A group of pupils from a Glasgow primary school visited the Scottish Parliament yesterday to receive an international delivery from a very special postie.
The children from St Mirin’s school met singer Annie Lennox, who has just returned from Malawi, where she visited a school feeding project run by the Scottish charity Mary's Meals, and gave letters from children in Scotland to pupils.
This week the exchange of letters was completed when children from St Mirin’s received replies from their peers at Phuti school, Lilongwe – by special delivery from the international star and Alex Fergusson, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.
“Mary’s Meals is making a difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Malawi. The cup of porridge the charity supplies not only encourages children to attend school, it also provides enough nutrition to help them focus in class. I was encouraged and impressed by what I saw there,” said Annie Lennox. “The letter exchange between Phuti and St Mirin’s is a wonderful example of how we can foster life-enhancing relationships between children living in very contrasting circumstances across the globe.”
The six Primary Seven pupils who visited parliament are members of St Mirin primary school’s Back Packing committee, and have been learning about Malawi through their support for Mary’s Meals.
“There was great excitement at St Mirin’s last week when we received photographs of the Presiding Officer and Annie in Malawi with the pupils of Phuti School, reading the letters from our P7 pupils,” said Anne McFadden, head teacher. “The pupils are desperate to meet them on Wednesday to hear more about their visit and to receive the replies.”
Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said: “The visit was a truly humbling and moving experience for me. It was clear from what we saw that a little can go a long way. The donations Scots have made over the years, both in terms of time and money, have made a very real difference to people’s lives in Malawi.”
During her visit to the Mary’s Meals project at Phuti School, Annie Lennox helped to serve mugs of a nutrient-rich maize porridge called likuni phala, to children, and joined local volunteers singing and dancing as they prepared the food, which for some of the pupils would have been the only meal they received that day.
Annie Lennox’s visit to Holyrood marks Commonwealth Day. It was an opportunity for her to report back on her first trip as special envoy to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The visit saw her travel to several projects with links to Scotland including Bwaila Maternity hospital, Open Arms Infant Home and Lilongwe Teacher training college.