While this might not be great literature, it certainly is a compelling narrative. After delivering aid to Bosnia in the 1990s, MacFarlane-Barrow began a career in development. While in Liberia, he asked a young boy what he most wanted - the answer being to have enough food and to go to school. This simple statement led to the brilliant idea of Mary's Meals: to provide a meal in the place of education so that the children of the extremely poor can attend (and stay in) school, without having to drop out and scrabble for the next meal. Of course, having an education provides a way out of poverty, so the meal is both a short and long term solution. The author's Catholicism is plainly a motivating factor, but the meals are provided to children of all faiths; the religious elements of the book somehow manage to avoid proselytizing, making it palatable even to an agnostic like myself.
Mary's Meals feeds over 1 million children every single day in the poorest countries in the world. Started in a garden shed in Scotland, this book tells the humble and inspiring story of how a little faith, coupled with a little respect for those who have less, can change the entire world. A must read for every parent, for the world's hurting children are our own.
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