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Making a real difference – thanks to the money you raised

These smiling children are receiving a meal – thanks to the Worth community.

Since September 2016, Worth students, parents and staff have been busy raising money for Mary’s Meals, a charity dedicated to providing some of the world’s most underprivileged children one meal every day they attend school.

Head Master Mr Stuart McPherson set the Worth community a challenge to raise £5,000 for Mary’s Meals and the response was phenomenal as a staggering £11,959.21 was raised during the 2016-17 academic year.

With the money raised, Worth School has committed to sponsoring a Mary’s Meals programme at the Farsee Korma Public School in Liberia for the next two years.

Mr McPherson was determined that Worth could leave a lasting legacy on children around the world, which is why we have chosen to use the money raised to sponsor a school programme for two years, rather than a larger school for one year.

The Farsee Korma Public School has not previously been part of the Mary’s Meals programme, so Worth’s support will make a huge, potentially life-changing difference to the students there.

The school is in Cape Mount, in the north west of Liberia in an area which borders with Sierra Leone. It has a total of 351 pupils (276 boys and 75 girls) who all now receive a meal every day they attend school. The meals served are rice and peas three days a week, corn soya porridge two days a week.

Farsee Korma has five permanent classrooms and pupils are taught by a total of six qualified teachers. It has a football field where the children can play during their breaks and a flourishing garden, tended to be teachers and pupils, growing corn, pineapple and pepper to either be used as ingredients for their daily school meals or to be sold and the profits re-invested back into the school.

Principal teacher H.Boima Dakawah said: “Mary’s Meals feeding programme increases enrolment and makes the students to come to school on time.”

Volunteer cook Dabah Feika added: “I’m cooking for the children, because I want them to learn.”

Mary’s Meals is a charity which works in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and is currently feeding 1,257,278 children around the world.

The money was raised by the Worth community in the 2016-17 academic year through a number of initiatives including supporting World Porridge Day in October 2016, when students ate porridge for breakfast and the ‘breakfast saving’ on what they would normally eat was donated to Mary’s Meals. Girls in St Mary’s House raised £450 in February 2017 by selling Valentine’s Day roses, while retiring collections at the Worthians Carol Service and the School Christmas Carol Service, along with the efforts of individual Houses, boosted the total.

In addition, a collection taken at Mass on Speech Day in May 2017 raised an amazing £2,826.36. Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow OBE, the founder of Mary's Meals, was the guest speaker at Speech Day.

Worth is continuing to raise money for Mary’s Meals, with the possibility of sponsoring the programme at Farsee Korma Public School for a third year. In December, students raised more money by taking part in a Christmas Charity Run and the collection at this year’s Speech Day will again be for the charity.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the charity before then should click here.

For now, we would like to thank every one of you for your efforts in supporting this Mary’s Meals programme and we hope you will take great satisfaction in seeing the smiles on the faces of these children, knowing this work which you have supported is making a real difference.