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 Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals

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Dallas
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PostSubject: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:52 pm

http://vimeo.com/82281679
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:59 pm

http://www.thisisjersey.com/news/uk-news/2013/12/20/butler-in-charity-trip-to-liberia/


Butler in charity trip to Liberia

Friday 20th December 2013, 12:10AM GMT.

Gerard Butler has visited Liberia to see the work of the charity Mary's Meals

Film star Gerard Butler swapped Hollywood for the kitchen as he became a volunteer for a charity which provides a daily meal for hundreds of thousands of the world’s poorest children.

During a four-day trip to Liberia in Africa this month, the actor helped cooks prepare and serve meals to school pupils on behalf of Mary’s Meals.

Butler loved the experience and said he has been inspired to get more involved with the charity, after he helped out in a school maths class, played football with children and danced with local villagers.

Mary’s Meals was set up by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow in a shed in Dalmally, Argyll, but has grown into an international school feeding programme, working in countries where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. It also sends backpacks filled with school essentials around the world to ensure children can make the most of their time in class .

Scot Butler, 44, presented Mr MacFarlane-Barrow with an award in 2010 and has supported the charity since.

The actor said: “I have come to know Mary’s Meals but I had no idea of what that really meant until I came to see what is possible with this organisation and the effect it can have on the lives of so many children.

“One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of people’s dignity, and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining this. They don’t operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the lives of people, their culture and what they are capable of.

“I’ve seen a lot of these communities becoming more energised and alive, and what Mary’s Meals does is that it helps create a sense of community that goes way beyond the feeding programme itself.”

Mary’s Meals has been working in Liberia since 1994 and the school feeding programme in the country is the second biggest run by the charity after Malawi.

It now reaches more than 820,000 children around the world.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said: “I really wanted Gerry to come out to Liberia because of the huge need there. There are so many children out of school in Liberia – a little less than half attend school and there are major problems with malnutrition amongst the youngest children.

“It has been an incredible few days with Gerry. He has a great gift with kids. It has been wonderful watching him go into classrooms where he has brought the children out of themselves. Immediately he forms this bond with them, and children respond to him.

“He has brought so much joy to the kids receiving Mary’s Meals and I hope that, through his commitment to raise awareness of our work, we can reach many more children with Mary’s Meals.”

Butler added: “Every meal given to these children is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding them physically and nourishing them.

“That all passes down into the families and into the communities and gives them a sense of hope and that is the difference between a kid saying ‘I want to survive tomorrow’ and ‘I want to be a doctor’.”
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:04 am

Video and pics at link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/liberia/10529224/Gerard-Butler-on-Bush-devils-dancing-and-Liberian-roosters.html


Gerard Butler on Bush devils, dancing and Liberian roosters


Gerard Butler, the Hollywood actor, has visited Liberia lto see for himself the work of Scottish charity Mary's Meals. He tells Harriet Alexander why he went to West Africa - and how it has changed him


By Harriet Alexander, Tubmanburg, Liberia


The sunlight was filtering through the thick tropical forest as the small Liberian boy showed the white man his walk to school. Butterflies flitted between the banana trees and the curtain of creepers flanking the red earth track was alive with chatter from the bush.

Sunday Boy Maison, 14, may for that moment have shared the same path as Gerard Butler, Hollywood leading man, but their worlds could not be more apart.

Yet both were making that journey for the same reason: to draw attention to the work of Mary’s Meals — a Scotland-based charity that helps more than 820,000 children in 16 countries, giving them one meal a day in their place of education.


“It’s such a simple, no frills idea — but one which is so effective,” said Butler, 44. “And it is magical to see it in practice.”

Sunday Boy’s school, in a remote northern Liberian village accessible by canoe, is one of 366 nationwide that receive assistance from Mary’s Meals — taking weekly deliveries of rice, peas, corn soya blend and cooking oil.

The villagers are taught how to store the food safely and to supplement it from their own vegetable garden, which the charity’s staff show them how to cultivate.

(CHRIS WATT)

“Before Mary’s Meals came to my school, I was hungry in the day and could not concentrate. But now I am on the ball, and I can pay attention because I have a full stomach,” said Sunday Boy, who wants to be a senator.

