Dion backs Mary's Meals documentary
Singer Celine Dion has backed a documentary about a charity which provides a daily meal for hundreds of thousands of the world's most impoverished children.
The star has recorded a video clip talking about how moved she was by the film Child 31, about the work of Mary's Meals, and urging people to support it.
The documentary, which launches online today, gives an insight into the lives of some of the children supported by the charity, which provides a daily meal for 822,142 children in their place of education.
The singer contacted Mary's Meals to offer her help after watching the film, which launched on November 4 and is being shown across six continents.
In her video message she says: "As a parent it's so frustrating to learn that this suffering exists among our youth and it's our responsibility to do whatever we can to save them.
"Together we can make a difference in the lives of all these precious children. Through the grace and love provided by Mary's Meals, there is hope; there is a future."
"I urge you to watch Child 31, so that you can see for yourself how Mary's Meals is making a huge difference for these children and by doing so, it's going to change their lives - and I promise it's going to change yours too."
Other high-profile figures including Annie Lennox, Nicola Benedetti, Gordon Brown, Lorraine Kelly and Alex Salmond have also backed the film.
Child 31, which features Hollywood star Gerard Butler speaking about the work of Mary's Meals, was funded by a donor, and gives an insight into the lives of some of the children supported by the charity, namely Lette in Malawi and Muksi in Kenya.
It follows Mary's Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow as he shows how effective school feeding programmes can be in ending the cycle of poverty created by hunger.
He said: "So many people who have seen Child 31 so far have been moved and inspired to help Mary's Meals, including a number of high profile figures.
"They, and others all over the world, are people who will not accept that any child in this world of plenty must endure a day without a meal. As a result of their good deeds, thousands of children, who would otherwise be hungry and working for their next meal, are instead sitting in a classroom with a full stomach, learning how to read and write.
"We hope that making the film available online will bring the story of Child 31 to new eyes, new ears, and new hearts, and help Mary's Meals to transform yet more lives."
The documentary, produced by award-winning New York production company Grassroots Films, has been launched online today to coincide with Mary's Meals Day, an annual open day to celebrate the work of the charity.
It costs a global average of £10.70 to feed a child with Mary's Meals for a whole school year and the charity is committed to spending 93p of every £1 donated directly on charitable activities.