Mairi’s Malawi mission
- Mary’s Meals provide meals to over 29% of all primary schools across Malawi – that’s 928,551 children
- The children only receive one or two meals a day
- Celtic FC Foundation aims to cover the cost of building 67 school kitchens in several countries.
- It costs just £13.90 to feed a child over a whole school year.
MAIRI McAslan is a Fleet Alliance marketing executive on a global mission of helping those in need – and in her latest expedition Mairi flies the flag for Fleet Alliance and Celtic FC on a Malawi mission.
Her efforts feature in the charity-spirited company’s staff newsletter The Loop and we all thought it deserved a wider readership.
She explained: “I heard about the trip on Celtic FC Foundation’s twitter, I watched the video of the trip from last year and I immediately wanted to get involved!
“I have done some volunteering before – six weeks at an orphanage in Mexico in 2010 – and really enjoyed it. Also, as they are one of ICL’s primary charities and I am a Celtic fan it was the right charity for me.”
The Malawi trip lasted 12 days, and Mairi explained: “I used annual leave and my volunteer day – everyone [at Fleet Alliance] gets a volunteer day as part of our benefits to support any charity or community project of their choosing.”
And she wasn’t just contributing time and life skills, she had to raise a contribution for the trip and the donations have soared past the original target to top and amazing £4,000.
Mairi explained: “Celtic FC Foundation support many different charities at home and abroad, and Mary’s Meals in Malawi is one of them.”
In The Loop, Mairi explained the world away from her two years working at Fleet Alliance.
“We would leave our accomodation at 7.30am every morning to travel to the Under-Six centre. It was our job to paint the educational aertwork on to the classroom walls, which Marys Meals call ‘Talking Walls’.
“Without any budget for basic teaching supplies such as text books, jotters and pencils, these ‘talking walls’ are both long lasting and absolutely priceless by helping the children learn from a an early age and increase their education levels.
“We would then return to accomodation at around 5.30pm, have dinner and spend our evenings chatting and playing games.
“On our last day we made a two-hour journey to a primary school in Chikala to help distribute back packs to all the children. These are donated to Mary’s Meals from several countries around the world, with many coming from Scotland.
“Inside each bag was a selection of items (clothing, toys, stationery and toiletries) which nwere specifically tailored to the gender and age of the child. It was amazing to witness the joy that this brought the children.”
One of the biggest challenges for Mairi was seeing how little the children have. “Most kids have only one set of clothes that they wore every day and only some of the children had shoes. Unless they have been given handmade toys, they will have no other possessions.”
Would she return? No hesitation: “I would love to go back and I am sure I will do something like this again in the future but no immediate plans.”