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Annie Lennox is currently in Malawi in her first visit as a special envoy for the Scottish branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

“The work being done by various institutions like Oxfam and the Red Cross is making a difference," the singer tells The Daily Record. "It is happening slowly, but there are changes happening. People here couldn’t talk about HIV before. The stigma was so high you had to remain silent. "

Lennox is visiting various projects in Malawi that have Scottish links – including schools, feeding centers and hospitals. One such project is Mary’s Meals, which runs feeding projects in communities where hunger prevents children from gaining an education in some of the world’s poorest countries. Children from Scotland send backpacks of pencils, paper and other educational necessities to children in Malawi through the charity.

“[A] child gets a little mug of food every day through Mary’s Meals when he goes to school,” says Lennox. "Someone could ask, ‘What is the point of being in Malawi and giving the child that mug of food?’ But if that person were to come to that school and meet that child they would see the difference in that child’s life. They can now attend school and not have malnutrition and be able to focus. They have a better opportunity in life by being able to read and write and have numeracy skills.

“The people who care about social justice and human rights are not all wealthy rock stars. Sometimes it is about giving money or a cheque. What I love about Mary’s Meals is the partnering. Kids in Scotland put together things they don’t need any more. These kids have never had presents and the contents of those bags are of more value than the contents of a household.”

To read more about Annie’s trip, visit www.dailyrecord.co.uk.

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