“So you could be president one day?” asked Butler.

“Yes,” he replied.

“So I should be nice to you then?”

“Yes,” he said, to peals of laughter from the village elders seated nearby.

Of course, the tale of two unlikely acquaintances began far from this sleepy village in a remote corner of West Africa.

In 2010, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, 45, who had founded the organisation in response to the Balkans war, was named as one of 10 CNN Heroes.

Presenting the award, in Los Angeles, was fellow Scot Gerard Butler.

“I knew a bit about the organisation from my mother, who is a huge fan of Magnus’s work,” said Butler. “But before I presented the award they sent me a DVD of Mary’s Meals. And it blew me away — I had tears rolling down my cheeks. So when I met Magnus I was a bit star-struck. I was in awe.”

Born into a Roman Catholic family in Paisley, Butler started training as a lawyer – but his hedonistic ways led him to be fired the week before qualifying.

Moving to London, the wild times continued. But he began to take acting seriously, and, aged 30, left Britain for Hollywood – giving up alcohol, honing his craft and his all-action frame. With films such as 300 and Olympus Has Fallen, he is now one of their most bankable stars.

His accent is Scotland meets mid-Atlantic; Celtic is his team, songs and gags are Scottish schoolboy, but football is “soccer” and films are “movies”.

Butler’s father died when he was 22, but his mother appears to remain a huge influence.

“My mum’s a good Catholic, and although I’d say I’m more into spirituality than organised religion, I listened to her.”

Adopting a high-pitched Scottish accent, he continues: “Och, Gerard, Mary’s Meals do such beautiful things, you must get involved.”

And so last week he found himself in the wilds of West Africa. His mother, he said, was far more excited about this trip than any of his films. He was based in a Mary’s Meals compound in the small town of Tubmanburg, midway between the capital Monrovia and the border with Sierra Leone. He and Mr MacFarlane-Barrow travelled to schools that Mary’s Meals supports — bumping along dirt roads for hours to reach remote settlements. Driving into one village, amid the frenzy of children bearing banners and drawings, the village chief stepped forwards to present Butler with a white rooster — a great honour for any visitor. “This is our tradition to show that you are welcome and have a pure heart,” he said.

At another community, a group of middle-aged women welcomed them with a feverish dance, beckoning Butler to join in. “I’m dead worried,” he said, emerging sweating from the throng. “I’ve been told my dancing signalled I’ve married five of them.”

What did he know about Liberia before? “I knew about the war and Charles Taylor, but not much beyond that,” he said. “When you think of Liberia, you think of horrific violence and senseless wars. But that’s not what I’ve seen here. It’s such a welcoming country, with proud people, and a real sense of marching ahead.”

Liberia, founded by freed American slaves, emerged from an intense and vicious war a decade ago. Since then it has elected Africa’s first female president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and improved significantly.

But immense problems remain. It is the fourth poorest country in the world, with a life expectancy of 57 and youth unemployment at 85 per cent. The swathe of land bordered by the Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra Leone has been blessed by iron ore, diamonds and the world’s largest rubber plantation — but little benefit trickles down to the country’s 3.7 million people, surviving on average on £258 a year.

(CHRIS WATT)

Mary’s Meals has been in Liberia since 1994. Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said it was one of his favourite countries because the people embraced the idea of working alongside the charity. “For me what sums it up — and a real highlight of this trip — is revisiting a school I went to earlier this year,” he said. “I got there in the afternoon and most of the children had left class because they had to go into the bush and look for food. But this time, the classrooms were full — enrolment has gone up by 40 per cent in this district — and that was a delight to see.”

Butler told Mr MacFarlane-Barrow that he wanted to come, and Liberia, the first African country to receive Mary’s Meals, was suggested — “even though it is logistically one of the more complicated places to come to,” Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said. “But to be honest, I never really expected Gerry to make it here at all.”

Charities queue for Butler’s support, but, he joked: “I can barely look after myself, let alone take on that”. It had to be something he believed in.

