Malawi event gives food for thought

Leading figures from the University are taking part in an event to champion education for disadvantaged children and families in Malawi.

The event celebrates the work of the MamaLita – a charity which has set up a pre-school and an education college in Namwera, in the Mangochi District.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder of the Mary’s Meals charity – which has given more than one billion free, nutritious meals to schoolchildren world-wide – will give a presentation on solutions to world hunger.

The founder and manager of the MamaLita school, Rita Milesi, will share her experience of looking after vulnerable children and setting up the pre-school.

The name of the MamaLita School comes from Rita – known as Lita in Malawi – who moved from Italy more than 40 years ago. She has spent the intervening decades working to help children in the district.

University support

Edinburgh Principal Professor Peter Mathieson will give an opening address, and the Head of the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Dorothy Miell will conclude the event.

The event, on Tuesday 5 June is hosted by the School of Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics at 7 George Square.

Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience at Edinburgh, Sergio Della Sala, manages the MamaLita project.

The project is supported by the non-governmental organisation Italian Scotland, Alleluya Care Centre in Malawi, as well as several individual donors.

Partnership working

Talks by the project partners will highlight issues surrounding world hunger and providing quality education in Malawi.

Miriam Brazzelli, from the University of Aberdeen, will discuss the global issue of child food insecurity.

Corinne Reid, a Clinical Psychologist at Edinburgh will discuss the power of collaboration involved in setting up the MamaLita project.

Food and education

The MamaLita school was established in 2016 and has been working with the University of Edinburgh University since 2017.

The school is located within the Alleluya Care Centre, an orphanage which has been supporting children up to three years old for more than forty years. Mary’s Meals provides the food at the school.

The MamaLita school has 200 children enrolled, aged 3-6 years, and approximately 50 per cent are girls.

The focus of the school is to support the health and wellbeing of the children through providing nutrition and education for their development.

The MamaLita project has also created an education college where local teachers will be trained.  

There are strong link between Scotland and Malawi and we hope to build on these by helping to provide a hub for families, and an educational pathway for children from the nearby villages. We hope our multidisciplinary approach, can support the development of a sustainable environment which provides both food and education.

Professor Sergio Della SalaProfessor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience Citation

What’s important to us is the hungry child. When there are hungry children in front of us today, we’re going to feed them and, at the same time, we’re going to work on the solution to getting them fed in the long term, creating a global movement of people who believe in this vision.

Magnus MacFarlane-BarrowFounder and Chief Executive

Tickets for the event, supported by the Italian Consulate, are available on a first come first serve basis.

Related links

Event registration | MamaLita: Food for thought in Malawi


Mary’s Meals

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