Sarah’s blog 14/10/21
Hi, I thought it might be good to give a few facts for anyone who has joined us recently. If you have juststarted following us ….. welcome!
In Malawi it gets light at approx 6am and dark at approx 6pm all year round. The Foundation now has power but none of the houses in the area have electricity. So unless people are lucky enough to have a candle or a windup torch they are in total darkness after 6pm at night. How can children read or do their homework in the dark? That’s why we want every child to have a windup torch and we welcome donations of candles and windup torches.
The William Stewart Foundation supports over 800 orphans and other vulnerable children through a variety of projects, as well as supporting the elderly and infirm. Approximately 500 children turn up each weekend for a meal at the Feeding Programme. That might be their most filling and nutritious meal of the week. As there are no big charities feeding children at school in that area, some children walk up to 20km for a meal. Teachers have noticed a difference in the children’s concentration since the Feeding Programme started. They have also reported that the children are more confident now they have new clothes instead of rags. Last year 20 children who are supported by the Foundation, out of a class of 80, all got higher results than their peers in their primary school leavers exams.
70 of the most vulnerable children and young people now have been matched with sponsors, ensuring they have a monthly food parcel and that their secondary school fees are paid. Without this support, the children supported by The William Stewart Foundation do not get to secondary school. We have young people waiting for that opportunity to see if they can go to secondary school with their friends in January…or if their education is over. It’s only £25 a month to make a huge difference to a young person.
Class sizes are up to 80 children and at the primary school nearest The Foundation, the children sit on the floor. We are collecting reading books for them so the children have books to practice reading. There are mixed age groups in each class as, due to the dire poverty, children miss chunks of school to try to earn the equivalent of 10p a day to buy some food (for reference a bar of soap costs approx 30p). One of the boys who has now been sponsored and is off to secondary school in January, used to work for a whole month for a farmer and get paid £1.50 for the month. Things have now improved greatly for him thanks to having a sponsor. So there are 16 year olds having just left primary school, desperate to get to secondary school. In Malawi, education is everything and out of reach for most. They are required to supply their own stationery, again another challenge for the poverty stricken.
Football and netball are really popular and the children and young people love to play both at The William Stewart Foundation. They are able to forget their problems and have fun with their friends. New footballs and netballs are always needed!
The nursery at the Foundation is run thanks to a monthly donation. 50 children meet for 3 sessions a week. These children are age between 4-6 as children start school at age 6 in Malawi. The children receive food each time they meet and they received uniforms and fleecy blankets recently. We would like to gift each child who starts nursery a bag with uniform, a blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and other essential items to support their wellbeing and attendance at nursery.
Hopefully, you’ve found these facts interesting but please do message if there are other facts you’d like to know. I’ve attached photos below of things that we are collecting to support the hundreds of children at The William Stewart Foundation. We would love it if you could purchase a few things next time you are shopping please, or let us have preloved items that are in very good condition. Thanks for reading. Sarah x