The Nursery

Sarah’s blog 23/04/22

As the rainy season hasn’t finished yet, there were less children at today’s nursery session. I always say that the nursery caters for 50 of the most vulnerable children. However, Levison has recently told me that there are now 75 children age between 4-6 coming to the nursery. None of these children are turned away as they are hungry and suffering from malnutrition.

As you can see, the children are in their red t-shirts that have been sent, a few are still wearing their stripy waterproofs that they were given at Christmas and one little girl, Flary, whose mum volunteers to cook for all the children, is wearing a Riverside Primary School Jumper.

Levison and I decided that when the children start nursery would be a good time to give out a care package so we know that everyone has received their gifts. As I am an Early Years Educator, I’ve got a special interest in making lives better for these children and helping them achieve their potential. We have put together the following for each child as they begin nursery; a gym bag with, two red t-shirts, two pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap, a blanket and a picture book. Now I know that there are 25 more children, I am collecting and putting together some more bags to send on the next container. We always need soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens & pencils, children’s pants etc so if you find these cheaply while you are doing your shopping we would be very grateful if you’d donate some for the children.

We are also putting together pencil cases for each child leaving nursery and starting school, so if your child has asked for a new pencil case and their old one is still ok, could you donate it to send to the children please?

The nursery meets 3 times a week and the children play and are given something to eat. Periodically, Feed The Children Organisation bring some bags of porridge. The Foundation is grateful for this donation. These are only to be used for the nursery children. The porridge doesn’t last for many servings so the children are fed from money our charity sends and also from the crops grown at The Foundation when available.

This is one of the reasons that planting fruit tree saplings is so important, so children like these have more variety and vitamins in their diets and any extra fruit will be used as an income for The Foundation. Levison and team want a huge orchard with lots of different fruit trees. They want to keep bees too when the saplings start growing bigger. Obviously, planting hundreds of trees will be good for our planet as well as providing a sustainable future for the community. Fruit tree saplings are a way out of poverty and malnutrition for this village.

If you’d like to buy some fruit tree saplings they are £10 for 4. You can get in touch by email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or via the website form. Please also get in touch if you’d like to help support the nursery in any way. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Farming & Netball

Sarah’s blog 21/4/22

You would be forgiven for wondering why I’ve put those two words together in the heading of today’s blog. Not subjects that usually go together! And they don’t…the only thing they have in common is that Netball Club and Farming Club both took place this afternoon.

The children who have chosen to participate in these groups meet twice a week after school to learn new skills. The Farming Club look to be having great success with their carrots. They are allowed to take these ones home with them. Hope you enjoy looking at the photos from this afternoon. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

netball club
netball club
the farming club with their carrots
the farming club with their carrots

Ten ways you can help us

Sarah’s blog 14/04/22

Children – There are hundreds of children, like Rodrick and his sister Lucia, who are suffering from malnutrition. They are hungry. They cannot concentrate properly as their bodies are lacking nutrients. Some have very stunted growth. Rodrick and Lucia have been given new clothes and attend the weekly feeding programme were , along with 500 other vulnerable children, they are given a substantial and nutritious meal. They are all still hungry and malnourished as they don’t eat every day. No big agencies are feeding children that far north in Malawi, so it is down to us to send money to feed these malnourished children.

Education – is also the key to these children having a better future. Unfortunately, there are not enough school places. We need to raise money to build a school so these children can have the education they deserve. Education should be available to everyone. The villagers want to be self-sufficient. They want to be able to provide for their families. They want their children to go to school and have the opportunities that they didn’t. The children work hard and are desperate to go to school.

Lack of school places – Currently, there are not enough school places available. Eleven sponsored children who passed their primary school leavers exams did not get picked for a place at secondary school and are resitting their last year at primary school. Will they get picked this year? So worrying for them and heart-breaking.

Help us please – There are great things happening at The Foundation and lives are changing for the better. However, there are so many children and so much to do that we cannot do what needs to be done without adding to our supporters and team.

  1. We need fundraisers – we need people to organise small or larger events where you live, for your friends or community, on our behalf for the children.
  2. We want active people to take part in sponsored events for our charity – is that something you can do? Walking, running, swimming, trampolining, a sponsored silence? Can you do this with your friends?
  3. We need people to help us at events we organise eg looking after a stall, selling raffle tickets, making tea & coffee.
  4. We need more sponsors to be matched with children like Rodrick and Lucia so they have a monthly food parcel at their home, clothes, a blanket, school supplies etc. We have 90 children & young people matched with sponsors so far but there are many more in desperate need. Can you help? It’s only £25 p/m.
  5. Can you make a monthly donation to the feeding programme? Even a regular donation of £5 or £10 per month will make a big difference if several people sign up for this.
  6. Can you make a donation from your company? We can give you publicity.
  7. We need people to collect books so we can send them to schools.
  8. We also need people to collect stationery, shoes, new underwear etc for all age groups to adult, and collect funds to cover the cost of transportation.
  9. Will you invite us to talk at your club, church or school and show photos of the work taking place in Malawi?
  10. Will you tell your friends, family, colleagues etc about our charity and like and share our posts?

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com for bank details or to volunteer. It’s about teamwork and we all have a part to play in Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Rodrick and his sister Lucia are suffering from malnutrition

The Starfish Story

Sarah’s blog 9/4/22

I love the Starfish Story that I am going to share with you. Some of you will know it already.

