Charitable songstress Annie Lennox—who most recently was honored by the Queen for her acts of goodwill—currently is in Malawi supporting charity projects and acting as an envoy for Scottish-Malawian relations.
Her five-day trip to the country is an ambitious one. While there, Lennox and Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson will pair up to survey charity projects at schools, hospitals, and feeding centers that have ties to Scottish Parliament.
One of the feeding centers of particular interest is Mary’s Meals, a project that helps feed children in Malawi to make sure their hunger does not stunt their growth or education.
“[A] child gets a little mug of food every day through Mary’s Meals when he goes to school,” Lennox says.
“Someone could ask, ‘What is the point of being in Malawi and giving the child that mug of food?’ But if that person were to come to that school and meet that child, they would see the difference in that child’s life,” the singer stated. “They can now attend school and not have malnutrition and be able to focus. They have a better opportunity in life by being able to read and write and have numeracy skills.”
Through the charity, students in Scotland also are able to donate pencils and other school supplies to Malawian children in need. “What I love about Mary’s Meals is the partnering,” Lennox adds. “Kids in Scotland put together things they don’t need any more. These kids have never had presents and the contents of those bags are of more value than the contents of a household.”
During their time in Malawi, Lennox and Fergusson have plans to meet with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Malawi, the Pilot Parliamentary Pairing Initiative, and the Malawian Parliament’s Women’s Caucus. The goal of these meetings is to foster partnership between the two countries, especially in regard to assisting Malawi’s children and AIDS-prevention efforts.
The Daily Record reports that one in 12 people live with HIV and AIDS in Malawi, with 50 percent of the population less than 15 years old. Lennox reiterated, “AIDS is the biggest global killer of women of reproductive age [and] remains the country’s leading cause of death in adults.”
“It’s truly fitting that I will be accompanied by Annie Lennox in her first visit as special envoy,” Fergusson says. “She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of HIV in Africa through her inspirational SING campaign and will be a tremendous asset to the people of Scotland through her work for the [Commonwealth Parliamentary Association].”
Truly fitting, indeed.