A brilliant charity that feeds more than two million hungry children every school day is asking the Muslim community to continue to pray for its work during Ramadan.
Mary’s Meals serves life-changing school meals in 20 of the world’s poorest countries – including Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. The promise of a good meal attracts hungry children into the classroom, where they can gain an education and hope for a brighter future.
The charity is named after Mary, the Mother of Jesus – who is honoured in Islam and known as Maryam (Peace be Upon Her) in the Quran. Some of the children who eat Mary’s Meals even refer to the nutritious food as “Maryam’s Meals”.
A Mary’s Meals supporter, Zahid Nawaz, from Hampshire, approached the charity to suggest it should ask Muslims during Ramadan to pray for the children it feeds and donate Sadaqah (voluntary giving) so it can reach even more hungry children.
He says: “Ramadan reminds us of those around the world, who are less fortunate than us – who don’t have enough food and water and are chronically hungry.
“Giving to this charity feels like a natural fit with our respect of Mary, who we know better as Maryam, (Peace be Upon Her).”
Karen Gray, director of communications at Mary’s Meals, adds: “Prayer has played such an important part in our mission right from the very beginning, helping us to transform the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest countries with nutritious school meals.
“We wish our Muslim supporters a blessed Ramadan and ask that they continue to pray for our mission so that we can reach more hungry children who are waiting for Mary’s Meals.”
In the war-torn city of Aleppo in Syria, 11-year-old Wissam* wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He is one of 4,208 children in Syria who eat Mary’s Meals each day at school.
Although there is no longer fighting in the streets, many buildings have been reduced to rubble, sources of electricity and running water have been damaged or destroyed, and families are struggling to put food on the table.
The sandwich and piece of fresh fruit that Wissam and his friends receive at school each day helps to feed both their bodies and their minds.
Wissam says: “Some children can’t go to school because of the war. Life is boring without school. If I didn’t go to school, I’d miss my friends and the meal I am receiving.”
It costs just £15.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals every day for an entire school year – meaning the money donated by Sadaqah could change the lives of many more children living in the world’s poorest countries, including India, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.
As an organisation working in some of the world’s poorest communities, Mary’s Meals keep its running costs low to maximise the good it can do with the donations entrusted to it. At least 93% of donations received by Mary’s Meals are spent directly on its charitable activities.
While recognising the special place of prayer in its work, Mary’s Meals consists of, respects and reaches out to people of all faiths and none.
This Ramadan, you can donate your Sadaqah to Mary’s Meals and help feed desperately hungry children in some of the world’s poorest countries by visiting marysmeals.org.uk/pray-in-ramadan