Sarah’s blog 12/11/21
Imagine a community without enough to eat. Not much energy to work as they haven’t eaten enough, not much work to go around as everyone is after the same jobs doing piecework. Children missing school to walk long distances to the nearest maize mill carrying heavy burdens. No water to drink, no food to eat.
Thankfully, things are improving in Ibuluma where The William Stewart Foundation is. However, the situation was so bad that there is a lot still to do. The task is daunting but we know we have people supporting us to raise the money needed to fund the projects. We are very grateful for the group of people who contribute funds, goods, their time and effort. However, we need to do more. How can we reach more people? How can we increase our regular income? Who could donate or fundraise? Please have a think about these questions as just maybe you might have the answer.
These are some of the ways that lives have improved so far for the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children supported by The Foundation. Remember, there are no big charities in the far north of Malawi feeding children in schools….The William Stewart Foundation is all these extremely vulnerable children have. We need to ensure more food for their future.
- The Feeding Programme – at least 600 children are fed once every week, maize and vegetables from The Foundations crops are used where possible.
- The Foundation Nursery – 50 preschool children meet 3 times a week to play and are fed porridge or other food at each session. The nursery children have all been given a blanket each and a uniform. There are waterproof jackets for them that will be given out once the rains start.
- The Mother & Baby project – thanks to donations of baby clothes & blankets and beautiful knitting that has been donated, Levison was able to visit the maternity ward at the local health centre. Babies will be warm and, if health professionals tell the mums that they can return for more clothes for their babies in a few weeks, that gives the health experts another chance to interact with the mums and babies and have another chance for a check up.
- Thanks to lots of donations of preloved school uniform, other clothes and shoes, all children and young people have had new clothes to wear and their self-esteem is improving.
- Thanks to several sports clubs and generous people who have donated for The Foundation, children now feel like proper football or netball teams and have a sense of identity and belonging with their friends. They can forget their problems whilst learning about and playing football, netball & other sports.
- 70 of the most vulnerable children and young people now have been matched with sponsors, enabling them to have a monthly food parcel and their secondary school education paid for them…an opportunity which would not have been open to them without support from their sponsors.
- Several orphans have been helped to find homes with foster families following bereavement. These kind families have also received support to accommodate an extra mouth to feed.
- 20 plus teenagers are on the apprenticeship scheme, learning agricultural skills as well as bricklaying, making eco-stoves and animal husbandry etc.
- Children and young people are learning life skills like gardening and growing crops, animal husbandry, sewing, knitting and carving.
- Period Poverty Project; each girl who needs one is gifted a drawstring bag with 3 pairs of pants (donated by charity Smalls for All) 5 reusable sanitary towels, soap and a health information sheet. They now no longer have to miss one week of school each month. They have dignity and do not need to hide in shame. There are a group of girls using the hand turn sewing machines to make these as well as masks for everyone for protection during the pandemic.
- School Literacy Project; local schools are being gifted boxes of books to help children practice and improve their literacy levels.
- Emma’s Rainbow Library has been built, giving children access to a variety of books and we are adding more as time goes on.
- Most importantly; The Foundation has a clean water supply making a huge difference to this community. The shower block has recently been completed as the second part of the WASH project.
- Fruit trees are being planted, helping the planet but also providing food for the people…planting a sustainable future…we need support with this as we are just at the start of this project.
I’m sure there are lots of other things I haven’t mentioned, and as soon as I’ve finished typing I will probably think ‘oh I forgot to say that’….but as you can see there have been many changes and improvements but lots more work to do. We’d love more people to support us….it’s all about playing a small part of a team and together we can continue #changinglivesmalawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x