Staff Accommodation

Sarah’s blog 7/11/23

Thanks to the grant we received from The Clive Richards Foundation, there will shortly be a new staff accommodation block for 4 teachers. As the area has so much poverty, there are no suitable houses for teacher’s to rent so on campus accommodation is vital to attract good teachers to Bright Futures Secondary School.

Some bricks have been bought and some have been made and are about to be fired. The ground has been cleared and the digging of foundations has been completed ready for the actual building work to start. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before this building is finished.

In the meantime, here are some photos of progress so far. We still have a shortfall in the funding we require for the new latrines for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, so any financial support would be very much appreciated Enjoy the photos and I’ll post another update soon. Thanks, Sarah x

The next building at BFSS (link to previous post about staff accommodation)

Keeping the fires burning

The kiln is kept alight all night.

Sarah’s blog 16/8/23

There is a huge amount of work happening currently. The foundations are being laid for the next classroom block…. no machinery….just hard work. Bricks have been made by hand and, after drying, have been stacked into kilns ready to burn. All the wood was gathered – ox and cart had to be hired as the area was inaccessible to the truck.

Last night, a group of men stayed up all night, each being responsible for keeping one of the many fires going under the brick structure which was then covered in mud. The fires are now out and the bricks will take up to two weeks to finish baking and cooling down. Thank you to everyone who has donated towards Bright Futures Secondary School phase 2 project. We appreciate all your help. We had grants towards phase 2 from The Rhododendron Trust, The Archer Trust and The Inverclyde Trust for which we are very grateful.

However, we haven’t reached our target yet and would love it, if you are able, to make a donation to our fundraiser We still need a roof, windows, a door and text books.

In addition to this, work has started on digging the trench to take water from Chambo Health Centre to Chambo Primary School meaning the children will have clean drinking water for the first time. The funding for this project is thanks to The Kitchen Tables Charity Trust who gave us a grant to help the primary school. There is also money to make some desks and benches too.

Yesterday, I received word that The Eleanor Rathbone Trust had kindly given us £1,000 towards building latrines at Chambo Primary School. We are grateful for all the people who are trusting us with their money to improve the lives of hundreds of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

Enjoy the photos and video of the progress from the team in Malawi, Sarah x Lots of hard work!

Bright Futures SS – Phase 2 -Foundations

So much hard work as it’s all done without machinery
The bricks are made and left to dry, then stacked with gaps at intervals. The structure is covered in mud and fires lit making a kiln to bake the bricks. It will take up to two weeks for the bricks to cool down enough to use.
Each fire has a man responsible for ensuring it burns all night

Lots of hard work!

lots of hard work being done to ensure the bricks are fired and the foundations are laid for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School.

Sarah’s blog 13/8/23

Here are some photos and videos of the work progressing on phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. The builders have worked so hard to lay the foundations for the next classrooms. There is no machinery. Everything has to be done by hand. They have now started pouring the cement to fill the foundations….this will take a few days to do….here a cement mixer lorry would be able to do this job easily.

Bricks have been made by hand and have been drying. They now need to be baked in kilns. The bricks are being stacked, leaving holes underneath where fires will be set after the kiln structure is covered in mud. The fires will burn all night and then it will take up to two weeks for the bricks to be cool enough to use.

A large amount of wood is being gathered to ensure the fires are kept alight. Unfortunately, where the wood is being gathered, the terrain is not suitable for the truck, so oxen have had to be hired to help transport the wood. Nothing is straightforward and is extremely labour intensive with everyone working as a team.

As the classrooms are built in a block of two, the foundations are being prepared for classrooms 3 and 4. However, as funds are limited we are potentially just building classroom 3 and completing classroom 4 at a later date. Planning is difficult when we are so dependant on the generosity of people supporting us and, therefore, supporting the orphans & vulnerable teenagers in Malawi.

If you are able, please give to our fundraiser to ensure that education continues for the next class of teenagers wanting to start at Bright Futures Secondary School next month. These are some of the most vulnerable teenagers in Malawi, living in extreme poverty. Education is their best way out of such poverty, giving them choices and chances for a brighter future. Enjoy the photos and videos and please support this project if you can. As we are volunteers, all money donated goes to the projects we support, so you can be sure you will be making a difference and helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks, Sarah x

Bright Futures SS – Phase 2 -Foundations

Brick Making Videos

Bright Futures SS – Phase 2 -Foundations

work has started on the foundations of phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School, however we still need your help to reach our target

Sarah’s blog 10/8/23

Today’s blog is a bit of a photo & video dump to share how busy it has been during the last few days. Because the new school term starts in September in Malawi, there will be another intake of vulnerable students wanting to continue their education if they pass their primary school leavers exams.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far….work on phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School has started. However, we haven’t reached our target yet. We are taking a leap of faith that by the beginning of September we will have enough funds to buy everything that is needed. Work had to start otherwise, should we reach our target, work would never have been completed in time for the new school year.

