The Humanitarian Organization “Scottish International Relief” organized in Medjugorje the first international Mary’s Meals conference from June 11 to 15, 2007.
What is Mary's Meals?
The project Mary's Meals was started in 2002 for about two hundred children in a school in Malawi, and today, five years later, is feeding about 200.000 children in Africa, Asia and Latin America and Eastern Europe. It functions thanks to donations (10 Euro is enough for an entire year for one child!), and volunteers from local communities, where children chronically suffer hunger and poverty. Donations are used to buy the food and to educate the volunteers who cook and serve daily meals in the schools. Most of the time, these are the parents and relatives of the children. Thanks to them, the whole local community is involved in the project.
During the conference, different speakers presented the projects that take place all over the world: Ibi Ungur - Romania, Leisbeth Glas – Liberia, Peter Nkata – Malawi, Mark McGreevy – Ukraine, Milona von Habsburg – France, John Pridmore – Ireland, and others. Medjugorje visionary Jakov Colo who personally organises the provision of Mary’s Meals to mentally handicapped children in an institution near Sarajevo also talked to the conference.
The participants (about 200 from all over the world, not only Catholics) experienced this encounter rather as a retreat than as a conference. The talks illustrated by pictures spoke about true stories about goodness and suffering… There are children in the world whose only desire is to have enough to eat and to be able to go to school. This desire of a boy from Malawi, watching his mother dying from Aids, inspired Magnus McFarlane-Barrow to start the project Mary’s Meals.
Fr. Slavko Barbaric used to say: love is inventive… Do you wish to get involved? You could involve your school, for example, and sponsor hungry children in a small poor school in a far away poor country…
Today, Mary's Meals have their offices in numerous countries of the world, as well as a little Information point in Medjugorje.
Why this conference took place in Medjugorje?
For those who do not know SIR and Mary's Meals: everything began in 1983 when Magnus and Ruth McFarlane-Barrow from Scotland, as adolescents, came for the first time to Medjugorje. Here, they met Fr. Slavko Barbarić. The week they spent here has forever changed their lives. Their parents transformed their hotel into a retreat centre where the spirit of Medjugorje is lived…
When war started in this region, the McFarlane-Barrow family wanted to help people in need and organised one truck with humanitarian goods. Magnus McFarlane-Barrow understood soon that it will not end with one single trip, but will become his main activity…
This is how they founded the registered Charity „Scottish International Relief“ whose main and most important project today is Mary’s Meals which offers, as they say, a simple solution to world hunger that works. To feed one child throughout one entire year, it is enough only 10 Euro…
The spirit of this First International Mary’s meals Conference in Medjugorje confirms that this is really Our lady’s work for the poorest of the poor, a work inspired by the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
More about this: www.marysmeals.org