Projects We Support
Meal-a-Day works in partnership with communities on the ground and well-established organisations which share a similar work ethic and objectives to us.
Tamil Nadu, India
The Ayries Society clinic is situated around an old port town in the district of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, in south-east India. Cuddalore, meaning “sea town” in Tamil, is well renowned for its impressive beaches and mangrove forest; yet, in recent times, industrial growth has tarnished this image with that of a polluted city, slowly taking its toll on the local community. TB and HIV/AIDS are two critical conditions suffered by the local population. In October 2011, the Times of India reported that one in four deaths among people with HIV/AIDS was due to TB.
One focus in Cuddalore is to provide nutritional and medical support for TB patients and their families who are physically unable to help. The Society has had notable success in treating hundreds of patients with TB, through a programme known as Directly Observed Short Course chemotherapy. The food services include adult nutrition programs and cooked meals and dates for children.
Another focus is the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) program. It provides essential support to affected families. In order to receive antiretroviral treatment for HIV an individual must, after their initial treatment, be able to be released to the care of a trained guardian supported by Ayries. Under the PLHA nutrition programme, the Society provides food ingredients and advice to those beginning anti-retroviral treatment.
The partnership with Ayries Society was originally established with the UK Meal-a-Day Fund – we have been pleased to continue the working relationship since it was transferred to Asia-Pacific in 2007.
This project aims to permanently lift farmers out of poverty by implementing viable low cost, sustainable water solutions. These solutions increase farmers resilience to water scarcity and give them the skills necessary to grow enough food to feed themselves and their families.
Specific objectives are to:
1. Increase the capacity of the community to use the limited water resources efficiently, and
2. To install 660 water efficient drip and spray irrigation systems
Farmers who have installed irrigation systems as part of this project report significant direct benefits including:
• Reduced water usage and cost of irrigation
• Being able to plant more crops per year
• Decrease in diesel costs by more than 20%
Safe, accessible drinking water for people and livestock is being provided through well replenishment and construction, rainwater harvesting and education about sanitation and hygiene. Improved farming practices are being encouraged through the establishment of sustainable irrigation systems, the promotion of water saving devices and educating people about ways to increase farm productivity by working in harmony with the land. Local communities are involved in the projects through committees and self-help groups.
Our project partner, WaterHarvest, is a well recognised NGO which is dedicated to improving the lives of those in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They run a range of programs that focus on education, health-care, sanitation, livelihoods and natural resources management for the less fortunate in society.
The Covid19 pandemic has caused intense hardship across the globe and has been particularly devastating for poor communities that lack the financial and medical resources to combat the disease. 40 million poor migrant workers in India have been disproportionately affected by many lockdowns. Unable to work during lockdown restrictions, these already deprived workers were left devastated, with no income, no accommodation, and no safe way to return home.
India project co-ordinators Susan and Linus Daniel allowed CMaD to quickly engage a new project partner, Reaching Hand, and to support them in delivering a project to provide desperately needed supplies to migrant workers in and around Bangalore. Reaching Hand distributes basic food supplies, masks, and soap to families in the Rachanahalli and Kogilu Layout slums, two poor slum areas in south and north Bangalore. These slums are severely impacted by Covid, both economically and in terms of cases which have spread rapidly in these densely populated areas.
Driven by the dire situation unfolding in India, CMaD focused funds donated during “May We Eat”, sending $10,000 in COVID relief funding to Reaching Hand in July 2021. This was an overwhelming response from our supporters, we are humbled and heartened that so many came forward to help.
Touring the Region
“I am reminded of the harshness that many communities have to face on a daily basis.”
Andrew King, Chairman
Home of Peace
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Home of Peace (HoP) is a private orphanage run and owned by Justine Morais. Justine continues to home school and care for up to 20 girls who would be severely marginalised if they were not under the protection of HoP. CMaD has been supporting HoP for many years with health and education needs. The home is a well organised establishment in a 3-level suburban house in Kuala Lumpur. Justine takes care of girls who either have no family or their parents are not able to care for them.
The girls are all educated with the help of Alice, a qualified teacher, and other volunteers, to a leaving pass with a British standard. This gives the girls an ability to go on to higher education and a great start in life. The girls are encouraged to maintain contact with birth families, and this has been successful with some who able to earn and offer financial support to their birth families as well as help with HoP.
The home has been a haven of safety, health and care for many girls over the years.
A larger home was purchased in 2007 as the original small home had been outgrown. This is testament to the dedication of Justine and her team, given she started the home with just two girls in her care.
The main objectives of the home are to tend to the physical and emotional needs of abused, neglected and orphaned children, to ensure these children receive formal education and to equip them to help their families who are still living in squatter areas.
Home of Peace was reliably recommended to us by members of the Christadelphian community, Glenn and Paquita Kennett who have lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur and were particularly impressed by the work and care of Justine and her team of supporters. Home of Peace is governed locally by a committee, three trustees and four ordinary members, and the daily running of the home is overseen by the secretary.
