The generosity of Southampton supporters has ensured that all 1,300 children at Kidiwa Primary School, in Kenya, will be fed for a year, through the club’s partnership with Mary’s Meals.
The organisation, which works in some of the world’s poorest areas, with the vision of providing a nutritious daily meal to every youngster in their place of education, became Saints' official international charity partner in December.
A special Generation Hope event was held at St Mary's last month in support of their work, with the club announcing that it would be partnering with Kidiwa Primary School, in Eldoret, with the aim of feeding all of the school's approximately 1,300 pupils each day for an entire year.
The night, which featured a world premiere of the powerful Generation Hope film that details the work of Mary’s Meals, raised £10,816.80, taking the overall total to £30,714.21 – a sum that has been split equally between the charity and Saints Foundation, who support a variety of good causes and projects in the local community.
That means the amount raised for Mary's Meals has now reached £15,357.10, with an additional £5,326.66 also previously secured through the UK Aid Match scheme.
With it costing just 12.20 to feed a child for an entire school year, the partnership between the charity and Saints has already raised enough to support every pupil at Kidiwa.
Chairman Ralph Krueger said: “The generosity of Southampton Football Club’s supporters has made a potentially life-changing contribution to the lives of the children at Kidiwa Primary School.
“It is a source of great pride, and a testament to the depth of feeling towards Mary’s Meals, that we have hit this target so quickly, and we look forward to continuing the fundraising throughout the year so that further children in some of the world’s most impoverished areas can benefit from this partnership and the charity’s incredible work.”
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, said: “The Generation Hope dinner hosted by Southampton Football Club was a joyous celebration of the club’s active role in supporting communities and young people both locally and globally.
“There is such genuine enthusiasm for our mission from the club, players, and fans, and their generosity has been astounding. The £15,357.10 will be used to provide meals to the children at Kidiwa Primary School in Kenya, which is the focus of the club’s international fundraising.
“A daily meal for children in their place of education is the key to creating a generation who can help lift their communities out of poverty and end their reliance on aid and we’re so thankful to Southampton Football Club for supporting the children of Kenya in this way.”