‘On the road again…’

Sarah’s blog 2/8/22

Didn’t someone sing a song about that? Yes… now I’ve got that tune in your heads… the answer is Willie Nelson!!

Stuart and I packed some more boxes and took 16 of them to Dundee today to The Bananabox Trust warehouse to be processed and then await the next container.

Whilst at the BBT warehouse I took some photos to show Levison the chairs that are being sent for the school and a few tables. Hopefully, we will find more secondhand tables here to prevent them going to landfill or local carpenters will make desks in Malawi.

Only a short blog today… wonder if I can add our kms to the challenge? Lol I think that answer will be ‘no’ but I’ve added a map to show you the route of the first 111km that the boxes travel. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Here’s the link if you’d like to add a few £££ to our fundraiser to build a school https://GoFund.me/44a92444

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 13

Sarah’s blog 13/5/22

12.15pm Pot of soup made! 15km on exercise bike done! I’m doing ok but finding it quite hard to concentrate on other things apart from this challenge today. I’ve almost completed two weeks and I’m really pleased that I’ve had the willpower to do this challenge….I just need to keep going and need your help. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

The thought that the hundreds of malnourished children supported by The Foundation don’t have the choices I have is keeping me going and focused on my challenge. They don’t have the luxury of choosing which vegetables they will be eating and how they will be cooking them. They might go a whole day without eating at all. Things are improving for them but there is still a long way to go.

Having a school in their village will make a huge difference. It will bring employment as well as education for all. It will mean that young people don’t need to board at school and can stay at home and help their families with chores. All children deserve an education. All children deserve enough to eat. All children deserve to have the opportunities to be the best they can be. Please support my challenge to build a school for them.

I thought I’d also show you a photo of some beautiful knitting for babies that we received recently. These little jackets will be so appreciated by new mothers for their babies. We are very grateful for all the donations and support we receive to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

beautiful knitting for babies in Malawi that we received recently

two lots of tasty soup I made this week – glad of a different way to eat vegetables

15km done today

The Starfish Story

Sarah’s blog 9/4/22

I love the Starfish Story that I am going to share with you. Some of you will know it already.

Sometimes situations seem daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how we can make a difference to the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. But we are, bit by bit. Each of us helps, doing our little bit, as part of a team.

Five hundred malnourished children are receiving a nutritious, substantial meal once a week at the feeding programme. We wish we could afford to send more money to feed them more often or to set up a porridge programme at the schools. Unfortunately, at the moment, we can’t. We don’t yet have the finances for this. But the teachers have noticed that even this one meal is helping their concentrate and their grades.

Teenage girls are no longer missing school each month as they have been given reusable sanitary towels. This has given them dignity, inclusion and equality of education.

A nursery has been set up for 50 very vulnerable preschool children three times a week. They’ve been given clothes, blankets, flipflops and raincoats. They receive porridge at each session. This is making a big difference to these young children.

Ninety children have been matched with sponsors. They receive food, clothes, blankets, soap and education thanks to their generous sponsors.

These are only a few ways you have been helping us help the hundreds of very vulnerable children that The Foundation supports.

It’s teamwork as we couldn’t do it without you. If you haven’t yet taken on a sponsorship role or donated to the feeding programme… think about The Starfish Story I am sharing today. One person can make a difference. You can make a difference. If you sponsor one child, I sponsor another and so on, we CAN make a difference to ALL the vulnerable children. Please can you sponsor one of these vulnerable children today? It’s only £25 per month.

These children may not be starfish like in the story… but each one of them is a star. They are doing their best to survive. But they each need one of us to help them have more food and education. They each need one of us to help them be the best they can be. We need you to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Each child deserves a chance. Let’s each of us support one child and Change their Life. We can do this if each of us makes up part of a big team around these children. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and supporting. Please choose one of these stars to change their life today. Sarah x

Please make a difference to a child today

Each child deserves a chance

Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

These amazing children need a helping hand to reach their potential. To be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? Each of these children suffers from malnutrition. They need more food, clothes, education. Can you be a helping hand for one of these children? It’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com please look at each photo and help a child today. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Some of the most vulnerable children

These are the most vulnerable children and most in need of a sponsor. Can you be a helping hand to one of these children?

Sarah’s blog 5/4/22

I wanted to highlight some of the orphans and vulnerable children that Levison has taken photos of previously. He’s done this as they are some of the most vulnerable and most in need of a sponsor. It’s only £25 per month to sponsor a child and you can do that as an individual, a group or two friends. 85p per day will mean the world to these children.

I’ve highlighted each child with a coloured background because I think they deserve to be seen. They deserve to have the same chances our children have. They deserve to have food, clothes, education. They deserve to reach their potential. They deserve to have a helping hand. They deserve to know that someone cares.

