Bright Futures Secondary School – Let’s build this school

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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 https://gofund.me/44a92444 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 contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x

100 x £100

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Sarah’s blog 24/08/22

Firstly I want to share with you something one of our sponsors has written;

“We sponsor a student through this charity. In a world where some are born into families with many opportunities and benefits and others are born where opportunities are scarce and life is more challenging, it is essential we notice, commit, care and seek to share what we have been given so others can dream and hope and have an opportunity to make a difference in the world. May all these students dream and hope and make the best of the life they have been given.”

We need your help to raise the rest of the money we need to open Bright Futures Secondary School in rural Northern Malawi. Without this school, the most vulnerable young people will miss out on education. Please help us.

We have our fundraiser https://gofund.me/44a92444 where you can donate but we are also asking 100 schools, nurseries, colleges, universities, businesses, churches, clubs, families or individuals to raise £100. Are you up for a challenge? Can you raise or donate £100? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Let’s give the gift of education and help these very vulnerable young people out of poverty and to a brighter future! Let’s build this school! Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Can you help us build a school?

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Sarah’s blog 10/8/22

Education should be available to everyone. It should not matter where you live or what your background is. Help us build a school for vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi please? https://gofund.me/44a92444

We help support 500+ orphans and other vulnerable children through a variety of projects including a feeding programme which feeds 500+ children once a week with a substantial and nutritious meal. Unfortunately, there are no big agencies feeding children in this area in schools so the children are malnourished and hungry. Some children are walking up to 20km for this one proper meal of the week.

We have matched 90 of the most vulnerable children with sponsors. As well as receiving a monthly food parcel and welfare checks, sponsors pay for the child’s education when they go to secondary school. However, there are not enough places in the nearest secondary schools and eleven of the sponsored children didn’t get picked for a place at secondary school this year despite having passed primary school leavers exams and having the funds to pay for secondary school. If you don’t get picked then you don’t go. They have had to resit their last year of primary school again with the hope of being picked for a place this year. It’s heart breaking for them when they are trying so hard. They know education is their way out of dire poverty.

Can you help? Can you be part of the team that can help raise funds for a new secondary school? Please? We always say it’s about teamwork. We can’t do what we do without you. The nearest secondary school is too far to walk each day so children have to board which puts the cost up. Lots of families rely on their children to help with chores so a school in the village would be a far better option.

Our plan is to build the school in phases, adding to the school year on year. Prices have risen and the Malawian currency has been devalued. One classroom will cost approximately £7,000. A latrine block will cost £750. We have had some generous donations already. If we can raise enough money for three classrooms and two latrine blocks then building the first phase of the school to open this October 2022 will be achievable. That’s £22,500. We have £10,000 already and 70,000 bricks have already been made and are being stacked into kilns to be fired. So £12,500 to be raised. Can you please help us to give the gift of education to some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

Any donation of £500 or over can name a classroom. We are happy to partner with businesses to name a classroom after their company. Of course, we need lots and lots of smaller donations too. If 1,000 people all donated just £10 each then we would be almost there!! 130 chairs have been donated and are about to go on a container to Malawi. Preloved school uniforms have been collected. Eighty new school bags that had also been donated are on their way too along with lots of other items for the students. Let’s build a school!! https://gofund.me/44a92444

Merchiston Castle School had generously donated preloved rugby balls and kit which is also about to go to Malawi on the container. The orphans and other vulnerable children have had one rugby coaching session (and loved it) and more coaching and competition sessions between all the local primary schools in the Chitipa District in northern Malawi is being organised for this autumn. We have also had rugby donations from Annan Rugby Club and Strathendrick Rugby Club and we are very grateful. Rugby has arrived in northern Malawi for the first time! We’ve also had lots of football donations and netball bibs as football, rugby and netball will all be played by pupils at the new secondary school.

We have a fundraising event running at the moment which is open for anyone to join in. We are trying to cover the 13,000km + from here to The Foundation we support in Malawi, which is how far the boxes of aid travel via land and sea. So far we have covered 20% of that journey by people walking, running, cycling, scooting and rowing machine. Some of the young people in Malawi wanted to join in and they ran 4km each which added 320km to our total. You can join in too by adding your kilometres from walking the dog, walking to work, walking round the shops….whatever you are doing….we would love your kilometres. Here is the link to take part https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 or you can email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com and to donate to our fundraiser to build the school https://gofund.me/44a92444

Help us to give the gift of education. Help us to continue Changing Lives Malawi. Help us help the children. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Some of the young people who took part in a 4km run
70,000 bricks have already been made and are being stacked to make kilns
When the kilns are finished they are covered in mud and fires are set in the spaces underneath
Emma’s Rainbow Library at The Foundation will be used by the students at the new secondary school. A local author visited and donated a copy of his book to the library.
Traci, one of our supporters, walked 30km to the Falkirk Wheel last weekend!

100 of these chairs plus 30 others are about to be stacked on the next container for the new school

Stuart, one of our trustees, collecting a wonderful donation of rugby balls and kit from Rogerson House at Merchiston Castle School.
Some of the vulnerable children in the Library at The Foundation. We are sending lots of books as part of the Literacy Project. How are children supposed to learn to read without books to practice with? Individuals, schools and nurseries in Scotland have been donating preloved books for us to send.

