Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Problem - World Hunger

The Problem - World Hunger

Today more people die from hunger related diseases than they do from HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis combined.  In a world where there is enough food for everybody, hunger is still the biggest threat to health.  Children are particularly vulnerable.  Hunger kills millions of them each year.  It also stunts their growth and their dreams.  Hungry children think about survival, not about going to school. 

The Solution - Mary's Meals
An education can set a child free from poverty in adult life.  To gain an education children first need to attend school and then be given the opportunity to learn.

(Source: Mary's Meals brochure)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Picture Of The Week

This picture is of Magus MacFarlane-Barrow the founder of Mary's Meals, holding a newborn african child.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Picture Of The Week

 Every week I will try to choose a "Picture Of The Week.  
This picture is of three children in Malawi, Africa, eating their meal. 

How and Why Magnus started Mary's Meals?

How and Why Magnus started Mary's Meals?

The Mary's Meals movement was born in 2002 after a trip Magnus made to Malawi, Africa during a famine. The mother he met who was dying of Aids was called Emma. It was her oldest child Edward, who was about 14, who told Magnus that his ambition was "to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day."

Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow

Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow: 
Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow are two brothers from Scotland who in 1992 during the Bosnian conflict took a jeep load of aid from their home to Medjugorje in Bosnia. Mangus, who was 24 at the time, gave up his job as a fish farmer for a year to keep delivering the flow of aid but it hasn't stopped since!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

St. James Catholic School

On Thurs, Dec 9, I spoke to the students at St. James Catholic Grade School in Washington, Iowa.  I shared with them what am doing with Mary's Meals.  After I spoke, I met with a group of students who would like to help with the Mary's Meals project.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mission Market

On Saturday, December 4, I went to the local Mission Market in Kalona, IA which is sponsored by the Mid-Prairie Council of Churches. The charity's that were promoted were: Heifer Project International, Hospice, Nothing But Nets, Go Ye Missions Children's Home-India, Parkview Chaplaincy Program, 10,000 Villages Project, Tools of Hope and Blankets, Habitat for Humanity, Washington Co. Enrichment Foundation, Mary's Meals and Mennonite Disaster Service.  

Several people commented that they remembered me coming to the Mission Market when I was a little girl.  Some of highlights for me at the Mission Market were: getting the opportunity to talk to people about Mary's Meals, learning about other charity's, meeting a 102 year old spry young man!!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Article in the Catholic Messenger

On Dec. 1, 2010, an article about the project I'm working on with Mary's Meals was published in the Catholic Messenger, the newspaper of the Davenport Diocese.  To get to the article, click here.

 By Celine Klosterman

Allison Ockenfels, 12, couldn’t shake the knowledge that students not much younger than her are going hungry throughout the world.
“It’s hard to imagine going without a meal for a couple days,” said the member of St. Joseph Parish in Wellman.
So she’s spearheading a fundraising effort to feed children in Malawi through Mary’s Meals, an international movement to provide food and education for children in poverty-plagued areas. Since launching her campaign Nov. 20, she’s raised more than $6,500 toward her goal of $11,000, which will pay to build and equip a kitchen at an African school. After donors have contributed enough to pay for the kitchen, Allison wants to raise $7,000 to feed students through that kitchen for a year. Providing meals at school encourages children to attend, and well-fed students can better focus on learning, Mary’s Meals notes.
Allison said her effort was inspired by Matthew 25:35, in which Jesus says: “For I was hungry and you gave me food… whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” She had earlier heard about Mary’s Meals in Des Moines during the Oct. 16-17 Christ Our Life Catholic Conference, at which the organization’s founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow of Scotland, spoke on topics including child hunger.
“I can’t stop thinking about those kids,” she later told her mother, Pam Ockenfels. So the student brought the idea of launching a fundraising campaign to Father Rich Adam, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond and St. Mary Parish in Riverside. He later donated the first $1,000 toward her goal, and the Wellman parish’s Altar & Rosary Society chipped in $500.
“It impressed me that she wanted to do this,” Fr. Adam said.
Allison spoke during Masses and collected donations at the three parishes the weekend of Nov. 20-21. She also hopes to speak at faith formation classes and at area schools, churches and organizations.
Last week, the homeschooled student said she was pleasantly surprised by how much people already have responded to her appeal.
 “Our cluster parishes are so behind her,” said Pat Schmida, a member of St. Joseph Parish’s Altar & Rosary Society. “She’s just a wonder.”
Like Allison, Schmida was inspired at the Christ Our Life conference by hearing about Mary’s Meals, which says 93 percent of donations it receives go to charity. The organization also says it can provide a nutritious serving of porridge for a child in Malawi every school day for a year for about $10, thanks to community volunteers, the buying power of foreign money in Malawi, and buying and cooking in bulk.