Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Prudential Spirit Of Community Award

I am extremely honored to be selected as Iowa's top High School Youth Volunteer in the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!!
The judges were impressed with my volunteer work for Mary's Meals. 
I will go to Washington DC in May for a national recognition event.
Thank you to all who have supported and helped me with my Mary's Meals fundraising!! 

You can read more here: Link

If you would like to donate to Mary's Meals, please send me an email: allisonockenfels@gmail.com 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Staggering Results from Malawi

Here is a recent letter from Magnus (the founder of Mary's Meals)

Dear friend,

Recently we’ve been doing lots of work to measure the impact of Mary’s Meals.

The early results are truly staggering, giving compelling evidence that this simple thing we do – providing a daily meal in school – really does transform the lives of children and their communities.

When we began our monitoring work in specific schools, more than half of the pupils told us they found it difficult to join lessons because of hunger. Now, that number has fallen dramatically to 7%.

We will be publishing an independently verified report later this year, but we can already see that these are impressive results. Perhaps even more wonderful are the results based on children’s happiness.

Before our monitoring began, we asked children if they were happy at school, and just over half said yes. When we asked the same question seven months later – after they’d been receiving Mary’s Meals – nine out of 10 children said they were happy. That’s a lot of extra smiles and a huge amount of new laughter.

We hope the evidence of what actually happens when children eat every day at school will encourage even more people to join us as we work to realize our vision; that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education.

God bless,

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and Chief Executive

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow's New Book

Magnus (the founder of Mary's Meals) has a book that is coming out next month. The book is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Magnus will be having a book sigingin in Solon, Iowa. It will be a open house on  May 29th from 6:30PM-8:30PM at St. Mary's church in Solon, Iowa.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Malawi Day 7-Mpondasi School

 For our last full day in Malawi, we went to visit the Mpondasi School which is in the Mangochi District of Malawi. Mpondasi is the first school I raised the money to build a kitchen at. Jackie (who is with me in the above picture) was our driver for most of the time while we were in Malawi.
 The cooks at the school.

 I got to feed some of the children at the school.
 Ellen Miller also got to help feed the kids.
 The children waiting in line for their porridge.

 The enrollment has increased at this school since Mary's Meals started feeding there. When they started there were about 2,500 students, now there are more than 4,000!!
 After we were at the school, we went to Lake Malawi. Ellen and I waded in the water.
 On the way back to Blantyre, we stopped along the road to buy some roasted corn.
At the end of the day we got to meet Chris who is head of Mary's Meals in Malawi.

Malawi Day 6-Jacaranda School

 While we were in Malawi we had the opportunity to visit the Jacaranda School for Orphans.  Jacaranda School for Orphans, is the only entirely free primary and secondary school in the whole of Malawi.
 I got to try the Lukini Phala porridge for the first time!

 This is their outdoor Ping Pong table. 
 After we visited the school we visited the Satemwa Tea Plantation.
 One of the tea plantation workers picking tea leaves.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Malawi Day 4 and 5-Zomba and Majete

 On Saturday and Sunday we had free days because school was not in session. On Saturday we went to Zomba Plateau.
 We hiked to Williams Falls, Queens View, and Emperors View.
 Dad and our guide Daniel.
 We saw this baboon while we were eating lunch.
 On Sat. evening we had the privilege of having dinner at the home of Gay Russell. Gay is one of the main reasons that Mary's Meals exists. It was great to meet her and hear some story's of her life and her work with Mary's Meals.
 On Sunday we went to the Majete Game Park. We had the chance to see many different animals including different kinds of antelope, cape buffalo, warthogs, hippos, elephants, guineas, and baboons.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Malawi Day 3-Under 6 Center

Today we had the opportunity to visit an under 6 center called Chamusa. An under 6 center is a place where children (age ~3-6) can go, receive a good meal and learn basic school lessons. 

The children were excited to have visitors. They sang some songs for us and showed us how they could count. 

When it was time to eat all the children lined up to wash their hands. 

The teachers sat them down in rows.

The cooks served the food and we passed the plates out to the children. The cooks and the teachers of this school are ALL VOLUNTEERS who give up most of everyday toe feed and teach the children. 

The white stuff is a thick porridge type thing and the gray stuff is little fish. 

It is amazing to think that at this school more then half the kids are orphans. 

We got to see their newly painted classroom. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Malawi Day 2- Nasiyaya School

We started off the day at the Mary's Meals office in Blantyre. 

We got to meet Dalitso who is head of school feeding in Malawi. 

After visiting the Mary's Meals office, we headed out to visit one of the schools I raised the money to build. The school was called Nasiyaya Lea School. 

The cooks sang for us while they cooked the porridge. 

I also got to help stir the porridge. 

While we were waiting for the porridge to finish cooking, we went to visit one of the class rooms. There were 110 children in the class room. 

The children were very excited to show us their Mary's Meals mugs.

The children also sang three songs for us. 

The children were very patient while waiting for their food.

The children receiving their porridge.

Since Mary's Meals started feeding in this school the enrollment has increased from 630 to almost 1000 kids. 

All the children eating their porridge.

I also got to meet the older kids at the school.

The kids at the school like to have their picture taken. 

At the schools they have a book that all the guests sign. 

While I was at the school I got to meet Christopher who is the monitor for that school.

Dad at the school. 

Ellen Miller danced with the kids.