We couldn’t help the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children we support without the help of our wonderful supporters. We always say it’s about teamwork and we each have our own skills and ways that we can make a difference. That might be volunteering your time, your talents, sponsoring a child or making a one off or regular monitory donation. We need each and every one of you. The children need you. They now have hope and a brighter future because of you. Thank you.
We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received when fundraising to build phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. We said that if anyone donated £500 or over towards the building of the school, they could name a classroom if they wanted to. The two classrooms have been named; Form 1 is named after a girl called Shona and Form 2 is named after Professor Derek Knottenbelt. Thank you very much for your support and help with enabling phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School to be built so quickly.
We currently have a new latrine block that needs sponsoring….would you like your company advertised on the wall? And the staff house needs to be named after someone or a business… as the house is split in two, there are two opportunities to have your name painted on one of the walls. If you would like to donate £500 or more, we would be very grateful, and you can let us know what name you would like to be displayed on your behalf. email@example.com
Thank you for reading and for all your support. It really is a team effort, and we couldn’t help so many vulnerable children without you. As there are no admin costs or salaries in our charity, 100% of what you give goes to the projects we support. Therefore, despite always being on a shoestring, we make the most of what money we have. That’s why your support is vital and very much appreciated. Thanks, Sarah x
It’s been another busy day for Levison. In preparation for the long journey to collect the boxes from the next container, which will hopefully be arriving very soon, Levison took the truck to get two new batteries today.
He also called in at the carpenter who is making some desks for one of the classrooms. We were delighted to have received a donation towards these desks and, as always, we are very grateful for the support. The carpenter agreed to make the desks for £20 each and they will be ready for collection on Tuesday. If anyone would like to purchase a desk for the other classroom, then please do let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org 130 chairs are in the container that is arriving very soon, so the school is really taking shape and pupils will have more uniform and school bags.
There is still a lot to buy and also continuous costs for Bright Futures Secondary School, so here is the link for our fundraiser https://gofund.me/44a92444 if you would like to make a donation. We are hoping that the builder will be back at The Foundation this week to start measuring out the area for the next classroom block.
Here is the link to the post about our fundraising gifts and cards. We still have some of our lovely calendars for sale and they would make a great gift at only £10 plus £2 p&p with all money going to the school project. Christmas Cards & Gifts – Changing Lives Malawi I hope everyone is having a good weekend and thank you again for supporting us to help the vulnerable children in Malawi. Thanks, Sarah x
We recycled a couple of old trampoline frames and sent them on the container to be used to help build a polytunnel.
Agriculture is one of the subjects on the curriculum in Malawi and, with their teacher, the young people have made the polytunnel and planted mustard, tomatoes and onion. I think it looks very impressive and, hopefully, the food will be able to be used for school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School.
This is an opportunity that these teenagers have had to learn more skills for life and a better brighter future. How amazing to be able to grow your own food successfully and feed yourself and your friends. Hope you enjoy looking at the photos and thank you for your support, Sarah x
At the nursery today, Levison was able to gift some resources that had been sent. There were books and balls to be kept in nursery to be used whilst the children are there.
When the next container arrives (hopefully very soon) there are gift bags to be given to each of the children. Each child will receive a gym bag containing; a blanket, 2 red t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book. This will be an ongoing project so that, in future, whenever a child starts nursery, they will be given a gift bag, and we will have a record of every child who has been given these gifts.
The books that have been donated to the nursery and that will be gifted to each child to take home, form part of The Literacy Project. The children will learn about looking at pictures, turning pages and that the words tell the story. We hope that this will help with learning to read and also that books can be read every day for enjoyment and fact finding. We want every family to have at least one book in their home and, hopefully, older children can read to their younger siblings and adults. If some adults struggle with reading, we aim to have literacy classes for them too.
Although I was glad to see these resources being given to the nursery, I feel really quite sad looking at these photos. I have enlarged some of the photos to pick out three children that I noticed. All of the 500+ orphans and other vulnerable children we help to support, through a variety of projects, are malnourished to varying degrees. These children that I have highlighted have stunted growth and one has an enlarged tummy due to malnutrition. Prices of maize and other food are rising. Families are really struggling. Levison suspects that most of these children are only eating when they are fed at nursery and when they attend the weekly feeding programme.
