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LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
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Parishioners from churches in Huyton have donated backpacks, filled with school items, for children receiving Mary’s Meals more than 7,000 miles away in Malawi where many of the children do not have basic items for school and the backpacks are often the only gift they have ever received.
The parishioners from St Agnes and St Aidan took part in The Backpack Project, run by the global school feeding charity, and filled 173 back packs with notepads, pencils, clothes and other useful educational essentials.
Joanne Matthews, parishioner and long-time supporter of Mary’s Meals says: ‘We have supported the backpack project for a number of years now and it is something that the parishioners love to work together to help with. Knowing that the simple things we take for granted each day like a spoon or a pencil, packed into a backpack with other items, will be the first gifts some of these children will have received, spurs us on each year.’
Head of Grassroots Engagement at Mary’s Meals, Emma Hutton, said: ‘We are so grateful to the people of the parish of St Agnes and St Aidan for supporting our Backpack Project. It’s truly wonderful to see the immense joy these bags bring to each child who receives one and to see their faces light up when they pull out a simple item from their backpacks such as a pencil or ball.’
A donated backpack – which can be brand new or a recycled one, such as a school bag, that is in good condition - can be filled with the following items: notepads, pencils, pens, crayons, eraser, sharpener, ruler, pencil case, towel, shorts or skirt, t-shirt or dress, flip-flops or sandals, small ball like a tennis ball, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and a spoon.
The Backpack Project is helping young people like Lagia, 13, at Ngabu Primary School in Malawi, to learn in class. She says: ‘I am so happy because I have received a backpack. Inside, I found a dress, pens and a hardcover book. I will use the bag every day to carry pens and books when I am coming to school.’
For more information on what to donate and how the project works, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk/backpack. Anyone in the Liverpool Region can phone 0800 698 1212 for more information.