Behind the wisecracking and stream of anecdotes, he admitted he was apprehensive about the trip.

“I was nervous because I wasn’t sure I’d be eloquent enough to give justice to this experience,” he said. “Being here is a huge responsibility. And then I thought about it and realised it was a real honour to be able to do this. Cynics are always going to say it’s about self-interest, but I think this is one of the times celebrity can work for you — to shine a light on good work going on.”

Butler spoke with affection of Momolu Sando, an articulate nine-year-old taken by his uncle to an orphanage school, aged two, when he lost his parents in the war. The actor spent time talking to Momolu and playing football, and later said: “He’s just the most incredible boy. He is just like me when I was younger; playing football, wanting to be a doctor — I wanted to be a lawyer. We have to give more children like that a chance.”

Meloshe Roberts, 24, is one such child that was given a chance. One of the first youngsters to be fed by Mary’s Meals while at school, he is now director of news for a regional radio station.

“It definitely helped me get where I am now,” he said. “It encouraged me to stay in school, and be focused.”

Leaving behind Sunday Boy’s village, taking the dugout canoe across the river, Butler was thinking about the past few days. “I usually click straight back into my real world quite easily,” he said. “But this changes you. Getting out of your own bubble, and stepping momentarily into theirs. It matures you — although it also somehow makes you more childlike at the same time.”

He returned to Hollywood exhausted, but inspired and wanting to do more.

He has plans for events back in Los Angeles, “to get the wealthy folk there to open their wallets”, he said.

“I just feel like we are all walking along this path together.

“And if we can give someone a little helping hand along the way, then it’s got to be the right thing to do.”

Send your donations to Mary’s Meals.

Call 0800 698 1212 or visit www.marysmeals.org.uk You can send cheques / postal orders made payable to Mary’s Meals to: Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Argyll, Scotland, PA33 1AR.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:09 am

http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/449654/What-Gerard-Butler-saw-Serving-Mary-s-Meals-for-charity-in-Liberia


What Gerard Butler saw... Serving Mary’s Meals for charity in Liberia


HOLLYWOOD star Gerard Butler swapped his millionaire lifestyle for a humble mud-walled schoolroom as he urged Scots to help end poverty.
By: Stephen Wilkie


Gerard Butler has swapped the glamourous film premieres for schools in the poorest parts of Africa

The actor visited war-ravaged Liberia, one of the world’s poorest countries, to witness the work of international charity, Mary’s Meals, in West Africa.

Butler, whose credits include Law Abiding Citizen, 300 and Olympus Has Fallen has been a supporter of the Argyll-based charity for three years.

Mary’s Meals feeds and helps educate more than 820,000 children across Africa, including 111,551 in Liberia.

Butler, 44, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, pitched in to help volunteer cooks prepare and serve up Mary’s Meals and give lessons to a class of orphans.

The star also played football with deaf youngsters, loaded a truck with sacks of rice, planted seeds at a school garden and danced with villagers.

He also visited several schools and witnessed the simple difference that a daily meal can make to the children of Liberia and its impact on their ability to learn in school.

Butler has been a supporter of the charity, founded by two brothers, since 2010, and last month sent a message to more than 270,000 Twitter followers urging them to back its efforts.

He also took part in an award-winning documentary, Child 31, which follows charity founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow and his efforts to end the cycle of poverty.

Clearly moved by his time in Liberia, Butler said: “Since 2010, I have come to know Mary’s Meals but I had no idea of what that really meant until I came to see what is possible with this organisation and the effect it can have on the lives of so many children here.

“One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of people’s dignity and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining this.

“They do not operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the lives of people, their culture, and exactly what they are capable of.”

During the four-day trip, Butler spent time meeting charity workers, the children they help and the families of those supported by Mary’s Meals.

The devoted Celtic supporter even spotted one youngster wearing the Glasgow club’s famous hooped top, and exclaimed: “Even in Liberia, there’s Celtic!”

   One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of people’s dignity and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining this

   
The Hollywood actor also spent time meeting children orphaned by two bloody civil wars which claimed more than 250,000 lives and left one million Liberians displaced.