There are no other charities or agencies feeding children in this area. Feed The Children Charity do occasionally donate some porridge for the nursery children; however, it doesn’t last long. Children walk for up to 20km to receive one substantial nutritious meal from the feeding programme once a week. We wish we had more money to be able to feed the children more often. It’s a huge responsibility trying to fundraise for food for over 500 children.
It costs approx £125 per week to run the feeding programme once a week for 500 children. The nursery children must be fed too. This is approx £50 per week. Bright Futures Secondary School is approx £100 per week to provide nutritious lunches each day. It would really help us and help the children if we had several people committing to pay a small amount of money each month to support feeding the children. If you can spare even £5 or £10 per month then you would be making a big difference. The children need more food. The children need you to help us support them. If other people, all pay a little amount each month then we can feed these malnourished children more often. Please email for bank details email@example.com
Thank you so much for reading and supporting us to continue helping the hundreds of vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi, Sarah x
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helps us to support the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.
As today is Giving Tuesday, please could we ask that you donate to our charity if you are able?
These are our current priorities, and any donation of any amount WILL make a difference.
To provide a Christmas Lunch for all the children at the feeding programme so they have an extra meal and party – £150
To provide a bar of soap for all the children at Christmas (we have already sent enough pencils for a pencil each) – £200
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more desks -£500
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more textbooks – £2,000
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide science equipment – £500
Bright Futures Secondary School – free school lunches – to provide a one-off donation or regular monthly amount towards school lunches – approx £400 per month. Any amount will make a difference to these vulnerable teenagers.
Whatever you are able to give will be very much appreciated. The hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children who we help to support need to know that people care about them. We want for them the same chances, choices and opportunities as our own children have. We want them to succeed and be the best they can be. Will you help us? Together we can make a difference. Together we can help these children out of poverty and onto a brighter future. What can you do today? email firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details.
The photos below are from last year’s Christmas Party. A donation from Strathblane Guild paid for the food and Julian from Wear a Sports Shirt Day sent the Christmas hats. Can you help us provide a Christmas Party this year? Or make a donation towards Bright Futures Secondary School? Thank you in advance for your support. Hundreds of children will know that people care about them. Thank you for helping us continue Changing Lives in Malawi, Sarah x
Things are going well at Bright Futures Secondary School, and everyone is settling into a routine. An holistic approach is taken to changing the lives of these very vulnerable children. How can they sleep if they are cold? How can they learn if they are tired? How can they learn if they are hungry? How can they be confident individuals if they are wearing rags and old clothes?
We have been supporting The Foundation with all of these issues, through a variety of projects, and we are making a difference to the lives of the children. However, it is really difficult when there are 500+ children requiring support whilst the community works towards self-sufficiency. These children need a brighter future. They deserve a bright future. This is why we need your help.
We sent some secondary school uniform, which had been donated, on the last container and Levison gave this to some of the boys yesterday who look very smart. We will probably need to buy skirts for the girls as generally the skirts that teenage girls like to wear to school where I live are slightly too short for the girls in Malawi. More uniform is on the next container that is due to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
The young people at Bright Futures Secondary School are being provided with a hot, nutritious lunch every day at school. They are also able to access the Feeding Programme once a week so, even though these meals are only once a day, that is 6 days out of the week where they are getting a proper, hot, nutritious meal. Families are so poor that lots of the time, children do not have a proper meal every day. If you would like to support the school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School with a monthly donation, then please do get in touch email@example.com
If you are local to where I live in central Scotland and have any teen boys/men’s black trousers, white shirts or blouses, black jumpers or cardigans, and flat men’s/women’s shoes that are in good, clean condition, then we would be very happy if you were able to donate them. We would also welcome any donations of money to cover the cost of sending boxes on the container. firstname.lastname@example.org
The young people were delighted to be given fleecy blankets to help keep them warm at night. Some of the students had smaller blankets…they have already had a blanket gifted to them, so this was an extra one.
Work will be starting soon on the foundations for classrooms 3 and 4. We are so grateful for all the help we have received but we still need your help with providing more classrooms for next year. It’s been amazing what has been achieved and the amount of money that has been raised within such a short time to provide secondary school education, free of charge, for those who are most in need. Anyone who is able to donate £500 or more, can chose to have a name or business name above one of the classroom doors. https://gofund.me/44a92444 to give the gift of education.
