Monday, 18 June 2012
We are rich
Martha Payne isn’t complaining about her school meals. She is celebrating her good fortune in having daily access to them. This is something hardly any of the media reports of her Blog about her school lunches has picked up. Several media reports even say that she is counting how many hairs there are in her lunches, whereas her Blog actually records the way in which there never are any.
She echoes in my mind one of the speakers at our recent clergy conference who (talking of something quite different) slipped in a reminder of what we already know: we are rich people; we have ready access to everything from plentiful clean water to any emergency medical treatment we need, so we could not possibly count ourselves as being anything else.
Aware of her own good firtune, she is drawing attention to school children across the world who do not share it. She had done some limited conventional fund-raising (such as a cake sale) for the charity Mary's Meals, and she thought a Blog about her own school meals would be a way to raise some more. She set herself a target of £7 000.
The publicity around her local Council’s temporary ban on her taking and posting pictures of her school lunches could not have been more helpful. By this morning, the amount given to the charity through the page on the on-line donation site linked to her Blog was more than ten times her target; it has passed £80 000.
The money is to be used to feed children at Lirangwe Primary School in Malawi, which happens to be forty miles or so from where I was born.
Meanwhile, the picture was taken beneath my study window last week.