Sarah’s blog 04/10/23
We are very grateful for the donations of preloved sports kit we have received from clubs and individuals. As I posted yesterday, one primary school have football shirts that are years old and are ripped and falling apart. Thankfully, because of these generous donations, all schools taking part in the rugby development tournament will receive rugby balls and sports kit to take back to their schools.
New (or new to them) sports kit will make such a difference to these vulnerable young people who are living in extreme poverty. They can be proud of their team all looking smart and they know that people whom they’ve never met care about them. These young people are used to making do with what they have, even if it is ripped and falling apart, they aren’t used to being gifted new sports kit. They will be delighted, on tournament day, to receive new sports kit thanks to the donations of kit we have received.
One organisation who have been very generous with the amount of rugby kit and rugby balls they have donated to us is Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. They have given us a huge amount of sports clothes as well as rugby boots and rugby balls. We are very grateful for all this support which, as you can see from the photos, is making a huge impact on the vulnerable young people we help to support.
We have facilitated a second visit from Jack Mphande, Sports Development Officer for Malawi Rugby Union, to introduce rugby in the far north of Malawi where we work. Jack is based in Lilongwe and travelled 15 hours by bus to work with the orphans and other vulnerable children during these two weeks.
A bit of information for those who are new to my blogs;
- No big organisations are feeding children in primary schools this far north.
- Most of children in primary schools aren’t eating a proper meal every day.
- Secondary education needs to be paid for in Malawi. So, unless families can afford to pay for secondary education, many children’s education does not advance past primary school level.
- Many primary schools do not even have clean water and toilets. Nor do they have enough educational resources. We have been donating boxes of preloved reading books to primary schools to help raise literacy levels.
- The students (in today’s photos) attend Bright Futures Secondary School, the second phase of which has just been completed. None of them could afford secondary education as many are orphans living with extended family. Most don’t eat every day so all students at Bright Futures Secondary School receive a free cooked lunch each day as well as their free secondary education.
- Many of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School are older than they should be. They’ve had to miss big chunks of primary school to work for a pittance to try to buy food for themselves and their families. The older a student is when they start secondary school, the poorer the family as they’ve missed more school. Often older siblings miss out on education so younger siblings can go to school while the older siblings work long hours. Many of the children and young people we help to support are suffering from different levels of malnutrition.
- Whilst we are very grateful for donations of goods, we also need funds to cover the cost of sending these items. It costs us £17.50 per box or sports bag on the container and then there are also costs in Malawi when Levison and team travel to collect all the donations.
Thank you to all who contribute, to all who share our posts, to all those who have donated to this rugby event to ensure that these young people got to experience a new sport and learn new skills whilst having fun with their friends. They are able to forget about their traumatic lives whilst playing team sports. They will remember Jack’s visit as a highlight of their time at school.
So, as we grow and are able to help more of the most vulnerable people living in dire poverty, please consider fundraising for us to help us continue to change lives in rural northern Malawi. Can you donate money along with your gifts of goods? Can you have a bake sale for us? Or do a sponsored event? Our charity is run by volunteers, so all money goes to the projects we support in Malawi. Eventually, the aim is that the community will be self-sufficient but things have been so bad that they need a helping hand until they are at that point.
- We are also looking for people to commit to £5 or £10 per month to help pay for school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School.
- Can you pay for a box of preloved books to get to a primary school as part of our School Literacy Project? £17.50 will help children become more confident readers.
- Can you give a vulnerable young person the gift of education at Bright Futures Secondary School? The more sponsors we have then the more students we can support. If you have £25 per month to spare (or split the cost with a friend) you will be able to sponsor a young person to attend secondary school. Education is their way out of poverty and young people want to work hard and have new opportunities for a brighter future.
- Any fundraising you can do for us or monetary donations would be very much appreciated. email@example.com our charity bank details are; Bank of Scotland, Changing Lives Malawi, a/c 21081462, s/c 80-22-60.
Enjoy looking at these photos of the young people at Bright Futures Secondary School as they learn to play rugby. Thank you everyone who supports us, Sarah x