The aim of this project is to address the lack of opportunity for basic education for predominantly deprived farming families in Bhujel, who rely on agriculture as their main source of income. Bhujel is situated 27km from Kathmandu on top of a mountain ridge at 2,175 metres above sea level and, despite its proximity to Kathmandu, access to education is difficult due to the terrain and poor infrastructure. Also, these families often lack the income to send their children to school, which makes it difficult for the new generation to escape poverty.
At the inception of this project, the number of children assisted was determined by the number of needy children in the village of Bhujel. This number has gradually decreased as the children finish their education, and currently eight children are receiving assistance.
The situation became much worse in April 2015 when a large earthquake in Nepal destroyed the homes in the village. Even four years after the earthquake most homes remain desolate. This made a difficult situation even worse and many students had to leave home to continue studying in more distant schools.
An education is an opportunity for a child to be literate in a largely illiterate country. The funding is designed to promote learning rather than only manual labour as an option for these Nepalese children. It also provides the children with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have – when they leave school they may choose to pursue further education and/or a greater variety of vocations.
Heritage Children is a UK-registered Christadelphian charity which has been active in Nepal since 2005, lead by Peter Fry from the UK. The funding is managed on the ground by Mr and Mrs Keshab and Shushma Regmi, “who have a proven record over 20 years in managing charitable projects in Nepal”, says Heritage’s secretary Peter Fry who visits the Nepalese communities on a regular basis.
Mae Hong Son Province,
North West Thailand
Education, Transport, Nutrition
Mae Hong Son is a remote province situated on the Myanmar and Northern Thailand border. About 64% of the population of Mae Hong Son live below the poverty line, many of whom belong to marginalised ethnic minorities such as the Karen.
Karen communities have limited access to basic socioeconomic services such as healthcare and education, and a disproportionate majority depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood.
Getting to school can be a challenge for Karen children who live in poor conditions in the remote mountainous region of northern Thailand. Most villages have a primary school within 10 kms of the village, secondary schools can be 50 kms away and High Schools even further.
The Karen Hilltribes Trust (KHT) is dedicated to increasing access to education for marginalised Karen communities, and one way it does this is through the provision of school bus service. 18 community owned school bus services have been established across 30 Karen communities. This year the school bus services, operated by members of local Karen communities, provided 437 children access to education every day for 12 months. Each month, the community members responsible for the services received financial support from KHT. This contribution was used to cover the cost of fuel and maintenance of the buses, as well as a small salary for the drivers. In most communities, parents contributed to the costs where possible, with KHT covering the remaining costs.
The Karen Hilltribes Trust (KHT), a UK-based charity, was founded by Penelope Worsley in 1999 after the tragic death of her son Richard Worsley, who had previously spent six months volunteering with the Karen people. The Trust’s vision is to “see the Karen people empowered to help themselves in a sustainable way” and is being realised through 3 key developmental objectives:
- To improve health
- To improve education
- To create income generation
Dili, Timor Leste
Timor Leste is suffering a crisis of malnutrition having some of the highest rates of stunting in the world with 60-92% of the Timorese population not having enough nutritious food in their diet. In a highly productive land without famine, how can this be? One key element is knowledge. Poor access to quality food, a lack of nutritional understanding and poor agricultural practices drive stunting and wastage in children.
Our partner, HIAM Health, is a local NGO that supports the Timor Leste government in the fight against malnutrition. It was established in 2003 with a focus on empowering women and rehabilitating children.
The Nutritional Family Gardens project was an integrated project between HIAM’s Health and Horticulture teams, with the overall project goal to reduce the number of households in the village suffering from malnutrition.
Timor Leste has the worst child nutrition in the world.
Source: Page 23 of the Global Nutrition Report 2016
Timor Leste is a food insecure country, with one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world and 70% of the population living at subsistence level. Running water and electricity are considered luxuries, and 40% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day.
The most significant barrier to expansion to commercial farmer group level of production is access to a reliable, year round water source.
Installation of water storage and water saving technology like water tanks and drip irrigation substantially improve sustainability while supporting higher yields.
HIAM Health was recommended by a colleague of our Asia-Pacific management team with first-hand experience of their work in Timor Leste. HIAM Health is a NGO based in Dili that provides education, rehabilitation and nutrition for families in order to reduce infant and maternal mortality and the social and economic conditions families are living in.
Klo Yaw Lay, Karen State, Myanmar
Long Term Healthcare, Renewable Energy
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CMaD partnered with Green Empowerment to install a 5kW solar power system at a COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre, which was in desperate need of reliable energy to power its -20°C freezer, used for vaccine storage. The Emergency Response Centre also provides centralised specimen testing and acute medical services, and is one of only 9 clinics serving appproximately 30,000 people across 69 villages in the Hpa-An District.
The Karen Department of Health and Welfare clinics are part of this project’s reach, providing a focal point for community health information and disease prevention campaigns, increasing community resilience in the wake COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks. This renewable energy project will give insights into the future energy needs of these clinics, we are hopeful that this technology may be introduced to more clinics in the coming years.
Green Empowerment is a USA based charity that CMaD has previously partnered with in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.