Please…can you be a helping hand to one of these children? It might be one of the most important things you ever do. It might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com thank you for reading and I hope to hear from some of you and match you with a child. Sarah x

This year’s S3 and S4 students

Sarah’s blog 30/3/22

Here are the thoughts of Angela, Naomi, Chancy and Tamiwe. Education features in most of the young people’s answers to the questions they’ve been asked and it’s interesting that the majority want to be able to help others who are in similar situations to themselves. Hopefully, because of the generosity of their sponsors, they will then pay that forward as adults by providing a helping hand to the vulnerable in their community. Thank you to the sponsors for enabling these young people to have the gift of education. Unfortunately, Angela wasn’t there on the day photos were being taken but we will get another photo of her soon. If you can help us with fundraising, a financial donation or would like to sponsor a young person for £25 per month then email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com thanks for reading, Sarah x

Rugby day 1 – “It amazed me because it was like they have been playing the game for sometime” – Jack Mphande

Sarah’s blog 24/03/22

First of all I’d like to thank Jack for spending time at The Foundation. Also Andy from Community Sports Leaders Africa for organising and paying for Jack to travel north to Chitipa. Thank you to Strathendrick Rugby Club for donating rugby balls and to the people who donated money to make this possible…thank you so much.

Jack Mphande who is a Malawian rugby player and coach is at The Foundation to introduce and teach some of the young people to play rugby.

Jack and Levison have been sending me photos and I’m going to share some of the things Jack has said about the children.

“There were a good number of players….very intelligent”

“We managed to introduce the game and make some basic drills and played some games”

“It amazed me because it was like they have been playing the game for some time”

“Good handling and passing”

“They really enjoyed it and everyone is looking forward to the afternoon session”

During the morning session they were able to play on a local football pitch but that was being used in the afternoon so they were at The Foundation grounds after lunch. Eventually the clouds became darker and darker and then the rain started so everyone headed inside for a talk about rugby skills.

There are some great action shots in the photos, especially of a girl called Mphatso. Just look at the joy and concentration on her face. She’s having such a good time and it’s wonderful that the children, who until a few years ago have been used to being excluded and forgotten, are now having amazing opportunities to learn new skills. I’m so pleased it’s been a successful day and that it’s been such an enjoyable time for the children. Enjoy these photos …I’m sure they won’t be the last! Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Rugby Coaching with Jack Mphande, Malawian Rugby International

Sarah’s blog 23/3/22

There are a few small charities, supporting the most vulnerable in Northern Malawi, who work together when we can and also learn from each other as some are more experienced in certain areas than others.

We helped Andrew Bottomer, of Community Sports Leaders Africa, to get boxes of sports equipment to the people he works with in Malawi, not far from The Foundation. Andrew lives in the north of England so we met him in Edinburgh and took his boxes with ours to The Bananabox Trust in Dundee to await the container. Then Levison collected and delivered Andrew’s boxes to where they needed to be. Amongst those boxes were lots of rugby balls.

Community Sports Leaders Africa has paid Jack Mphande’s expenses to Chitipa for him to be able to teach rugby there for the first time. He’s been busy teaching adult coaches who have loved learning about and playing rugby and Jack’s enthusiasm for the game has been infectious. Jack plays rugby at international level so we are delighted that he is going to spend time with 25 young people teaching them basic rugby training which they can then teach their peers and younger children.

You’ll notice from the ages of the young people that they are all older than you’d expect for the class that they are in. All of these vulnerable young people have missed school, some more than others, to try to work for a pittance to make enough money to buy some food. One boy, who is thankfully now sponsored and doing well, worked for a farmer with his cattle for the equivalent of £1.50 per month…which hardly buys anything. Thankfully, more children are attending school now that they are fed by the weekly feeding programme. Unfortunately, young people in their last year at primary school are busy studying…hopefully they will be able to attend a future course.

The young people who have been picked to attend this first rugby coaching course are; Brian Sichamba, 16 (S1), Chancy Chisale, (S1), Moses Ng’ambi, (S1), Titus Ng’ambi, 14 (S1), Makayiko Simkonda, 13 (p5), Chimango Nyondo, 13 (p6), Chigomezyo Nyondo, 12 (p5), Hopeson Nyondo, 14 (p7), Fumbani Sichamba, 15 (S1), Elisha Sichamba, 15 (S1), Walusungu Nyondo, 12 (p5), Lameck Kanyika, 16 ( ), Manase Nyirenda, ( ), Chancy Kaonga, ( ), Chickumbutso Mtambo, 14 (p6), Pemphero Mbyghi, 13 (p7), Victoria Kayange, 16 (S1), Maria Chizumila, 16 (S1), Elizabeth Nyondo, 13 (p6), Tyness Sichamba, 15 (p6), Mitren Nyondo, 12 (p6), Tryness Sichamba, 16 (S1), Esther Nyondo, 16 (F1), Tamandan Nyondo, 15 ( ), Granda Nyondo, 13 (p7). (Lameck, Manase & Chancy K are the team making the eco stoves so not at school). We are very glad that 14 out of the 25 young people have been matched with sponsors…. if anyone would like to sponsor one of the other 11 taking part in the rugby, or any of the other children you’ve seen on our posts, then please do get in touch. It’s only £25 p/m to change a child’s life.