The carpenter will start making some desks this week; however, we still need money for desks for the second classroom…approximately £500 is still required to provide desks for everyone in the two classrooms. We also need to provide more textbooks; this will be another £2,000. Thankfully, we did have a grant from The Souter Charitable Trust for £3,000 which purchased a good number of books. Until we have provided enough textbooks, we will keep adding new ones each year when there is money to do so.
So here are photos of some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, from yesterday with their new blankets and some with new uniform. I have put the link to yesterday’s post with our fundraising gifts and cards from which all proceeds will go towards Bright Futures Secondary School. Thank you for reading and supporting us to help the children, Sarah x
It’s exactly one month until Christmas Day. Are you organised yet? We have a selection of gifts and cards to help you. So, grab a cuppa, make a list of everyone you still need to buy for and have a read of my blog! All money is going straight to the projects we support in Malawi. There are no admin or salary costs to take off as our charity is run by a small group of volunteers, passionate about changing the lives of the most vulnerable in rural Northern Malawi.
First of all….a link to DontSendMeACard.com. The first link I have posted takes you straight to the e-Christmas cards, the second link takes you to our platform page from where you can navigate to e-cards for all occasions as well as e-sustainable gifts where you can send an e-alternative gift which supports our projects in Malawi.
Our lovely bright A4 calendars are a great gift to send through the post – I can send to you or directly to the recipient. They have lots of photos and information on each of the projects and plenty of space to write in. Only £10 each with all money going to Malawi, plus £2 p&p. To order please email me email@example.com
We have more alternative gifts if you’d like an actual card to send to the recipient rather than just sending an email with a gift. There are 4 gifts to choose from and you just tick whichever gift you have chosen. £10 buys a football, £10 buys 4 fruit tree saplings, £40 buys soap for 100 vulnerable children and £20 pays for a box of books to be sent to a primary school in northern Malawi as part of our literacy programme. I can send the cards to you or directly to the recipient. firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Cresswell, one of our trustees, has had cards made from her beautiful paintings to raise funds for our charity. Again, all money goes to support the projects in Malawi. These cards are blank inside for your own message and are in packs of 8 of the same picture for £5. Postage will be an extra £1 per pack. These packs make great gifts or to buy for your own use to have cards for all occasions to hand. email@example.com
And Christine’s original paintings have been donated to our charity, so all money goes to the projects we support in Malawi. We are very grateful, for her generosity of time and talent. They are framed and only £75 each plus £5 p&p.
These will make wonderful, original Christmas gifts or why not treat yourself knowing that the money will be helping vulnerable children in northern Malawi. firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for reading and supporting our charity. Please do share this post with your friends so we can continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x
Word has spread about the new secondary school in Ibuluma. A local radio station and The Malawi Guardian have contacted Levison for more information on Bright Futures Secondary School. It is amazing what has been achieved in a short period of time and we couldn’t have supported this project without the wonderful people who have helped us. It’s been a real team effort.
The school is being built in phases, due to the fact that it requires a huge amount of money to complete. Teachers’ accommodation, latrines and two classrooms have been built as phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Work is about to start on the foundations for classrooms 3 and 4 and it is hoped that these classrooms will be finished after the rainy season. We have sent 130 chairs for the school on The Bananabox Trust container that is due to arrive in Ekwendeni very soon.
We are still needing to raise money for desks and more textbooks. If you are able to help support the young people with this, please donate at https://gofund.me/44a92444 Once desks and more textbooks have been supplied, fundraising will start for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. If anyone is able to contribute £500 or more, then they can name a classroom (after an individual or a business). email@example.com
Class sizes are deliberately small to ensure that these vulnerable children get the best chance to succeed. Currently S1 and S2 have 35 students each. S3 has 10 students who are using the library as their classroom. The school won’t be taking on any additional students until more resources are in place.
I have attached the link to the Malawi Guardian post and thank them for their article. I have also put links to some recent articles on Bright Futures Secondary School in case people haven’t had chance to read them. There has certainly been a lot going on and it is wonderful to be playing a very small part in the team that are helping to change the lives of these most vulnerable children and help them towards a brighter future. Thank you for reading and enjoy the articles, photos and videos, Sarah x
Copy of the news article in The Malawi Guardian: “In order to help less privilege students, the William Stewart Foundation an organization based in Chitipa has established a secondary school with support from a UK based Charity Changing Lives Malawi.According to the cofounder of the organization Levison Mlambya who is also a secondary school teacher said the secondary school has been established to target needy and orphaned secondary school going students who cannot afford to pay fees in other schools.