Former salmon farmer Mr MacFarlane-Barrow, from Dalmally, Argyll, founded Mary’s Meals with his brother, Fergus, in 2002 after meeting a woman dying from Aids.

He asked her 14-year-old son what his dreams were in life, and was moved by the boy’s stark reply: “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said: “I really wanted Gerry to come out to Liberia because of the huge need there.

“It has been an incredible few days with Gerry. He has a great gift with kids. It has been wonderful watching him go into classrooms where he has brought the children out of themselves. Immediately he forms this bond with them, and children respond to him.”

Butler added: “Every meal given to these children is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding them physically and nourishing them emotionally.

“This trip has inspired me to become more involved, and, hopefully, will inspire other people. I wish people could spend one second or one minute that I have had here in these schools, with these families.

“I do think anyone who has had that experience would get way more involved.”
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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:14 am

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/entertainment/gerard-butler-392807.html?utm_source=ff&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=siteFeed

Gerard Butler Visits Africa to Help Promote Food Charity

21 December 2013

Scottish actor Gerard Butler has visited impoverished children in Africa in support of a charitable food initiative.

I have been struck by the strength of peoples' dignity and what I love about Mary's Meals is that it is all about retaining this

The 300 star visited Liberia earlier this month (Dec13) to witness how aid organisation Mary's Meals was providing thousands of kids in struggling communities with nutritious meals at their schools, as well as teaching locals how to cultivate crops.

During his trip, Butler helped volunteers cook meals provided by the charity, taught a class of orphans, and played soccer with youths.

He says, "Since 2010, I have come to know Mary's Meals but had no idea of what that really meant. I have been struck by the strength of peoples' dignity and what I love about Mary's Meals is that it is all about retaining this. "Every meal is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding and nourishing them.

That all passes down into the families and gives them a sense of hope and that is the difference between a kid saying, 'I want to survive tomorrow' and 'I want to be a doctor'".

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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:20 am

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/5335697/Butler-service.html
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:48 am

Bunch of pics at link:



http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity/big-hearted-actor-gerard-butler-mobbed-2945171

In pictures: Big-hearted actor Gerard Butler mobbed by youngsters during a Mary's Meals visit to Liberia

THE Scots Hollywood star was in the impoverished African state to support the work of Mary's Meals, who aim to reach every child with a nutritious daily meal.


HOLLYWOOD A lister Gerard Butler swapped his glamorous LA lifestyle to spend four days with impoverished schoolkids in Liberia.

The Scot’s born star put movie life on hold until last week to visit one of the world’s poorest countries and the work of international charity, Mary’s Meals.

Gerard has supported Mary’s Meals since 2010 after presenting founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, with a CNN Hero award and learned about its vision to reach every child with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education.

His visit saw him bonding with some of the 111,551 children and, as well as pitching in to help volunteer cooks prepare and serve up Mary’s Meals, he took a class of orphans, played football with kids, loaded a truck with sacks of rice, planted pepper seeds and pineapples at a school garden, and danced with villagers.

He said: “Since 2010, I have come to know Mary’s Meals but had no idea of what that really meant. I have been struck by the strength of peoples’ dignity and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining this.

They don’t operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the lives of people, their culture, and what they are capable of.”

He added: “Every meal is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding and nourishing them. That all passes down into the families and gives them a sense of hope and that is the difference between a kid saying, ‘I want to survive tomorrow’ and ‘I want to be a doctor’.



Over a decade since the war, I see communities full of resilience, integrity, warmth, love and hope. Mary’s Meals is like a little switch that helps flick it on.

Gerard wants other to feel inspired by his visit. He said: “I wish people could spend one second that I’ve had here in these schools, with these families, as I do think anyone who has had that experience would get way more involved. There is such a direct link between a donation and a nutritious meal for a kid.

Mary’s Meals is helping kids get a great education, and in turn, a better education system can help lift a nation out of poverty.”

Liberia is the second largest school feeding project run by Mary’s Meals, after Malawi.

The charity, which now reaches 822,142 impoverished children, has been working in Liberia since 1994, initially delivering shipments of emergency medical aid.

