The story behind preloved school uniform collection….

May be an image of 7 people, child, people sitting and people standing

Sarah’s blog 5/4/21

These school jumpers are part of the uniform of Riverside Primary School in Stirling. There are several boxes of their school uniform on the container that is currently travelling to Malawi. We’ve had uniform donated by families with children at lots of local primary schools. It’s been a great way of introducing ourselves in the local community and telling the story about how the children have nothing and their struggles. People have been very generous, and children grow so quickly, so there has been a great response to our uniform appeal.

In Ibuluma, Northern Malawi, where the Foundation is, it can get cold at night. Most of the vulnerable children don’t even have blankets and sleep on a mat on the floor. A school jumper is a way of keeping them warm at night as well as being able to give each child a new set of clothes; tshirt, skirt or trousers/jumper. These children have never had new things so are delighted when they receive something new (to them).

I’ve been able to go into one local primary school to talk to two classes and several visits in a nursery class. The children were so interested in life in Malawi. Unfortunately, coronavirus has curtailed any more visits for the last year but, hopefully, visits to schools will be allowed again within a few months.

So next time you see photos of the children in Malawi in preloved uniform from schools in Central Scotland, you’ll know that there have been appeals, conversations happening, information exchanged about the children supported by the Foundation. Conversations involving generous people and making connections with them. Telling the children’s stories, making their voices heard. Conversations about how the uniform gets there (Bananabox Trust in Dundee orders a container when their warehouse is full of donations for different organisations in Northern Malawi). We are charged £15 per box to cover the cost of sending goods on the container and it can take 2-3 months to get there.

From having nothing but the rags they were standing up in, the children now have smart new clothes with a jumper to keep them cosy. They are more confident as they are no longer ashamed of their appearance and warmer at night. They know that people care about them. They have hope for a better future. Together we are #changinglives. Sarah x

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