Stratagem supporting Mary's Meals backpack project

27 July 2018

Stratagem is always on the lookout for ways to help those within our community and beyond. A strong sense of our social responsibilities has long defined the company and in 2018 we aim to continue that ethos.

We are working with charity Mary’s Meals to deliver resources to children in the third world, equipping them with things they need to realise basic educational aspirations.

Aside from being impressed by its work throughout Africa, Asia and South America, we chose Mary’s Meals because it is supported by people from many different backgrounds.

The Mary's Meals outlook is one Stratagem is pleased to endorse: enabling people to give of their money, goods, time and skills in offering useful, sustainable support to those seeking to improve and empower themselves, regardless of their economic or geographical circumstances.

In practice, our efforts are straightforward. We are taking part in the Mary’s Meals backpack project, filling 100 school rucksacks so that children can get the most out of the opportunities available.

From pencils and erasers to note pads, rulers and even some new clothes to wear to class, these small, everyday items – as well as a backpack for carrying them all – can make a profound difference.

We could not have come close to meeting our goals without the contribution of fantastic partners and friends.

Backpacks were purchased from Belfast charity Ten Foundations and Lurgan-based social enterprise Madlug.

Ten Foundations trains women in the Philippines to make the rucksacks. These women are paid a fair and decent wage to craft unique products, often from recycled materials. For every bag sold, Ten Foundations gives one to a child in need in the Philippines, making it easier for him or her to go to school.

Similarly, Madlug follows its ‘buy one, give one’ mission by providing free backpacks to local children in care, something fresh, colourful and dignified in which to hold their worldly belongings. That model saw the business named the best consumer-facing social enterprise at the 2017 Social Enterprise NI awards and brings a great local element to this internationally focused endeavour. 

The vital contents of each backpack – a range of stationery, tooth brushes, tooth paste and tennis balls – come courtesy of Oakdene, Tallon International Ltd, Parkes Pharmacy & Rymer Distribution, The Consultation Institute and John McClelland of Knightsbridge Wealth Management.