The secondary school has been established to give hope and bright future to less privileged students hence the name Bright Futures Secondary School.So far the school has enrolled about 35 students in forms one and two. The school has also provided job to cooks, watchmen, six teachers with degrees and diplomas.
“We have opened a secondary school targeting the needy students who can’t afford to pay their fees in other schools. They are learning for free and also given free food and teaching learning resources”.
“We are appealing for support from well-wishers from Malawi and all over the world to support us with teaching and learning resources like desks, food stuffs, books, pens so that we continue supporting these students”.
The school is opening in phases, this year we have started with junior school next year we will be opening the senior secondary. We are now working on the school registration processes so that the school is duly registered with the ministry of education,” he said.He added that they are targeting over 160 learners to be helped.The school is located in Ibuluma Village, in TA Wenya in Chitipa District.”
Every day is a day to celebrate children but today is International Children’s Day. Today I am thinking about the hundreds of wonderful, resilient children we help to support in rural northern Malawi. Despite the fact that they have all experienced grief, trauma, malnutrition, poverty and hardship, they get on with things and make the best of life. Many have missed out on a proper childhood as they have had to work long hours, missing school, for a pittance to try to help feed themselves and their family.
We are helping to change their lives. We need your help. We are a team, each with our own part to play. These vulnerable children need a team around them to help nurture them and help them thrive. They are fed once a week at The Feeding programme. We would love to do this more often if we had more funds. If you would like to support the feeding programme for 500+ children by donating a monthly amount, then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The Child Sponsorship Project matches the most vulnerable children with sponsors. The children receive clothes, a blanket, a monthly food parcel, welfare checks, and secondary education. If you are able to sponsor a child, then please do get in touch. It is only £25 p/m to sponsor a child and it might be the most important thing you ever do for these very vulnerable children. You can sponsor as an individual, a family, a business or share the cost with a friend. Please do let me know if you could help give a child a brighter future. email@example.com Here are some of the young people who have just started at Bright Futures Secondary School and who need your help. Please will you sponsor me? – Changing Lives Malawi
We are also looking for people who can commit £5 or £10 per month (or an amount of your choice) to help support hot, nutritious school lunches for the teenagers at the new school. Is this something you can do? firstname.lastname@example.org
Bright Futures Secondary School – phase 1 has been completed and welcomed new students two weeks ago. We are continuing to fundraise for desks, more textbooks, and towards building classrooms 3 & 4. If anyone is able to donate £500 or over, they can have one of the classrooms named after them (or the name of a business etc). The school fundraiser is here https://gofund.me/44a92444
The School Literacy Project is ensuring that children have access to books on a daily basis. We are sending boxes of books to primary schools in rural Northern Malawi. How can children learn to read if they don’t have books to practice with?
Sports – Children and young people are playing football, netball and rugby. They can forget about their problems whilst playing with their friends. They are learning new skills and becoming more confident. Team sports are good for physical and mental health.
There are so many other ways that the lives of the hundreds of vulnerable children that we help to support are changing for the better. We want them to have choices and opportunities. We want them to be the best that they can be. We want them to have brighter futures. We want them to learn to be self-sufficient. They also want these shared goals. Please do read through the different pages on our website and my blog pages for all the things that the children are doing and getting involved with.
Sinclair House School Fulham
At the start of the year, I was offered school uniform from a preparatory in London. Sadly, the school was closing due to covid and lockdown, so there was lots of uniform that needed a new home. We were very thankful to be offered this for the very vulnerable children we support in rural northern Malawi, and we were grateful too for the donation made towards covering the cost of sending the boxes on the container.
As this was a school for younger children the uniform is obviously in smaller sizes. However, because of malnutrition and poverty, the 500 plus children that are supported through various projects, are a bit smaller than the age sizes stated on the clothes. So here are some of the first boxes of uniform from Sinclair House School that were given to children this morning. There will be more given out during the week, and some will also be given to children at a nearby primary school. As you will see, some of the teenage students at Bright Futures Secondary School were able to fit into the largest size of the sportswear and they were delighted to receive these. The girls were pleased with their trousers too… culturally girls and women only wear dresses and skirts, but teenage girls are beginning to ask to wear trousers.
