STUDENTS going back to school this September are being invited to donate their old backpacks to children living more than 7,000 miles away in Malawi.

Run by Mary's Meals, The Backpack Project, similar to the shoebox appeal, encourages youngsters to fill their old bags with notebooks, pencils and clothes before they're sent to schoolchildren in Malawi.

Every year more than 40,000 bags are donated with more than 500,000 bags handed over since the launch of the project in 2005.

Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary's Meals UK, said: “I hope pupils in Merseyside will celebrate the new term by joining in The Backpack Project and donating their old bags to children who eat Mary’s Meals in Malawi.

“A bag filled with school essentials is a wonderful gift because it ensures these children can get the most out of their education, giving them a ladder out of poverty and the chance of a better future.”

Mary’s Meals can collect group donations of backpacks from schools, workplaces and groups across the UK.

To find out more about The Backpack Project visit