31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 8

Sarah’s blog 08/05/22

Its been a busy old day today. I’m really happy that I have completed my first week of the challenge. However, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been wanting to snack on food today. I’ve opened the fridge a few times and closed it again. However, at least I usually have a choice about what I can eat. I’ve not cheated so I’m pleased I haven’t given into temptation as we still have some Easter eggs here and ice cream in the freezer.

I was at a friend’s house this afternoon. She brought me a present while she had been out shopping. Rice cakes have never tasted so good lol. Not a great photo of me but hey ho….I enjoyed a few of my rice cakes! Thanks Alison. I’ve still got my cycle to do soon and then some vegetables to look forward to. If you would like to donate to my fundraiser to help build a much needed school then please click on the link https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading and supporting me, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 5

Sarah’s blog 5/5/22

8.30am Good morning! I was wide awake at bedtime and struggled to get to sleep but once I was asleep I slept well. So that’s a positive to start off with! I’m feeling hungry this morning but I’ve got a zoom meeting at 9.30am so will wait until after that before having anything to eat.

I can’t believe I’m at day 5 already. Hopefully, this will become more like a habit as time goes on and I won’t be having to think about what to eat and when or having to remember when to go on the exercise bike. I am so grateful for the generous donations towards building the school so far. The fundraiser is sitting at £750 already! I really hope that we can raise a much bigger amount as I’d love to be able to say that we’ve raised enough money for a classroom block or at least one classroom. We will need to get proper quotes from the builders but we estimate that a classroom will cost £4,000 to build. Once we have raised enough money to make it possible, plans will be drawn up, with the builders, to see what the possibilities are and how much it will cost. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

It would be wonderful to be able to start off with a block of 3 classrooms for next years S1 pupils, accommodation for their teachers if needed, 2 dormitories, a kitchen and a toilet block. Thankfully, clean water and a shower block and a library are already there. It’s certainly a challenge but we can do this! The children need us to help them.

Once the school was built for the S1 pupils, we would continue raising funds and applying for grants if possible, so that each year the school would be added to until all four years were completed. It’s a huge project but one that is key to the successful education of hundreds of the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi. Building a school will provide jobs whilst the school is being built, employment for teachers and other staff and most of all, the gift of a good education for all. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

We will need people to fundraise for us, to take on challenges, to raise awareness, to pay for some bricks or a roof panel or your company could sponsor a classroom. I always say it’s teamwork because we are a team. Each of us has an important part to play in helping to make lives better for the children we support. We can’t change their lives without you.

20.30pm Wow, my day suddenly got really busy so I only managed to get round to my 10km an hour ago….but I did it! I had a bowl of rice and a few mixed beans at lunchtime, some celery mid afternoon and I’ve just finished a salad. It will be a bit harder tomorrow when there is takeaway pizza about. However, I couldn’t have any because I’m gluten intolerant so at least I won’t be tempted.

Please, please, please help me help the children have a good education and the chance of a better future. Thanks for reading, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

That’s 50km completed so far!!

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 3

Sarah’s blog 3/5/22

12.30pm Who needs sleep anyway? Sore tummy and sore legs last night and, for some reason, wide awake! I’m not saying this to moan, I’m just writing down facts as a record of how this challenge is progressing. I haven’t been hungry at all this morning. I’ve just had a lovely salad for my lunch which is the first thing I’ve eaten today. I’m saving my rice for dinner! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

The first day of the challenge was really hard as I was hungry all the time but yesterday and today have been ok as my body is obviously getting used to the change in what I’m eating and eating less than usual. Not having meat is a big change but I’ve not really missed it. I’m finding that I am thinking a lot more about the children in Malawi and trying to imagine the different difficult situations they find themselves in. Not enough to eat, nowhere near enough resources in the local schools, no medical care if they can’t afford it. Lots of chores to do to help their families. The heavy rains this year have affected the crops and maize will be more expensive to buy and not as readily available. Life is very hard for them but, bit by bit, we are changing their lives for the better. Always, the end goal is self-sufficiency.

8pm It’s been a busy day today so I didn’t get round to doing my 10km until 7pm. When I got to 6km I started to struggle so I made my lovely hubby come and talk to me until I’d finished…. so I made it over the finishing line! A bowl of rice and a few beans just now. I’m feeling a bit tired but hopefully that means I might sleep tonight. My challenge is to eat rice (instead of maize flour) and vegetables as a representation of what the children eat and cycle 10km to represent the distance the little kids walk to school and back. If you’d like to support me raise funds to build a desperately needed school then please donate to my fundraiser https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 thanks for reading and supporting me, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s challenge to build a new school

30/4/22

As I said this morning, tomorrow and for all of May, I am challenging myself to cycle 10km per day on my exercise bike – which is the distance the primary school children walk each day. I will also be eating just rice (instead of maize flour) and vegetables each day in May to represent what they children have at the Feeding Programme – although this meal is just once a week for them and their biggest meal of the week. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

Already, I’ve had three great donations to my fundraiser, thank you very much to those three supporters. However, I need many many more donations to help the dream of education a reality for hundreds of vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

This morning, Levison was tutoring all the p8 students who are supported by the Foundation. He is trying to help them get the best marks possible in their exams. We have provided text books for the library. However we could only afford one copy of each book. The tutoring sessions are having to be carried out as a group as there are no spare copies. We hope to add several more copies of each text book so they are available for all. Some of these young people who were being tutored this morning are repeating their last year of primary school. Even though they passed their leavers exams and have sponsors to pay their secondary school fees, they were not picked. They were not picked for a place at secondary school because there aren’t enough places.

