Teenage fundraiser Charlie Doherty raised enough money last month for 75 children in Malawi to get a meal a day for an entire school year.
His mum Julie Doherty told the Obby that Charlie’s fundraising began on his fifth birthday, when he first asked his friends to donate to the 2004 Tsunami appeal instead of buying presents.
He has been running Stop and Think Days each December since 2011, when 24 young people joined forces to swim a marathon-and-a-half relay at K2 Crawley, raising funds for Mary’s Meals.
For 2012’s Stop and Think Day, he climbed Snowden with his older brother and a friend, who filmed it all for a university project.
“Well, Stop and Think Day comes and goes each year and this year we put out a request for a last minute bucket collection, which we obtained a license to carry out in Crawley, raising £249.50.
“Support came from Marilyn Le Feuvre, who has supported Charlie’s efforts for a number of years now; his best friend Jacob from Holy Trinity 6th Form - Jacob also did the collection in Crawley with him last year on Stop and Think Day; three adult members of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and four of their young people joined us on Christmas Eve in the Crawley town centre for a couple of hours for the street collection - the money raised was doubled by a generous Mary’s Meals supporter.
“Also in December, Charlie received £40.40, proceeds from a quiz night held at The Apple Tree, West Green; £90 from friends; a further £100.66 raised by a friend Jessica Edwards who did a bake sale at her school Oriel in Maidenbower; and a further three donations to The Big Family for Christmas!
“Many thanks to them all.
“All the efforts above means that 75 children will be fed every school day for an entire school year at Ipyana School, North Malawi, where Charlie fundraised to get a kitchen nine years ago! At that time there were approximately 850 pupils attending school now because of the feeding programme, there are 2055 pupils (1050 boys and 1005 girls) attending the same school, no extra buildings just split school days having a daily meal at school really does encourage children into the classroom, before Mary’s Meals their priority would be to get food to survive, now having an education really is empowering so many to improve their communities.
“In Malawi alone there are 80,000 volunteers on a rota collecting wood/water/cleaning and serving their young, it really is changing communities for the better!
“If anyone would like to support Charlie with his efforts of feeding any of the 2055 pupils at Ipayna School at just £13.90 per child for a whole school year he’d love to hear from them.
“I took Charlie to Malawi for his 13th birthday in 2013 to see the kitchen in action he fundraised for, it really was an incredible experience... and if all goes well he will return to Malawi after he finishes his studies at Collyer’s 6th Form in June to film the work of an amazing orphanage there!”
Mary’s Meals provides children across 15 countries with a daily meal in their place of education. Their goal is for every child to receive at least one daily meal. Ethiopia and Syria were added to the countries supported last year.
For more about Mary’s Meals, visit: www.child31film.com