Gary Maclean makes SCIAF's WEE BOX Lent launch a flipping success

MasterChef: The Professionals winner and Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean, held a pancake masterclass at City of Glasgow College today to help launch SCIAF’s WEE BOX, Big Change Lent appeal.


He was joined by 12 pupils from Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow who learned how to make the perfect pancake, and they were flipping brilliant!

Gary, who is a Senior Chef Lecturer at the college, helped the pupils to create one last sweet treat before Lent officially begins tomorrow. 

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Each year people across Scotland give up a favourite treat such as coffee, chocolate, wine or crisps, put the money they save into a SCIAF WEE BOX and then donate it at Easter to help the charity’s life-changing work with people in some of the poorest countries in the world.

This year the appeal tells the story of our work helping vulnerable young people in Uganda. In central and northern regions, high unemployment rates, HIV and AIDS, and the legacy of war have left a high number of orphans and a generation of young people without hope, trapped in extreme poverty.

We're is helping young people to be independent, grow the food they need and earn a living so they can support themselves and their families.

Following his masterclass Gary Maclean said:

I’m delighted to be supporting SCIAF’s WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal this year, which is highlighting its help for vulnerable young people in Uganda so they can lift themselves out of poverty by growing their own food.

Working in a college, I’m passionate about helping young people realise their potential. SCIAF is doing the same thing for young people in Uganda, and other countries all over the world, and that’s why I’m backing the WEE BOX appeal this year.

I’ve already got my WEE BOX and I’ll be making sure it’s full when the appeal ends at Easter.

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Ugandan single mother Lydia and her five children feature on this year’s WEE BOX. The 26-year-old lives in an area where poverty and unemployment are rife. She lost her parents to suspected HIV at a young age, leaving her and her seven siblings to fend for themselves.

After her husband abandoned her she was left to raise five children alone. She struggled to buy enough food for them to eat.

But since Lydia received tools, seeds and training from SCIAF she’s been able to provide for herself and her family, and even train to become a hairdresser. She has now set up her own business.

I feel great now. I am living a happy life. My children are in school and I have enough food. My life has changed a lot.

Before we had no hope. But now I have seen a great light in the future. I am very happy. I am so thankful to the people in Scotland for the support they’re giving us. Thank you so much.

Previous WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeals have highlighted how money from Scotland has changed the lives of people affected by illegal fishing in Cambodia and climate change in Ethiopia having to adapt to a harsh and changing climate. Both appeals benefitted from UK Aid Match funding and are continuing to change lives.

To learn more and donate to our WEE BOX, Big Change Lent appeal click here.