It now provides a daily meal in 364 schools — reaching over 16% of the primary school population.

CEO of Mary’s Meals Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, said: “I really wanted Gerry to come out to Liberia because of the huge need there. A little less than half the children in Liberia attend school and there are major problems with malnutrition.

Gerry has a great gift with kids and I hope that through his commitment to raise awareness of our work, we can reach many more children with Mary’s Meals.”
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:00 am

Video at link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/liberia/10529045/Through-Liberia-with-Gerard-Butler.html

Through Liberia with Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler, the Hollywood actor, has travelled to Liberia to see first-hand the work of Mary's Meals - a Scotland-based charity that feeds over 830,000 children in their schools



By Harriet Alexander

8:00AM GMT 20 Dec 2013

In pictures: Gerard Butler in Liberia

Gerard Butler, the Scotland-born film star, travelled to Liberia last week to see the work of Mary's Meals.

Encouraged by his mother, Butler, 44, made his first trip to West Africa to spend six days in Liberia - driving along remote dirt tracks to visit schools and hear from students, teachers and community leaders about the work of the Argyll-based charity.

"When I told my friends I was coming here, the common response was 'Woah, be careful,'" he told The Telegraph, which accompanied him to Africa.



"But all I have seen is warmth, and welcoming people, and the most beautiful children ever. And they give so much in terms of love and generosity and appreciation."

Butler's relationship with the founder of the charity, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, began in 2010 - when the star of 300 and Olympus Has Fallen was asked to present an award in LA to his fellow Scot. The pair forged a firm friendship, with Butler asking if he could visit one of the 16 countries in which Mary's Meals operates.

"I wanted to come and shine a light on the work that's going on here, and learn more about it," he said.

"It's such a simple and efficient idea - with incredible results.

"Enrolment rates shooting up, attendance shooting up, academic performance shooting up, and just their hopes shooting up."

Everywhere he went, Butler was greeted by a swarm of delighted children. He was taught how to weave baskets, shown how to peel African aubergines for the food, presented with ceremonial roosters, and encouraged to take some of the classes - leaping around a maths class and getting them to roar like lions in their reading lessons - much to the hilarity of the youngsters.

"The country is beautiful – it’s so lush and a pleasure to drive through – it really is an adventure," he said. "You come across these schools, and it’s like God’s own country. And in the middle of it you see these children in their pressed, gleaming school uniforms.

"It really has taken my breath away."

Send your donations to Mary’s Meals.

Call 0800 698 1212 or visit www.marysmeals.org.uk You can send cheques / postal orders made payable to Mary’s Meals to: Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Argyll, Scotland, PA33 1AR

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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:01 pm

Now finally some Butler behaviour I can acknowledge, support and even cheer. These small but essential contributions can make a lifelong difference to a child's future. Until you see and speak with them, you have no idea how much these children and their families VALUE education and are grateful for what they receive. So many others take it, and the work of teachers, for granted.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:41 pm

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/257665-gerard-butler-volunteers-for-marys-meals-childrens-charity/

Film star Gerard Butler volunteers for Mary's Meals in Liberia


Scots film star Gerard Butler volunteered for a charity that provides meals for hundreds of the world's poorest children in Liberia.

During a four-day trip in Africa this month, the actor helped cooks prepare and serve meals to school pupils on behalf of Mary's Meals.

Paisley-born Butler said he loved the experience and was inspired to get more involved with the charity, after he helped out in a school maths class, played football with children and danced with local villagers.

Mary's Meals was set up by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow in a shed in Dalmally, Argyll, but has grown into an international school feeding programme, working in countries where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. It also sends backpacks filled with school essentials around the world to ensure children can make the most of their time in class.

Butler, 44, presented Mr MacFarlane-Barrow with an award in 2010 and has supported the charity since.

The actor said: "I have come to know Mary's Meals but I had no idea of what that really meant until I came to see what is possible with this organisation and the effect it can have on the lives of so many children.

"One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of people's dignity, and what I love about Mary's Meals is that it is all about retaining this. They don't operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the lives of people, their culture and what they are capable of.

