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A 9 Year Old Blogger is Censored and Changes Thousands of Children’s Lives

martha payne 9 year old food blogger and fundraiserI think of all the good that is done in the name of WordPress and blogging, and a 9 year old humbles me.

A couple weeks ago, a 9 year old food blogger attracted attention for the photographs she’d taken of her “uninspiring school cafeteria lunches” in Scotland. Local officials ordered her to stop taking pictures and to stop publishing them on her blog. The world responded with accusations of censorship. Within two hours, the local council reversed their decision. The social web moves fast.

In addition to taking pictures of her school lunches, little Martha Payne had set up a JustGiving fundraising project to donate food to the Mary’s Meals charity which feeds poor children in impoverished nations such as Malawi.

On her blog, Never Seconds, Martha (aka VEG) explained:

This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.

I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either…

…I mentioned in my blog that last year my friends and I set up Charity Children at school and we made felt soaps and candle holders. We had a sale and raised £70 for Mary’s Meals enough to feed 7 children for a whole year!

My blog is being read all over the world and some people have said I am very lucky to have lunch at all. They are right. Lots of readers have asked how they can support Charity Children but because I can’t make enough felt soaps so it is best if you support Mary’s Meals directly.

According to the BBC, within a few hours, her simple request helped raise enough money to build a school kitchen in Malawi. People around the world reached out to support her by giving to Mary’s Meals.

Donations range from a few pounds to a couple of hundred. The majority of the donations are very small, adding up to make a huge impact.

According to a spokesperson from Mary’s Meals:

“Thanks to this fantastic support, Martha has now raised enough money to build a kitchen in Malawi for children receiving Mary’s Meals as part of our Sponsor A School initiative and has broken the record for hitting a Sponsor A School online fundraising target in the quickest amount of time”.

Martha’s goal was to fund the building of a school kitchen, about £7,000 (USD $11,000). To date, 6,539 people have donated and they’ve exceeded that goal by 1373% raising over £96,000 (USD $150,000), enough for 13 kitchens, feeding thousands of children worldwide.

If you would like to join her cause, you can donate through Just Giving.

While you are at it, consider setting up a method of donating to your own favorite charity and make a difference in the lives of others. With the millions of people in the WordPress Community, I think we could make some serious fundraising waves, don’t you?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. amelied
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    You’re a legend – thank you for sharing.

    * Yet another example of how hopeful our futures look (imagine if Martha becomes UK’s Prime Minister!)
    * Yet another example of how blogging really is the voice of the people.
    * Yet another example of how out-of-touch print media has allowed itself to become
    * Yet another example of what we all really want to see and hear (NOT a brunette with plastic skin and a permanent smile sexting herself to the world)

    Love your work, Lorelle 🙂

    • Posted June 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the kind words. Martha Payne is truly an inspiration to ALL of us, no matter what age.

  2. BlogSaays
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    very interesting story,It shows that Age and qualification doesn’t matter to start with something good !!! its all about your passion and dedication

  3. dorszykcom
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    This is amazing how internet changes the world. Thumbs up for Martha and her initiative. I just checked her blog and she has lots of contribution form all over the world, this is totally great, especially knowing she is so young. I like that she puts scores and details describing each meal. One of the metrics is “Pieces of Hair” haha ;]

    • Posted June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      The hair bits were wonderful, a fantastic example of creativity and perspective. Martha has a lot to teach us all.

  4. Posted June 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m very impress with this little girl, To do something like this at a young age, Wow amazing. God put us all on this earth for a reason, He wants us to do his works and this little girl is really making a difference. Such an inspiration

  5. Posted July 14, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Wow, That was inspirering to say the least. I love when young kids can make a big difference. I hope some adults step it up a bit.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. Lilith
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    How touching. Sometimes it is the children that can be so surprising and inspiring.

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] lunches” in Scotland. Local officials ordered her to stop taking […] via BUYPAPPA blogging mash This entry was posted in Blogging Mash and tagged Blogger, Censored, changes, Children’s, […]

  2. […] one of my trips around the globe via the ‘net’ I stumbled across this post from Lorelle, that opened my eyes to this remarkable young woman. Now this is what I’m […]

  3. […] In addition to expressing her opinion and demonstrating examples of her school lunches, little Martha Payne had set up a Just Giving, a fundraising project to donate food to the Mary’s Meals charity which feeds poor children in impoverished nations….more […]

  4. […] As you go on and read this post, I highly encourage you that you check the links to other sites cited in this post. Don’t worry, this post is ad-free. XD (EC Widget is at the end of the post) Heck even a 9 year old has a blog nowadays (and does extremely well). […]

  5. […] just the responsible adults getting hit with bans and censorship. Not long ago, I covered a 9 Year Old Blogger, Martha Payne, banned for blogging about her school dinners, a ban which gained her a lot of attention for her mission to support feeding the school age […]

  6. […] the last 5-7 years that I have started roaming the realm of the world wide web, I have witnessed a few brilliant events taking place – whilst also being firsthand witness to some of the most stupid ones as […]

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