Using bricks left over from phase 1 last year, the builders are starting on the foundations. The thousands of bricks that have been made over the last few weeks will begin to be fired at the weekend and we will share photos of that.

If you are a business or an individual wanting to support the education of some of the most vulnerable young people in Malawi, then please do get in touch . A donation of £500 or above can have your name written above a classroom door or on the building. Without your help, these young people cannot achieve their potential and will not find their way out of poverty to a brighter future. These young people, most of whom are orphans, have experienced loss, hunger, extreme poverty and missed periods of school to work for a pittance to try to feed themselves. We CAN help them.

Please consider being part of the team around these young people and future students who will benefit from Bright Futures Secondary School. The link to our fundraiser to help us ensure that classroom 3 is ready by the start of September is: Please give if you can and share this post. Young people are depending on us to help them out of poverty. Education is the best way to do this. Help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks, Sarah x

Brick Making Videos

have a look at bricks being made for the school

Sarah’s blog 01/08/23

It’s really useful to be able to receive videos and photos to see what goes on behind the scenes. Thousands of bricks are being made for the next classroom and people are being employed. Money is going into the community and will be spent in the community. As we raise more money for Bright Futures Secondary School, there will be more employment for brickmakers, builders, carpenters etc.

My sister, Joanne, has now completed her challenge of walking 200km in July to raise money for classroom 3 and a latrine block. Thank you so much for doing this Joanne. Hopefully, if a few more people can donate, then you’ll reach the £500 mark. Joanne’s fundraiser link is here 91721cad .

a link to my previous post and to see Joanne’s photos : Joanne’s July Journey

Congratulations Joanne on completing your personal challenge and thank you for supporting us to help the children. If anyone else would like to fundraise for us or volunteer in another way then please do get in touch thanks, Sarah x

More bricks!

so many bricks for classroom 3

Sarah’s blog 16/7/23

These are great photos that Levison has sent. Thousands of bricks are being made for classroom 3 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Also, hopefully, a toilet block and staff bedrooms if we raise enough money.

Students are excited seeing the bricks being made as they now believe an s3 classroom will be built to ensure their education continues. They had been worried they wouldn’t be able to progress to S3. So thankfully there has been enough money raised for classroom 3 – thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen. We couldn’t help these vulnerable teenagers without your support.

Now the students need your help with providing a new toilet block please. Due to the extra numbers of students who will be starting school in September, the latrine blocks aren’t enough for the number of students. Also, as the other latrines are used by the nursery children too (with an adult waiting outside) it will be far better to have separate facilities for the different age groups.

200 people donating just £10 each will provide a new toilet block for Bright Futures Secondary School. Since yesterday’s post, 5 people have donated for which we are very thankful. So that’s £60 since yesterday’s post. Please can more people donate today?

Every child deserves toilets which provide safety, privacy, dignity and good hygiene. Please help us ensure that happens for the orphans and other vulnerable students at Bright Futures Secondary School.

Thank you for your continuous support. We are all a team, each doing our little bit to help some of the poorest children and young people in rural Northern Malawi. We need you on our team of supporters please.

Thanks for reading & supporting, Sarah x

Update – Bright Futures Secondary School – phase 2

Let’s make some bricks & build a school!

the first bricks have been made for classroom 3

Sarah’s blog 06/07/23

Brick making has started ahead of classroom three being built. An area had to be cleared, the trees will be used for wood for the kilns and new trees planted to replace them. It’s a long process to make the bricks as so many need to be made. They need to be left to dry then stacked in a kiln. The kiln is fired and takes two weeks for all the bricks to cool down again.

We don’t yet have enough money for classroom three but had to start making the bricks in the hope that we do have enough funds in place once the bricks are ready to use.

We were very thankful to receive a cheque today from The Archer Trust for £3,000 towards phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. We appreciate the support they have given towards ensuring there is an extra classroom in place for the next intake of students in September.

Please could you contribute to our fundraising page? The vulnerable students we help to support deserve a brighter future full of choices and chances. They deserve a quality education to be the best they can be. Please help us to help them. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

clearing the ground to start making bricks
these bushes will be used to fire the kilns
making the bricks by hand and then leaving them to dry

Let’s build a school!

