Letter: With your help, we can reach hungry children and boost their chances

Matt Barlow, Executive Director of Mary’s Meals calls on Barnet residents to help children in Tigray

A young child looks at the camera
Selemon in Tigray, Ethiopia. Photo: Mary’s Meals

Dear Editor,

Having lived through the atrocities of war, millions of Ethiopians are now facing emergency levels of food insecurity and hunger. The charity Mary’s Meals serves school meals to children in the Tigray region of the country, but sadly the stories we are hearing from Tigray are shocking. After the two-year civil war, so many children are still out of school, and many of those who are in school can’t learn due to debilitating hunger.

Before the conflict Selemon and his parents lived a happy life. Now his father has suffered a mental breakdown and is unable to support the family.

With no food at home, nine-year-old Selemon comes to school without eating anything and sits in class feeling hungry, instead of being able to focus on the lessons. He used to be bold and active in class, whereas now, he often seems to get confused when he’s asked a question. His teacher says: “He always gets sick. He even has a skin disease, which I think is a symptom of hunger. His family is one of the poorest.”

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The past few years have stolen so much from Selemon. Mary’s Meals is striving to reach his community and start serving meals to the children in his primary school. Alongside our local partner, we are ready to expand our school feeding programme to more schools like Selemon’s but we urgently need more funds to do so. With your help we can reach these desperately hungry children with food and boost their chances of engaging with education again.

You can provide them with hope of a brighter future. Please visit to give what you can to our Crisis In Ethiopia appeal – at just 10p a meal no donation is too small.

Matt Barlow, Executive Director, Mary’s Meals

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