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Sussex schoolboy has a Malawi mission
2:10pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
Kind-hearted Charlie Doherty had more than just the weekend to look forward to when he finished school yesterday (January 11).
He is flying out to celebrate his 13th birthday with a class of schoolchildren in Malawi who he has helped to feed for the last seven years.
Since his sixth birthday the Crawley schoolboy has given up his presents so money can be donated to help charity Mary’s Meals.
The repeated selfless act, as well as other fundraising efforts, has raised more than £20,000 over the years.
On Monday (January 14) he will meet the pupils at Ipyana Primary School in the northern district of Karonga, Malawi, who he supports through the charity’s Sponsor a School campaign.
Because of Charlie’s fundraising all the 1,429 children at the school receive a daily meal from Mary’s Meals for a whole school year.
Excited Charlie said: “I can’t wait for the trip.
“It’s going to be amazing and great seeing the message of hope that is passed through Mary’s Meals.
“I also can’t wait to meet the children at the kitchen I have been sponsoring and see the great work of Mary’s Meals in action.”
When he learnt about the suffering of children in other countries, he asked his family to donate money to Mary’s Meals instead of giving him birthday presents.
He is one of the stars of a new documentary called Child 31, which features the work of Mary’s Meals and explores fundraising and his motivation to help impoverished children.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the chief executive of Mary’s Meals, said: “Charlie is an incredible boy and we are extremely grateful for all he has done for us over the years.
“I’m always touched by all the beautiful acts of kindness which so many people like Charlie do to support our work, and which make it possible for us to provide a daily meal to hundreds of thousands of children, living in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“As a result of their good deeds, thousands of children, who would otherwise be hungry and working for their next meal, are instead sitting in a classroom with a full stomach, learning how to read and write.”
For further information on Mary’s Meals, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk.
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