By Alastair Brian
As the holiday started, pupils from the Southside Primary School, St Angela’s, proved they had the X Factor by writing a charity single for Malawi.
All proceeds from their song – ‘Miles Apart’ – will go to the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals to feed 60 Malawian children for a year.
St. Angela’s Head Teacher, Brendan Duff, is very proud of his P6 pupils, who wrote the lyrics and melody with help from their teachers. He said: ‘During Religious Education (RE) the pupils were learning about people we admire and they learned a little bit about a man named Magnus who started Mary’s Meals.
‘It was then decided, in music, to try to write a song that we could sell for the charity. The youngsters learned about writing lyrics through poetry and as a class they made up a melody.
‘As a school we are delighted with the result. It’s been a good experience for everyone to take part in the recording process.
‘Our aim is to see if we can raise as much money as possible for the charity.
‘We feel that this is a very worthwhile cause because Mary’s Meals currently feeds over 600,000 children every day across the world.
‘In Malawi it costs just £7.00 to feed a child for a year and our school wants to do everything we can to contribute.’
Mary’s Meals was created in 2002 by Magnus McFarlane-Burrow, as an extension of his Scottish International Relief (SIR) charity. A chance meeting with a family in Malawi,while he was working on a famine relief project, led to a whole new area of work. A mother was dying of AIDS and lying on the floor of her hut surrounded by her six young children. She said that all that was left for her was to pray that someone might look after her children after she died.
Then Magnus asked her oldest son what he hoped for in life. His reply: ‘To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day,’ was not easily forgotten.
This was the main inspiration for the Mary’s Meals programme, which aims to provide one meal every school day for chronically hungry children. This way the children are encouraged to gain the education they need to lift themselves from a life of poverty.
Today the Mary’s Meals initiative provides meals to impoverished children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South America.
The charity’s Education co-ordinator said: ‘I visited St Angela’s school recently and I was very impressed by their whole approach – from working out how much it costs to feed a child in maths; to writing the lyrics for the song in music. This has been an enriching, learning, experience for every young person involved. It’s also lovely that it’s children here helping less fortunate children in Malawi.
‘Mary’s Meals is delighted that the school chose our charity and we would like to thank everyone for their continued fundraising efforts.’
The song is available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby, and costs 89p.