We are looking forward to bringing you lots of photos and we want to thank Jack for his time and sharing his talents with the children at The Foundation. To meet someone famous will be a new experience for them… someone they might be able to watch on tv. Opportunities like this to learn new sports and have organised events during the school holidays is still very new and exciting for them. They are orphans and very vulnerable children… why should people do things for them? Thankfully they are starting to realise that each of them is important to us. Thankfully they are starting to realise that people do care about them and are trying to improve their lives little by little. With your help we continue to be able to support The Foundation by Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Jack Mphande

More & more opportunities for learning…this time technology

Sarah’s blog 18/03/22

This is something Levison is hugely excited about and I guess we can only understand his excitement to a certain degree. I learned to type on an old fashioned typewriter at school but we had a ZX81 at home and my friend had a ZX Spectrum and thought these were the coolest things ever! My brother had a Game Boy with Donkey Kong on it which I preferred as I wasn’t patient enough to programme in pages of instructions just to see a dot move across a screen!! How times have changed!

Almost everyone in the developed world has access to technology. Children can access school work online, you can ‘google’ just about anything and do all your banking via your mobile phone. So it is really important to Levison that the orphans and vulnerable children have access to computers which will open up a whole new world for them. There is no internet at the moment so the children will learn to type and use Word and get more familiar with using a mouse and what a computer actually is. This will take a bit of time as they have never seen or used computers.

When we can afford to pay for internet, imagine how that will extend their learning. The apprentices, for example, will be able to access online learning or look up something on Youtube to see ways to do things. Children will be able to link up with a school here and have a ‘penpal’ and maybe occasionally will be able to email their sponsors. There is so much learning out there that the children will soon be able to access to help their grades: maths practice sessions, spelling games, history, geography and much, much more.

I asked Levison what the children said and this is what he said “The children have said that they never knew and touched a computer. They can’t believe they can work on a computer.”

I asked Levison what he thought “This is the same Ibuluma, a rural place in Northern Malawi. Bringing ICT to the rural setting. Defying the impossibility ideology. My dreams are coming into reality.”

There also needs to be another source of power. Just this morning there was a power cut due to the heavy rain and other times electricity isn’t guaranteed. But little by little life is changing for these children. Opportunities are happening and the children are desperate to learn and know that people care about them. When the children first saw the computers they thought they were televisions. They will be experts in no time, I’m sure! Thanks for reading and if you’d like to get in touch to help in any way it’s contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for being part of the team helping us to continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

The Gift of New Clothes

Sarah’s blog 15/2/22

The hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children in Malawi were wearing rags and very old clothes before The William Stewart Foundation was able to gift clothes to them. Their self-esteem has improved, as has their attendance at school, as they have nice clean clothes and they know that someone cares about them. Thank you to all who have donated school uniform. We’ve had even more schools involved this time. Can you spot any familiar sweatshirts? There is still some more uniform to give out another time so there will be more photos another time. The photos of individual children….only Chisomo is sponsored, so if you wanted to sponsor one of the others or an older child then please do get in touch. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com As always, thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Sit back & relax & shop with us

Sarah’s blog 11/12/21

We never have as much time as we think we do at this time of year, there’s always an extra couple of gifts that we hadn’t thought of, or what do you buy for the person who has everything? Do you really want to sit and write 50 Christmas cards?

Relax. Here’s how we can help.

https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecards/charities/changing-lives-malawi

By following that link, you will see the great selection of e-cards that have been uploaded. So you simply pick your card design and the amount you wish to pay and put in the recipient’s details and it will email a card to them from you. There is also the option of sending the same card to lots of people, saving you so much time and effort and, of course, people know you are supporting the orphans and vulnerable children in Northern Malawi with any purchase.

All of our e-gifts are available by following that link too. So you could buy a child a wind-up torch so they can see to do their homework for £5, or buy a blanket for a vulnerable child for £5, a football for £10, soap for 100 children for £50, a meal for 500 children for £100 and as many fruit tree saplings as you want starting at £10 for 4. All the quantities can be altered to suit your gift needs, but every single purchase is going to make a meaningful difference to the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children we support in rural northern Malawi.

If you aren’t very computer literate….that’s ok. Let us know what you’d like and we will help you tick off your list! Together we can change lives. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Meaningful Cards & Gifts

Sarah’s blog 9/12/21

Whether you’ve got gifts to post, cards to send, something to buy for the person who has everything… then stop relax… we can help you and you can help us… hassle free.

https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecards/charities/changing-lives-malawi

That’s the link where you can find e-cards and e-gifts to purchase. Christmas cards and for other occasions. Also you can send one card to multiple people, saving time and effort. Meaningful gifts. Gifts that are going to change lives. A blanket for a vulnerable child, a football to help children take their mind off their problems whilst they play, soap, fruit tree saplings… we have lots of gifts to choose from. It would mean so much if you could support us to support the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. Whether you want to spend £5 or £50 you will be helping us http://www.changinglivesmalawi.com thank you for reading and please ask if you would like any help selecting cards and gifts. Gifts can also be printed out and posted in a lovely card on your behalf. Sarah x

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