I hope you enjoy the photos. One young person that I will show you photos of to show just how much having a sponsor can change a life is Laston. He lives with his grandmother. He missed so much school as he was helping a farmer with his cows and being paid approximately £1.50 per month. He was depressed and hungry and only had the clothes he was wearing. His life has changed thanks to his sponsor. Please, on International Children’s Day, consider helping to change the life of another vulnerable child who is waiting. Thank you for reading and for everyone who supports our work, Sarah x
This is the story of Emily and Catherine, two girls who have greatly benefitted from being part of the sponsorship programme.
When students have taken their primary school leavers exams, they are placed according to their grades. The ones who have the highest grades are offered a place at Wenya Secondary School, then after that Chisenga Secondary School.
Part of the reason Bright Futures Secondary School was built, and is so important for the community, is that there are not enough places on offer at Wenya and Chisenga for all students who passed their primary school leavers exams. Those with the best grades get chosen for a secondary school place. The rest do not get a place and have to either leave school with only primary school qualifications, or resit p8 with the hope of getting better exam results the following year and being offered a place at Chisenga. All secondary school education must be paid for. If you cannot pay, even if you are offered a place, then you cannot go. Students at Bright Futures Secondary School, who are the most vulnerable, will not have to pay any fees.
Emily and Catherine both did so well in their primary school leavers exams that they were offered places at Wenya Secondary School which was an amazing achievement for them. They have been encouraged and supported and are thriving and working hard. They have just started in 3rd year at Wenya after passing their second-year exams. They made these short videos before they returned to school and are both growing in confidence which is lovely to see.
When they were originally picked to go to Wenya school, and others were picked for places at Chisenga, I had a huge shopping list of what needed to be purchased for all the students. I suggested that Levison take Emily and Catherine with him on that shopping trip to help him. He had to hire a car as there was so much to buy, and the three of them had a great day. It was the first time the girls had been to town and the first time they had eaten in a restaurant. Good experiences for them before going to their new school.
So, if you needed proof that being a sponsor CAN change lives and DOES make a difference, then Emily and Catherine are great examples of how you could get involved and change a child’s life. There are so many others like Emily and Catherine just waiting for someone to take a chance on them and give them the gift of education. It’s only £25 per month and you can sponsor as an individual or share the cost with a friend. It might be the most important thing anyone ever does for a very vulnerable young person in rural northern Malawi. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x
Everyone is settling into a routine at Bright Futures Secondary School. Here are some photos from today of some of the young people. The boys have been playing football and the girls netball and football. The teachers are in the black and white stripe tops, being great role models for the teenagers and ensuring that the girls (as well as the boys) are playing team sports, keeping fit and healthy physically and mentally, learning new skills and growing in self-esteem.
I am still busy trying to raise money for desks and more textbooks then onto phase 2 of the school. By building two more classrooms, more vulnerable teenagers will benefit from a free secondary education as well as a hot nutritious lunch each day at school. Thank you to all those who have supported our fundraising. If you are able to donate to help provide desks and more textbooks, then here is the link https://gofund.me/44a92444
The teenagers who have started at Bright Futures Secondary School have all had a very difficult life. Some have had an extremely hard time. They have had to miss a lot of school to work for a pittance to try to earn a few coins to contribute towards food in their homes. That’s why they are all older than you would expect. The older they are, the more school they missed and the longer they have had to work.
Some young people not yet been matched with a sponsor. Having a sponsor will help pay for their place at school. It will help towards the stationary they need, the exam fees, uniform, other clothes, a blanket, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, a wind-up torch and a school bag. It will also help towards providing a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime.
It’s £25 per month to sponsor a child. You can do this as an individual, as a family, a business or a club or two friends can split the cost. This might be the most important thing that anyone ever does for one of these young people. As well as financial support, they will know someone cares about them. They will know they are important and that someone is willing to invest in their future. Can you be a sponsor to one of the young people please? email@example.com
We recognise that the commitment of being a sponsor is not for everyone, so we are also looking for people to commit to £5 or £10 per month to ensure that all the students receive a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime. firstname.lastname@example.org These teenagers need a team around them in order that they can succeed and be the best they can be. They need to be warm and have food in their tummies to be able to concentrate on their studies. They shouldn’t be so cold at night they can’t sleep. They shouldn’t be so hungry that they can’t concentrate. They have been given the gift of education and they need to have the opportunity to succeed. Please can you be part of the team supporting these young people to be the best that they can be?
Here are some of the young people who need your help. Please do get in touch if you would like to support one of them or support our school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School. Thank you, Sarah x