Artists and musicians’ Christmas gift to Mary’s Meals

By BILL HEANEY

Monday, December 12, 2011

 

Scotland’s artists and musicians handed over a very special Christmas cheque for £9,000 to one of the
country’s favourite charities today (Monday).

The money, which was raised during the group’s highly successful Festival of the Arts in Glasgow
last month, will be spent by Argyll-based Mary’s Meals on a new project to feed and educate poor children in a Third World country.

 

It will be the second feeding shelter to be financed from cash raised by the group, who have given
their time, talents and artwork free to raise money for Mary’s Meals, whose accountant, Monica
Lynas from Bothwell in Lanarkshire, picked up the cash at House for an Artlover in Glasgow.

Volunteer Mrs Lynas, whose family own a well known carpet business in Hamilton, said:
“This group have been extremely generous over a number of years now, and Mary’s Meals really
appreciates all the effort and talent that has gone into raising this money
which will be put to good use. It’s a fantastic Christmas gift.”

Their first shelter, the Chilingani Centre in Khombwe in Malawi, is already up and running and doing
tremendous work, according to Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow OBE., chief executive of
Mary’s Meals, who feed and educate more than 580,000 children in 16 countries across the world.

The Artists or Mary’s Meals money means that a further 1,500 starving children will be added to that
number because Scottish art lovers and music fans dug deep into their pockets
to buy paintings and attend concerts and a craft fair at the City Chambers and
House for an Artlover. It costs just £9 a year to feed and educate a child in theThird World.

The art exhibition included a Peter Howson portrait of Robert Burns and a portrait of Glasgow’s
octogenarian folk singer and TV presenter Jimmie Macgregor by the artist Paul Kennedy.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said: “Our vision is to provide one good meal a day for a hungry child within a
place of education. We are doing that in 16 countries at the moment. But we
don’t just set up the feeding stations, recruit volunteers to staff them and
leave it at that. We track the academic performance of the children we feed and
we have seen some wonderful results.

“The young men and women now emerging will be the ones who lift their countries out of poverty and who
will take up the challenge to stamp out corruption and put measures in place to tackle AIDS and other
serious health problems.”

The great attraction of Mary’s Meals to supporters is that nearly all of the money raised by Mary’s
Meals – more than 90 per cent – is spent in the communities where it is needed
most and only a small proportion goes on administrative costs.

Magnus added: “We don’t use professional fund-raisers or spend fortunes on advertising.
We are growing through creative ideas like this one. I think that Artists for Mary’s Meals
is a particularly beautiful example of how we do things. It is through these little acts of love that the
vision we hold so dear is being achieved.

“This is that no child anywhere in the world goes hungry and that every child gets at least one meal a
day. It costs just £6.15 to feed a child for a whole year. Artists for Mary’s
Meals is helping to fund the lives of some of the world’s poorest children is
using your skills and talents to fund these little acts of love.”

The Rev Laurence Whitley, minister of Glasgow Cathedral, and Archbishop Mario Conti, who are
both patrons of Artists and Musicians for Mary’s Meals, said they were delighted that the group
had raised so much money for poor and hungry children.

Dr Whitley said: “Some of the country’s finest artists and musicians have contributed to this very
successful fund-raising Festival of the Arts and we are extremely grateful to them and to the many
people who came along to support them.”

Glasgow artist Netta Ewing, co-ordinator of the festival project, said: “A tremendous amount of hard work
and effort went into the festival and everyone involved excelled themselves. We intend to keep
going onwards and upwards from here.”

Artists for Mary’s Meals handed over a Christmas cheque for £9,000 to Mary’s Meals from money raised from
concerts and art and craft sales. Back row (left to right) Helen Burns,
Glasgow, Liz Mackinlay, Kilbrachan, Monsignor Gerry Fitzpatrick, St Leo’s,
Dumbreck, Glasgow, and Josephine Torrance, Duntocher, Dunbartonshire. Front (left to right) Margaret Houston and
Elspeth Glasgow, both Glasgow, Bothwell accountant Monica Lynas, of Argyll-based Mary’s Meals and Netta Ewing,
co-ordinator of Artists for Mary’s Meals. PICTURE by BILL HEANEY