The Second Sunday in Advent

Sarah’s blog 5/12/21

The second Sunday in advent is traditionally about peace and waiting. I have had no choice this week. I wasn’t going to write this but I think it’s important and I would be very grateful if you would be patient with me whilst I write this.

I have been in a very large hospital since Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon I had some of my right kidney removed using robotic assistance. If this operation had taken place at my usual hospital, they would have removed my whole kidney. So I am thankful for the opportunities I have had. Everyone has been so lovely and kind and I have felt precious and cared for.

I am very conscious of the differences between my opportunities here and the lack of health care opportunities in Malawi, something we need to try to work on next year.

I feel I am being ‘asked’ to write this and believe me I am double and triple checking things as I am on a lot of medication for pain relief and my concentration isn’t good. At least I’ve kept my eyes open! My care,post op, has not gone to plan. My oxygen levels have been extremely low and, I spent two days in high dependency. Yesterday was my first day since Tuesday with no additional oxygen…again the comparison isn’t lost on me that Malawi doesn’t have enough oxygen in hospitals.

So without you having to know all my aches and pains, I am here to wait and recover. To recover from the big operation I have had but also the stress of 2021 which has been huge.

Every day has been a worry about where money will come from to feed children, to sponsor them, to provide for them. I have been volunteering 7 days a week. I can’t continue at that rate. It’s not going to do me any good, therefore the charity any good, if I don’t start putting myself first. I don’t know what the new working hours will look like but, for now, I will wait with peace and listen. Of course, I couldn’t have worked so hard without my husband who is my biggest supporter.

All of this would have been hard enough but there have been people on social media trying to destroy our charity. People who have never met me. People who are happy to side with others without knowing facts or thinking about the consequences of their actions. I cannot apply for grants for our charity at the moment because the awful things that have been written. People might not like me or like what I say (and that’s ok) but every decision I make is to benefit those hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children to make lives better for them.

Of course, I should have been at home this last week sharing posts; getting children sponsored, selling paintings for Christmas or lovely cards; sharing the links for e-cards and e-gifts and generally working as hard as I can for every £1 to help make a difference in Northern Malawi. Hopefully, people do find the items via our website and please share posts if you can. Hoping I will be home in a few days although this week away, courtesy of the NHS, has been amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

So instead of being busy selling, I’ll wait patiently for what’s going to happen next. It might be that you decide you want to help, it might be a magazine wants to write about our work… who knows? But I do know that 2022 is going to be a better year and we hope that you will continue to journey with us http://www.changinglivesmalawi.com thanks for reading, Sarah x

My room with a view of the helipad

Happy Mothers Day (Malawi) – It takes a village to raise a child.

Sarah’s blog 15/10/21

It’s a national holiday in Malawi today. The schools are closed and people are celebrating Mothers Day. It made me wonder what the children who are supported by The William Stewart Foundation are thinking and feeling today.

The Foundation supports approximately 800 children and young people through different projects. These are some of the most vulnerable children in the world, suffering from malnutrition, extreme poverty and most have experienced grief and trauma due to the loss of a parent or important adult caring for them. Do the ones that have lost their mums have memories of them? Were they too young to remember? How many children are now carers themselves? Of course we know it’s not just females that have caring roles but today we thank the women who are bringing up their own children, other people’s children, grandmothers, aunties, big sisters, and some who are not blood relatives but have loving, caring hearts. Life is very hard but even harder when you’ve got nothing and you and your family are very, very hungry.

The African Proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is so true and The William Stewart Foundation is part of that village, raising the most vulnerable children, feeding them, clothing them, trying to give them hope for a better future. We can all be part of ‘the village’ for these children, playing an important part in their lives, supporting them so that the mothers of the future have opportunities that previous generations haven’t had. Happy mothers day to all the caring women in Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x