Sarah’s blog 10/4/22
A quote from Mother Teresa ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples’
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has’ Margaret Mead.
I found blogging very difficult to start with. It’s not in my nature to put myself forward….I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes. However, although these blogs are written by me, they are all about bringing news and photos from The Foundation about the hundreds of vulnerable children we are trying to help. The blogs are about raising awareness, raising funds and trying to bring more supporters into our team.
In order to keep helping the community towards self-sufficiency, we do need to widen the net and increase our team. Self-sufficiency is the end goal and always has been but things have been so bad for this rural community it is going to take a while and a lot of support.
All children in this rural community are malnourished. Most do not eat properly every day. Some go for a couple of days without eating at all. The plan was to set up The Feeding Programme for approximately 200 orphans and vulnerable children who live in the villages surrounding The Foundation. However, there are no big agencies feeding children in that area. I have made contact with them numerous times but they are busy further south. Some children are walking up to 20km for their one substantial, nutritious meal each week. On average 500 children and young people are fed every weekend. Teachers are noticing a difference to these vulnerable children’s concentration and grades after The Feeding Programme being set up. If this is after one meal a week, imagine the difference to these children if they were able to eat nutritious food more often?
I can’t imagine not being able to feed my children. Especially during the pandemic when the schools were closed, my youngest son was looking in the fridge for food an hour after he’d had his breakfast. He wanted lunch at 10.30am….I think quite a few children were like this whilst at home and out of their routine. We had to say ‘no’ some of the time. We said ‘have some fruit’ ‘have a carrot or cucumber’ or ‘have a glass of water to fill yourself up until lunchtime’. We live in a totally different world to those living in dire poverty in Ibuluma and surrounding villages in rural Northern Malawi.
Lack of food will affect strength to carry out manual jobs like collecting and carrying wood, carrying maize, walking to school, it will make them tired and cold, it will mean stunted growth and malnutrition and the inability to concentrate. Imagine your children were crying with hunger and you’d nothing to give them. Imagine the hopelessness of sending your young children out to work instead of them attending school as you need the pathetically small amount of money they will bring in. One boy (now sponsored) helped a farmer with his cows for the equivalent of £1.50 per month. In this situation, children are missing a huge amount of school. Life is hard and it is certainly not fair.
Some girls are at risk of being married off too young as child brides, despite this being illegal. Their families don’t want this, the girls don’t want this but their families cannot afford to feed all their children. What a desperate situation to be in.
My youngest son needed some new t-shirts and a waterproof jacket as he has grown. We don’t have an endless pot of money but I was able to order the clothes he needed. Imagine your children have one set of clothes and they grow? These families cannot afford to buy new clothes. Children have been wearing rags.
Thanks to your help and support, The Foundation is able to feed these children once a week and you have donated clothes and shoes. You’ve also generously donated stationery and books to help with the children’s education. Then there are the 90 children who are sponsored who have a monthly food parcel and their secondary education paid for them by their generous sponsors. There are lots more children needing a helping hand and a sponsor.
So what I am trying to say is that, as a team, together we are Changing Lives (in) Malawi. However, we need more people to help more people. Here are some ways you could help;
- Fundraising – can you do a sponsored event for us like The Kiltwalk or something else? I will help with sharing posts on social media to get more sponsors.
- Fundraising – can you organise an event in your community? Whether a quiz, a table top sale or a coffee morning or a carwash? Or what else? All these type of events help spread awareness of our charity to a new audience.
- Fundraising – could you organise a raffle, whether online or at an event?
- Fundraising – are you part of a church or club that you could invite us to speak at and show photos?
- Sponsoring – could you sponsor a week of the feeding programme or raise £100 to sponsor one meal for 500 children?
- Sponsoring – could you sponsor a child or young person. It’s only £25 per month.
- Donate – could you make a one off or regular donation towards the feeding programme or support another one of the programmes?
- Sign up to receive the blogs to receive up to date information.
- Share our posts to reach a wider audience please and talk to family and friends about what we do.
- Are you doing your Duke of Edinburgh Award or another volunteering activity? Do you want to add some volunteering to your CV? What could you do to raise funds or awareness for the children in Malawi?
- Any other ideas you have – please get in touch. As the saying goes ‘every little helps’. We cannot do this on our own. The hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children need you.
- WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING. WE NEED YOU. THE HUNDREDS OF ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY NEED YOU. PLEASE HELP US CONTINUE CHANGING LIVES MALAWI.
firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you, Sarah x