"I've seen a lot of these communities becoming more energised and alive, and what Mary's Meals does is that it helps create a sense of community that goes way beyond the feeding programme itself."

Mary's Meals has been working in Liberia since 1994 and the school feeding programme in the country is the second biggest run by the charity after Malawi. It now reaches more than 820,000 children around the world.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow added: "I really wanted Gerry to come out to Liberia because of the huge need there. There are so many children out of school in Liberia - a little less than half attend school and there are major problems with malnutrition amongst the youngest children.

"It has been an incredible few days with Gerry. He has a great gift with kids. It has been wonderful watching him go into classrooms where he has brought the children out of themselves. Immediately he forms this bond with them, and children respond to him. He has brought so much joy to the kids receiving Mary's Meals and I hope that, through his commitment to raise awareness of our work, we can reach many more children with Mary's Meals."
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:23 am

http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/gerard-butler-swaps-la-for-liberia-to-see-the-work-of-marys-meals/


Gerard Butler swaps LA for Liberia to see the work of Mary’s Meals


Hollywood actor Gerard Butler has swapped the glitz and glamour of LA to visit one of the world’s poorest countries with Mary’s Meals.

The actor has been a supporter of Mary’s Meals since 2010 when he presented Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow with a CNN Hero award and learned about our vision to reach every child with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education.

His enthusiasm for the work of Mary’s Meals has led him to Liberia where he was able to see our programme in action for the first time and meet some of the 111,551 children receiving a daily meal in school.

Among the highlights of the trip, Butler pitched in to help volunteers cooks prepare and serve up Mary’s Meals, bonded with children, took a class of orphans, played football with kids, loaded a truck with sacks of rice provided by Mary’s Meals, planted pepper seeds and pineapples at a school garden, and danced with villagers.

Butler visited several schools where our feeding programme is already established and witnessed the difference a daily meal can make to the health and energy levels of children and its impact on their ability to learn.

He said: “Since 2010, I have come to know Mary’s Meals but I had no idea of what that really meant until I came to see what is possible with this organisation and the effect it can have on the lives of so many children.

“One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of peoples’ dignity and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining that dignity. They don’t just operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the dignity of these people and their culture and what they are capable of.

“What I’m seeing here is that a lot of these communities are becoming more energised and alive, and what Mary’s Meals does is, that it helps create a sense of community that goes way beyond the feeding programme itself.”

Butler added: “Every meal given to these children is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding them physically and nourishing them. That all passes down into the families and into the communities and gives them a sense of hope and that is the difference between a kid saying, ‘I want to survive tomorrow’ and ‘I want to be a doctor’.

“This trip has inspired me to get more involved and hopefully will inspire other people. I wish people could spend one minute in these schools receiving Mary’s Meals, as I think anyone who has had that experience would get way more involved.”

When Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, was recognised by the CNN Hero awards in August 2010, we were supporting 427,580 children with a daily meal in a place of education—today Mary’s Meals is reaching 822,142 impoverished children every school day.

He said: “So often when I meet people and they hear about Mary’s Meals, they tell me they’d like to help. It’s one of the things about my job that never ceases to amaze me.

“When Gerry said he’d be in touch after we met at the CNN awards, I didn’t really expect to hear from him again, until he turned up at our HQ in Dalmally! It’s been great to be able to bring him out to Liberia to see the work of Mary’s Meals is doing here in partnership with schools and communities.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Gerry for helping us to shine a light on Liberia and its potential as the country works hard to carve out a strong, positive future where its children will prosper.”
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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:21 am

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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:12 am

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152126825854686.1073741827.100801244685&type=1
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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:54 pm

Not sure why JJ is reporting this now. It kind of smells like PR to me - like a push from Gerry's people to interrupt the negative chatter regarding Point Break casting.

Tons of pics at link:

http://www.justjared.com/2014/01/13/gerard-butler-visits-liberia-with-marys-meals-all-the-photos/

Gerard Butler Visits Liberia with Mary's Meals - All the Photos!

Gerard Butler takes some time out of his busy schedule to spend time with just a few of the children supported by the organization Mary’s Meals during a four-day trip to Liberia back in December.

