The first Sunday in Advent

Sarah’s blog 28/11/21

As we approach Christmas, today is the first Sunday of Advent. I’m sure, whether you are a Christian, of a different faith or none, most children and adults enjoy the celebrations at this time of year. Advent calendars filled with chocolate, decorations, sparkling lights, parties, concerts and presents and also the lovely food are some of the special things we can enjoy as well as being with people we love. Whilst there have been some restrictions recently, they are nothing compared to what people living in extreme poverty are facing every day of the year, wherever they are in the world.

The first Sunday in Advent is traditionally of HOPE like a light shining in the darkness. That is what The Foundation is for the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children that it supports. Hope of better things to come. Hope of food, of full tummies. Hope of clean water. Hope of education. Hope of jobs. Hope of health. Hope of better housing. Hope of fun and friends. Hope of a childhood without trauma. Hope that they will no longer be forgotten. Hope of sponsorship. Hope of clothes & shoes. ALL children deserve these things.

We are making great progress but with so many children there is never enough money. It costs £100 to feed 500 children once a week. This is their most nutritious, substantial meal of the week….some children do not eat every day and most suffer from malnutrition. We need to reach more people to help us continue to improve the dire situation that these children face. Can you share our posts or tell your friends about our charity?

There are many ways you can help us support the children and continue to send money to feed them. Donations of money are extremely helpful as are purchasing our e-cards and e-gifts as meaningful Christmas gifts with all the money we receive going to Malawi. The link is here https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecards/charities/changing-lives-malawi

Please help us to bring hope to hundreds of the most vulnerable children. If we don’t support them…..they have nobody. Together we CAN make a difference. Together we can change lives in Malawi. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . I am working tomorrow then I am taking the rest of the week off as I have a hospital appointment. I won’t be away for too long though as the children really do need us to help them. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

The Foundation, now with electricity, is a shining light of hope in the darkness

Reverse Advent Calendar

Sarah’s blog 22/11/21

Christmas is coming and the season of advent will be here next week. Some organised people might have finished all their shopping and wrapped their presents, some might have already thought about putting their tree and decorations up. Or are you a last minute type of person? If you are able, could you please spare a thought for the hundreds of vulnerable children whom we support in rural Northern Malawi. Their Christmas celebrations are very, very different to ours. We will be giving them a meal, a bar of soap and a pencil but we would love to be able to plan ahead as it takes months for gifts to arrive. It would be amazing if you could help us provide gifts for a summer and Christmas party. These children do not eat properly every day, so never have any soap, pencils or toys apart from what they are given at The Foundation. So a party and gifts mean a great deal to them and are very exciting. Let’s spread a little love this Christmas…can you help us?

If you can manage the whole Reverse Advent Calendar, that would be fantastic. But even if you manage a few of them while doing your own Christmas shopping we would be very grateful. A pack of pencils, a couple of packs of pens or a few bars of soap etc. Or some books in good preloved condition that your child no longer reads. These children and young people have had NOTHING. If we all give SOMETHING it WILL make a difference and bring joy to many. They will know that people care about them. They will know they are no longer forgotten. A little kindness goes a long way. In this season of goodwill, please help us send some joy to Malawi. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Thanks for reading, Sarah x

A small act of kindness with big rewards

Sarah’s blog 5/11/21

What have you spent money on today? There are things we need and bills to pay but could you spare 85p per day? What do we waste money on that we don’t need to? Every penny counts when it comes to these children. They don’t have money to waste…they don’t even have enough food to eat every day. They need food and they need secondary education to help them have a chance at a better future. These children cannot afford secondary school fees. Unless they have a helping hand the cycle of poverty will never be broken. Can you help please? Get in touch via the website or by emailing contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Please help us changing lives. You can also help by sharing posts to reach potential sponsors. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Chambo Primary School – School Literacy Project Visit 18/10/21

Sarah’s blog 18/10/21

Today Levison had arranged with the headteacher of Chambo Primary School to pay a visit. Levison was delivering 17 boxes of books that we had sent as part of the School Literacy Project. This is a project that has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children living in extreme poverty.

Chambo Primary is the primary school nearest The William Stewart Foundation, Ibuluma Village in the Chitipa District of Northern Malawi. There are 8 classes in this school with 70-80 children in each class. Approximately half of them are children supported by The William Stewart Foundation, so today was very much about those children as well as their peers.

Imagine, as a teacher, not having the resources you need for your class (I know most teachers here dip into their own pocket to buy extra resources for our children, but this goes way beyond that). Imagine not having books at school. Imagine having no internet and computers. I can just about remember that but our children will never have been in a school without technology. Imagine not having desks and chairs and having to sit on the floor all day. Only one classroom at Chambo Primary School has desks and benches.

Literacy starts a long time before children go to school. Even babies look at picture books with their parents and grandparents. Toddlers know that the story continues by turning the pages in a book and that the pictures tell the story as well as the words and they follow the words with their fingers even though they aren’t reading. Children can recognise environmental print (think of them spotting their favourite fast food restaurant as you are driving past) but the children in Ibuluma have missed out on that also. So if there are no books in these children’s homes they have missed out on years of literacy and enjoying books before they even get to school.

When our children go to school they practice reading and writing every single day, even if it’s only a small amount of time. Paper is plentiful as is the choice of books. Most children will have books to take home to practise their reading. Not the children from Chambo Primary School, Ibuluma. Until today. Now 17 boxes of books have been delivered, along with strong ziplock plastic bags to protect the books. Children can now borrow these books to take home. Hopefully, they can read their books with their siblings. We want books to become an every day item….a very special and enjoyable item….but to be used every day. These children deserve our support and we want to thank every single person who has helped with the first delivery of this project. We are going to liaise with the headteacher and see how this project is getting on and if there is more we can do to support them. We want children to achieve as education is so important for them to be able to have brighter futures.

We estimate this project was about £350 – £400 to deliver. It didn’t cost us that much as we had many people donating the bags as well as the hundreds of beautiful books. Also some people were able to donate the £15 required to transport a box of books on the container. We think this project is £400 very well spent and we thank everyone who contributed. What we do is always about teamwork and if you’ve been part of this team then be proud as you are #changinglivesmalawi Get in touch if you’d like to help us. Enjoy the photos and thank you for reading and celebrating this success with us. Sarah x