to prefer your daughter not to marry out is a worse sin than planning (or actually taking part in, as in the case of Zygmunt Bauman) the mass murder of people for owning a little bit of property. I think that Stalin’s views, while more common and socially acceptable, are actually morally worse. It is a sign of how badly the West lost the Cold War.

    “personality cult was core rather than an aberration.”

    Which would probably mean that like Franco’s Spain, when the object of the personality cult died, Germany would have returned to normal.

    “It, especially the personsality cult, also led to a war that any sane man would realise was unwinnable. For Germany with a population of 60-odd million toi attack Russia with a population roughly double that and then declare war on the USA.”

    That is true. But again a feature, not a bug. Stalin was much smarter about his plans for world conquest, and had he attacked Hitler first would have won. For the rest of us, Hitler’s miscalculation was a good thing.

    “Secondly Hitler viewed all Slavs as being an inferior race, sub-human.”

    That is true. Which means for the Poles probably Stalin was the better choice. For the other Slavs? Hard to say. The economics of slave labour would not have worked in Hitler’s favour. They would have evolved into something like Germany’s post-war guest worker programme.

    However Stalin did reduce the Poles and everyone else in Eastern Europe to a type of serfdom anyway so it is hard to say.

    “Stalin was the saner of the two psychopaths”

    I don’t think either was a psychopath. But Stalin was smarter.

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