The 44-year-old actor has been a supporter of the charity ever since presenting its founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow with a CNN Hero award back in 2010. The organization feeds 822,142 every day and its central vision is to reach every child with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education.

On his trip, Gerard pitched in with volunteer-cocks to prepare serve Mary’s Meals and he also bonded with children by taking a class with them, playing soccer, and much more.

“This trip has inspired me to get more involved and hopefully will inspire other people. I wish people could spend one second or one minute that I’ve had here in these schools, with these families, as I do think anyone who has had that experience would get way more involved,” Gerard said about his trip in a statement.

To help support the charity, visit MarysMealsUSA.org!
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:47 am

Dallas wrote:
Not sure why JJ is reporting this now.  It kind of smells like PR to me - like a push from Gerry's people to interrupt the negative chatter regarding Point Break!

Couldn't agree more, Dallas. So bleeding obvious.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerard Butler in Liberia with Mary's Meals   Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:12 pm

Pics and video at link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2539054/Action-star-Gerard-Butler-shows-softer-bonds-children-charity-trip-Liberia.html

Action star Gerard Butler shows his softer side as he bonds with children on charity trip to Liberia

He's got a reputation as a fun-loving playboy but Gerard Butler has a soft side.

The 44-year-old actor undertook a charitable mission to Liberia in December with the organisation Mary's Meals where he helped volunteers prepare meals and bonded with the children.

The visit profoundly affected the Scottish action star, who said: 'This trip has inspired me to get more involved and hopefully will inspire other people.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

'I wish people could spend one second or one minute that I've had here in these schools, with these families, as I do think anyone who has had that experience would get way more involved.'

Gerard has been a supporter of the charity since 2010 when he presented Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow with a CNN Hero award.

He soon learned all about the organisation's ethos, to reach every child with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education, and decided to undertake the trip to meet some of the youngsters who have benefitted from the scheme.

But it wasn’t all serious. In video footage, which can be viewed on the charity's YouTube channel, the fun-loving star can be seen as he bonded with the children by playing soccer, planted pepper seeds and pineapples at a school garden, and danced with villagers.

Butler pitched in with other volunteers and along with cooking, helped to load vans with rice provided by the charity.


Joking around: Gerard made faces as he entertained a group of children on his trip to Liberia and they appeared enthralled with the star

In a statement on the charity’s website, Gerard said: 'Since 2010, I have come to know Mary’s Meals but I had no idea of what that really meant until I came to see what is possible with this organisation and the effect it can have on the lives of so many children.

'One of the things that I have been struck by during this visit is the strength of peoples' dignity and what I love about Mary’s Meals is that it is all about retaining that dignity.

'They don't just operate a free system where people are just taking; instead it is all about respecting and promoting the dignity of these people and their culture and what they are capable of.

'What I'm seeing here is that a lot of these communities are becoming more energised and alive, and what Mary’s Meals does is, that it helps create a sense of community that goes way beyond the feeding programme itself.'

Butler added: 'Every meal given to these children is a piece of charity and a little piece of love, and goes into the hearts of the children, feeding them physically and nourishing them.

'That all passes down into the families and into the communities and gives them a sense of hope and that is the difference between a kid saying, “I want to survive tomorrow” and “I want to be a doctor”.’

Mary's Meals reaches 822,142 impoverished children every school day.

MacFarlane-Barrow admitted he was shocked by the enthusiasm Butler had for the charity.
Pitching in: Gerard assisted volunteers as they prepared meals for school children in the poor region

Pitching in: Gerard assisted volunteers as they prepared meals for school children in the poor region

He explained: 'When Gerry said he’d be in touch after we met at the CNN awards, I didn’t really expect to hear from him again, until he turned up at our HQ in Dalmally!

'It's been great to be able to bring him out to Liberia to see the work of Mary’s Meals is doing here in partnership with schools and communities.

'We're incredibly grateful to Gerry for helping us to shine a light on Liberia and its potential as the country works hard to carve out a strong, positive future where its children will prosper.'

For more information go to MarysMeals.org.uk


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