SCHOOLKIDS are being urged to donate their old backpacks to less fortunate children in Africa ahead of the new term.

Youngsters in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire can take part in The Backpack Project, run by Mary’s Meals, by filling their old bags with notepads, pencils and clothes.

The charity sends them to poverty-stricken kids in Malawi, with more than 40,000 bags being gifted every year.

And thanks to the donation of a new van by Arnold Clark, it will be easier than ever for Mary’s Meals to pick up bags from schools in both areas.

Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals UK, said:”I hope pupils in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire 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.”

Malawi is home to Mary’s Meals’ largest school feeding programme, which reaches 32 per cent of primary-aged children across the country.

The charity, which feeds more than 1.5 million kids in 18 countries, provides one daily meal in a place of learning in order to attract poor children into the classroom.

Adam Clark, group business sales and development director at Arnold Clark, said: “Arnold Clark is delighted to support Mary’s Meals. It’s amazing to think that backpacks collected from schools around the UK in this van will soon be starting their journey to Malawi.”

Read the latest from the Barrhead News