Sarah’s blog 22/06/22

The brick making is due to start for the next phase of Bright Futures Secondary School. There will be a team of 15; four will ferry the water, five will be digging and six will be making bricks. They will be making 60,000 bricks. Once the bricks are made they are left to dry and once dry they are stacked to make a kiln. Fires are lit under the kiln and, after firing, the bricks take two weeks to cool down. So this is a huge undertaking…we’d love your support

At least one new classroom is needed for the new intake of students at the start of September. One classroom is costing approximately £10,000. We also need to build some extra accommodation for teachers and a new latrine block. We need your help please. We don’t yet have all the money we need for a third classroom. Will you help us please? Can you make a financial donation to our fundraiser? Or could you do a sponsored event or organise your own fundraiser eg a bake sale or an afternoon tea for your friends? here is the link for our fundraiser and we will be very grateful for any assistance you can provide or email for our bank details thanks for reading & supporting the vulnerable young people, Sarah x

students at Bright Futures Secondary School doing exams

one of the previous kilns being made

the signwriter putting the finishing touches on phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School

Building Bright Futures Secondary School

Sarah’s blog 25/09/22

It’s very exciting to see the work has started on the first phase of the new secondary school – Bright Futures Secondary School. This will be for the most vulnerable young people who would otherwise not go to secondary school.

Unfortunately, only primary education is free in Malawi. The nearest secondary schools are too far to travel daily so the students supported by The Foundation, and who have sponsors to pay their fees, have to board. These schools do not have enough places which is why Bright Futures Secondary School is much needed.

Everything we do is on a shoestring. We are a small charity, and we are achieving. However, there is still so much more to do. We are volunteers so you can be sure that all money that you give to our charity goes on projects. We do need your help to ensure that we can complete phase 1 of the school. We are building two classrooms and then more latrines. The staff accommodation block is almost finished but we do need more funding to complete the classrooms. Please help us? Please give the gift of education. Together we can make a difference. Together we can continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thank you for reading and supporting us. Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School – Let’s build this school

Sarah’s blog 30/08/22

It’s time for an exciting update on Bright Futures Secondary School. Lot’s of hard work has been going on here and, of course, in Malawi to try to make this a reality for some of the most vulnerable young people in rural northern Malawi who would otherwise miss out on secondary education.

It’s so difficult when trying to manage everything on a shoestring and costs are rising. However, where there is a will there is a way. This school is desperately needed and, therefore, it will happen.

Because of the rural location, accommodation is needed for teachers. The first block of teachers accommodation is almost complete and the work on the foundations for the first two classrooms of Bright Futures Secondary School is about to be begin. This is just the start….we have so much more to do. We need you on our team to help these vulnerable young people out of poverty and to a brighter future.

All the bricks that have been made have been dried and stacked into kilns and the first of the kilns was fired. It was covered in mud and a fire lit in each gap. One person was responsible for each fire, ensuring their fire burned brightly all through the night. The kiln will now be left for over a week to cool down again, the mud will be removed and the bricks will be ready to use.

We really do need your help to ensure that education is available to all these vulnerable young people. Education is their way out of poverty. To make a donation here is the link Let’s give the gift of education…it might be one of the most important gifts you every give a vulnerable child. To get in touch Thanks for reading, Sarah x

The Kilns are being built

Sarah’s blog 07/08/22

There is always something happening in Ibuluma and here. Being part of a small charity means that there is always something to do! I wanted to show you some photos of progress that is being made with the brick making.

I’ve shared some photos of the bricks being made and now they are being stacked to make the kilns and fire them. These are amazing structures, it takes skill to stack them properly…the gaps underneath are for the fires which will be lit and kept alight all night.

Some money has been saved by bricks being made rather than bought. However the biggest costs of building classrooms are the cement and the roof panels. We hope that you will be able to spare a few £££ to help provide the gift of education with this much needed secondary school. Here is the link to our fundraiser. Please help if you can. If we all donate a few £££ then we will reach our target much quicker.

Also I’ll share the link to Traci’s story from yesterday of her 30km walk for our school fundraiser. It’s Traci’s birthday today…so happy birthday Traci and I hope you are sitting with your feet up today! Traci’s kilometre challenge – update – Changing Lives Malawi . Thanks for reading and supporting and I hope you enjoy these photos of the progress being made, Sarah x

Stacking the bricks to make a kiln takes skill and hard work.
One of the kilns that has been built reading for firing the bricks.
Some of the people involved in making bricks…they’ve worked so hard.
Thousands of bricks have been made and left to dry in the sun. This has provided employment for local people instead of buying bricks from elsewhere.

lots and lots of bricks

Sarah’s blog 05/07/22

Just a quick update on the brickmaking for stage 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Levison has sent some photos today and everyone involved in the making of bricks has been working hard. There has now been approximately 16,000 bricks made. They are left to dry in the sun and then will be built into a kiln and baked. There will still need to be more bricks made but at least building work will be able to start once this first lot of bricks are ready.

We are really needing your support to help us fund this school so that all children have access to education. Please help and if you’d like to get involved in our kilometre challenge here is the link to all the information you need. Please help give the gift of education. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

working hard mixing water into the earth
water being mixed with the earth to make bricks
bricks drying in the sun