We need a new school to provide the gift of education for these children. Education is the gift these children need to get themselves a better future. They know they need to work hard. They know education is everything. We need to help them help themselves. I will be sharing insights into the lives of the hundreds of vulnerable children we are supporting each day in May.

My challenge for today was to eat a few snacks that were in the house so I am not tempted during the next few days. Please be supportive as I’m sure the first few days will be tough as I go without any sugar….not that I have a lot of sugar but I do like the occasional ice lolly or ice cream! I hope I’m not too grumpy!!

My lovely sister invited us round for Sunday dinner tomorrow; roast chicken and apple pie! I thanked her but said I’d stay at home with my bowl of rice!! 🙂 At the moment, I’m feeling ok about the challenge. I think it will be a time of reflection and make me even more determined to do all I can for the hundreds of malnourished children in Ibuluma. See you tomorrow for the first day of the challenge! Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

Children at Chambo Primary school reading some of the donated books we sent

At Chambo Primary School, the children (apart from p8) all sit on the floor. Resources are scarce. Thanks to you, we sent 17 boxes of books to this school to help children practise reading and become more confident readers. We need to build a secondary school as there are not enough places at the nearest secondary school for all these children.

Fundraising challenge to build a school

Sarah’s blog 20/04/22

Every now and again a mad idea pops into my head. This mad idea keeps popping into my head so I’m going to go with it. I am slightly concerned with this idea. As I’ve said previously, there are not enough secondary school places. We need to build a school for all children to be able to access the education they deserve.

Back in February, I was going to set myself a challenge to get fitter. However, it was too soon after my surgery to have a kidney tumour at the end of November. I’m feeling stronger now, so am going to try my very best with this challenge.

For the thirty one days of May I will highlight the plight of the hundreds of malnourished orphans and other vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. I will do a challenge each day for those 31 days. Secondary school pupils have to board as it’s too far to walk (over 20km away) and primary school pupils walk approximately 5km to school and 5km back home, some not having eaten at all that day.

At the Feeding Programme, once a week, 500 malnourished children are fed a substantial and nutritious meal. There are no big agencies feeding children in this area. We currently cannot afford to feed them more often. However, teachers are noticing that the children can concentrate better even from this one meal a week and their grades have improved.

Now for the crazy idea! During May, for the 31 days of May, I will cycle 10km on my exercise bike each day. This represent the walk to and from school for the primary school children. Due to mobility problems, I cannot walk far but I can cycle on my exercise bike (usually only 5km at a time). Each day, I will only eat one bowl of vegetables/salad and one bowl of rice (instead of maize flour). This represents the small amount of food the children have. Even so, I am very aware that although I will be eating that each day, this is the children’s biggest meal of the week. Some days many children may go without food at altogether.

So please sponsor me to cycle 10km each day in May and only eat one bowl of rice and one bowl of veg each day in May. Let’s build a school! I have a fundraiser link https://gofund.me/bd6578d7 or you can text SCHOOL to 70560 to donate or email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com for bank details.

If you would like to join in the challenge during May then please get in touch. Or could your children do a sponsored book read? Read one book a day every day in May? There are lots of ways you can help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Timothy & Margaret asking for a school

Sarah’s blog 14/4/22

Already 11 children who passed their primary leavers exams and who have sponsors to pay their secondary school fees have had to resit their last year at primary as they did not get selected for secondary school. This is just wrong. They have worked so hard and have endured so many difficulties and losses in their lives already.

Why shouldn’t they go to secondary school if they pass their exams? So 11 children are back in p8 trying to work even harder so they get better results this year. What if they don’t get picked this year? Do they go back for a third time to repeat p8? Will there be even more children who don’t get picked this time as lack of places is causing a bottleneck? It’s soul destroying for them. It’s another thing for them to worry about. They all know that education is the way out of the extreme poverty they live in.

All children deserve an education wherever they are in the world. We have bought text books for the library and Levison the co-founder (a trained teacher) is tutoring them each week to give them the best chance of better grades….but will they get in to secondary school next year? Is there any point in all their hard work? Without a secondary school certificate there are no chances at better jobs, of college courses, of more money for their families.

Can you help us? Can you help these children? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com for bank details or to help with fundraising. Text SCHOOL to 70560 to donate to our school fundraiser.

Here are Timothy Kaonga and Margaret Sibale asking you to help build a school for them and their friends. A school for all to attend. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Timothy wants your help to build a school for himself and his friends
Please help Margaret and her friends continue their education

Let’s build a school!

Sarah’s blog 12/4/22

If only it were that easy! It’s going to take a lot of fundraising and a lot of money and some very generous people to make this work. We can do this, together!

There are just not enough secondary school places. Even though children are passing primary leavers exams and have sponsors to pay their fees, if they don’t get picked then there’s nothing they can do! We have 11 such children who have sponsors kindly paying their fees but they have had to resit p8 as they didn’t get a place in secondary school. It’s heart-breaking for them when they are working hard and know that education is a way out of the dire poverty they are living in. We have bought text books and Levison is tutoring them each week to try to ensure they get better passes and are picked for a place at secondary school in January. Life is hard and not fair for these young people. We can help them if you join us.

As you will see from some of the young people’s writing, nearly all of them want to see a secondary school in their village. All the young people who had passed their primary school leavers exams would be given a place. As a lot of the young people are orphans, living with a single parent or grandparent, the fact that they could stay at home whilst attending secondary school would be a bonus as they would still be able to help with some chores at home. Let’s make their wishes come true.

This is us getting started but we need help. We need you. What are your skills? Are you good at applying for grants? Do you have the energy and enthusiasm for fundraising? Do you know anyone famous? Or do you have a large following on social media? Please get in touch and we can do this together. We can build a school. We can change lives. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x fundraisingschool.docx

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