17 boxes of books were gifted to Chambo Primary School as part of The School Literacy Project. Education is the key to a brighter future for these children.

lots and lots of bricks

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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 https://gofund.me/44a92444 and if you’d like to get involved in our kilometre challenge here is the link to all the information you need. https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 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

Bright Futures Fundraiser – join in!

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Sarah’s blog 30/6/22

Every child, no matter where they are in the world, deserves an education. Let’s build a school! We need you on our team.

Here is the link with the information you need to join in our challenge! https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 It is a huge challenge for our team to travel the 13,144 km that is one of the routes the container travels. It also includes the journey from here (Balfron, Scotland) to Dundee to the Bananabox Trust warehouse and in Malawi the distance from Ekwendeni which is the final destination of the container back to Chitipa that Levison will make. We have used Chitipa as the nearest destination on all maps to The Foundation.

https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9

So we are looking for families to join in as well as serious athletes and gentle walkers. Oh and bored teenagers who would like to keep their fitness up over the school holidays – we’d love to hear from you too! Maybe you could have an element of competition with your friends? Do you need to learn something new for your Duke of Edinburgh Award? Or do some volunteering? This challenge could be used for either of those.

The more people who help us, the quicker we can do this challenge. The more people that take part and are sponsored, the more money we raise. The more people who share our posts then the wider the audience so we aren’t always asking the same people. We would absolutely love people right across the world to take part in our challenge. This is a challenge to raise funds to build a secondary school for some of the most vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. It would be fantastic to have people from our global community taking part and raising funds to build a school and give the gift of education.

The challenge starts tomorrow, 1st July, and you can do as many or as few kms as you want. Please ask your friends to join in and please ask people to sponsor you. Together we can keep Changing Lives Malawi. Together we can build a school. Land clearing has already started and bricks are being made. Thanks so much for your continued support and let me know if you have any questions, thank you, Sarah x

https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9

https://gofund.me/44a92444

some of the first bricks being made for Bright Futures Secondary School

Please help us build a school

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Sarah’s blog 24/6/22

This is a secondary school for the most vulnerable children that the Foundation supports. Children who are orphans or their families are extremely poor. Also some other very vulnerable children from nearby villages will be able to attend.

The school will start with S1 classrooms and teachers accommodation and more of the school will be built over the next few years for S2, S3 and S4.

This is a community school for the most vulnerable in the community. This school is the key to a brighter future for this community. They need a helping hand to achieve this and that is where all of us can help.

£1,400 has already been sent to help pay the wages of locals who are making bricks and clearing land….so that is creating employment. More money will be needed for wages to complete the process of building the school.

Here are some of the ways you can help. It is a huge project for a small organisation to undertake but the children have always been the priority and all children have the right to an education. Please help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. I’ll be posting photos in the next few days of the land clearing and brick making. Thank you so much for your continuing support. Even a few £££ will make a difference so please give if you can. Sarah x

Let’s Build A School!

Help us give the gift of education. Help us build a school in Ibuluma.

Currently there are not enough secondary school places so, even if you pass your primary school exams, if you aren’t picked for a place at secondary then you can’t go. Education should be available to all and is the way to a better future. Please help us build a school.

Please buy from the following list to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. We can send a card (from an original painting by Christine Cresswell, trustee) to the recipient on your behalf if you’d like this to be a gift, or post to yourself to give, for £1 extra.  (costs can be saved on desks if anyone knows of any high schools of similar getting rid of desks/tables to send via the Bananabox Trust rather than ones being made in Malawi)                                                                       

  • Roof panel @ £50 x 100 =£5,000
  • Chalkboard @ £50 x 4 =£200
  • Bookcase @ £100 x 1 = £100
  • Chair @ £5 x 120 = £600
  • Desk @ £40 x 60 = £2,400
  • Textbook @ £8 x 100 = £800
  • Door @ £100 x 4 = £400
  • A name on the wall of the school @£100
  • Name a classroom @£500   

Contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com www.changinglivesmalawi.com

schoollistdoc.docx

Fundraising challenge to build a school

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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

Juliet Ng’ambi asking for a school

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Sarah’s blog 13/4/22

A few young people were at The Foundation yesterday. Levison took videos of Laston (yesterday’s post) and Juliet Ng’ambi appealing for a school in their village. Juliet is also in p8 and is worried that, even if she passes her exams, she won’t be picked for a place in secondary school in January as there aren’t enough places.

I’m confident that by growing our team of supporters we can make this a reality and help hundreds of vulnerable children out of poverty through education.

We need your help. I need your help please. Can you organise a coffee morning where you live? Or an event with your friends? Do your teenagers need volunteering opportunities and could help us with a sponsored event? Are you experienced at applying for grants? Can we come and speak at your club or church? I would love to hear your ideas of how you can help the children have a school in their village…so they can all go to school and be the best they can be.

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com to chat about how you can help or for bank details to make a donation. Or you can donate via this website or by texting SCHOOL to 70560 . I know we can do this together to continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

When the first few picture books arrived at The Foundation

Juliet Ng’ambi asks for a secondary school in her village so there are enough places for all children
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