Bradford on Avon entrepreneur’s mission to feed Malawi’s starving children
After seeing the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS in Malawi, Bradford on Avon entrepreneur Jon Maguire vowed to help feed the country's children.
Mr Maguire, 52, of Newtown, was shocked by the number of children orphaned and malnourished due to the epidemic and he visited the African country in 2005 to see what he could do.
The father-of-three said: “It was like a war but there were no bullets being fired. It really does assault your senses.
“There are seven million children in Malawi, 3.3 million are malnourished. I wanted to fix things.”
Through funding, Mr Maguire started an enterprise, Africa Invest, in the Malawi village of Dwambazi.
He set up a feeding programme and worked with the villagers to put the children on the programme.
Africa Invest expanded over the years and Mr Maguire said: “We were feeding two-and-a-half thousand children but we have seven million in the country. It was then we saw that the answer has to be political.”
He is now part of a team, including nutritionist Dr Mary Shawa and the Very Rev Baird Mponda, which has set up Fed, a school meal programme, which focuses on nutritious corn soya blend porridge (CSB+), that costs £22.50 per year per child.
The team visited Malawi last month in the hope of gaining support from the country’s government.
Mr Maguire said: “It is a malnutrition epidemic. We want the school meals aspect to kick in as soon as possible.
“What Fed does is properly manage funds, so there is no interference and no fraud.”
The Fed programme also aims to improve smallholder farmers’ incomes.
Mr Maguire said: “If we can use this funding to give them the market price of the crop, then we have a major result.”
Further information is available at http://www.fed-jut.com/