UK TV and radio personality Dermot O'Leary has given his backing to a campaign launched by Mary's Meals aimed at providing more of the world’s hungriest children with life-changing meals.

Mary's Meals Blue Mug
Mary's Meals Blue Mug

The ‘Big Blue Mug’ campaign invites people to get their hands on a bright blue mug – similar to those used to provide Mary’s Meals to children in Malawi, where the organization feeds over 500,000 children every school day.

The plastic mugs are being offered as an alternative gift for a minimum donation of £7 each, which is how much it costs to feed a child for a whole school year in Malawi. As well as being able to drink from it, the mugs also have lids that allow them to be used as collecting cans.

“This is a fantastic way to raise awareness of what a difference a mug of porridge can make to the lives of so many hungry children in Malawi who are receiving Mary’s Meals,” says Dermot. “The beauty of this idea is that not only does drinking from this mug remind people of the important role which porridge plays at the charity’s school feeding programme in Malawi, it can also be used as a way of getting support to feed more children, giving them essential nutrition and an incentive to study.”

In Malawi, where the charity is celebrating a decade of feeding children, 20% of the primary school population receives Mary’s Meals. Each child is given a daily serving of likuni phala – a vitamin enriched maize porridge served in plastic mugs. Each child is responsible for their own mug, ensuring they get a fair portion every school day. Some carry them around their neck on a piece of string to make sure they don’t miss out.

“This alternative gift is symbolic, as it represents the simple mugs which are used to provide over half a million hungry children in Malawi with a life sustaining daily meal, which in turn gives them energy and concentration to learn,” Mary’s Meals’ Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow‎: explains. "For many children in the poorest parts of the world, they are unable to go to school because they are hungry, begging or working to get the next meal on the table. Mary’s Meals offers them a route out of poverty and the chance to build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

“The global average cost for us to provide one meal is just six pence – pennies to us, but a lifeline to so many of the world’s poorest children.”

The Big Blue Mugs are available for distribution in the UK. Find out more here.

Source: Mary's Meals

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