Sometimes situations seem daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how we can make a difference to the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. But we are, bit by bit. Each of us helps, doing our little bit, as part of a team.

Five hundred malnourished children are receiving a nutritious, substantial meal once a week at the feeding programme. We wish we could afford to send more money to feed them more often or to set up a porridge programme at the schools. Unfortunately, at the moment, we can’t. We don’t yet have the finances for this. But the teachers have noticed that even this one meal is helping their concentrate and their grades.

Teenage girls are no longer missing school each month as they have been given reusable sanitary towels. This has given them dignity, inclusion and equality of education.

A nursery has been set up for 50 very vulnerable preschool children three times a week. They’ve been given clothes, blankets, flipflops and raincoats. They receive porridge at each session. This is making a big difference to these young children.

Ninety children have been matched with sponsors. They receive food, clothes, blankets, soap and education thanks to their generous sponsors.

These are only a few ways you have been helping us help the hundreds of very vulnerable children that The Foundation supports.

It’s teamwork as we couldn’t do it without you. If you haven’t yet taken on a sponsorship role or donated to the feeding programme… think about The Starfish Story I am sharing today. One person can make a difference. You can make a difference. If you sponsor one child, I sponsor another and so on, we CAN make a difference to ALL the vulnerable children. Please can you sponsor one of these vulnerable children today? It’s only £25 per month.

These children may not be starfish like in the story… but each one of them is a star. They are doing their best to survive. But they each need one of us to help them have more food and education. They each need one of us to help them be the best they can be. We need you to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Each child deserves a chance. Let’s each of us support one child and Change their Life. We can do this if each of us makes up part of a big team around these children. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and supporting. Please choose one of these stars to change their life today. Sarah x

Please make a difference to a child today

Rugby videos

Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

We’ve paid to upgrade our website so that we now have fancy features like being able to show videos. David, one of our trustees, very kindly provides technical support so I have been trying out a few new things. So here are some videos from the recent rugby coaching camp led by Jack Mphande, Malawian International rugby coach. We were so lucky that Jack was able to spend some time with the children. Just look at all the fun they are having whilst they learn new skills playing a team game they’ve never even heard of previously. Obviously, a big thank you to Jack for coming to teach rugby in the far north, to Community Sports Leaders Africa for facilitating Jack’s travel north, Strathendrick RFC for providing rugby balls that we sent out and a huge thank you to our supporters who donated money to enable the rugby coaching to happen for so many children. Enjoy the videos, Sarah x

Having fun whilst on lunch break at rugby camp
Practicing whilst waiting for lunch

Each child deserves a chance

Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

These amazing children need a helping hand to reach their potential. To be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? Each of these children suffers from malnutrition. They need more food, clothes, education. Can you be a helping hand for one of these children? It’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com please look at each photo and help a child today. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Some of the most vulnerable children

These are the most vulnerable children and most in need of a sponsor. Can you be a helping hand to one of these children?

Sarah’s blog 5/4/22

I wanted to highlight some of the orphans and vulnerable children that Levison has taken photos of previously. He’s done this as they are some of the most vulnerable and most in need of a sponsor. It’s only £25 per month to sponsor a child and you can do that as an individual, a group or two friends. 85p per day will mean the world to these children.

I’ve highlighted each child with a coloured background because I think they deserve to be seen. They deserve to have the same chances our children have. They deserve to have food, clothes, education. They deserve to reach their potential. They deserve to have a helping hand. They deserve to know that someone cares.

Please…can you be a helping hand to one of these children? It might be one of the most important things you ever do. It might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com thank you for reading and I hope to hear from some of you and match you with a child. Sarah x

Care packages from sponsors

Sarah’s blog 1/4/22

Sponsoring a child is probably one of the most important things anyone will ever do for them. They will know that someone they have never met cares about them enough to want a better life for them. Sponsor money provides food, education, clothes and shoes for these vulnerable children.

Some sponsors choose to also send gifts for their sponsored child. This isn’t a necessity at all but a choice over and above their sponsorship. Whenever any gifts are sent, Levison will also make sure that any siblings receive some clothes and soap at the same time so they aren’t left out. Here are a few more children who have received gifts recently. NB Amos is still waiting for a sponsor but his sister Roda’s sponsor kindly sent gifts for Roda, Amos and Manuel, their cousin who lives with them. Thank you so much to the sponsors for changing their lives. If you would like to sponsor a child, it’s only £25 per month so please get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x

SHANARRI Wellbeing Indicators

Sarah’s blog 26/03/22

Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included

These are used in Scotland as a simple way of checking on a child’s wellbeing. We are trying to ensure that the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children supported by The Foundation in northern Malawi are all of the above. Levison and team are doing an amazing job and by taking an holistic approach the children’s self-confidence and self-esteem is growing. There is much more to do but little by little things are changing for the better.

While you look at these photos from the rugby training, please keep in mind the above eight words. It’s a good way of measuring how change is happening for these most vulnerable children. Some in these photos have been lucky enough to be matched with a sponsor…some would love a sponsor so they have a monthly food parcel and their secondary education paid for them. If you would like to sponsor a child to help them achieve their potential email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com it’s only £25 p/m to change a child’s life. Elizabeth, Fortune and Pemphero would love you to support them. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Video – Nursery Children ABC

Sarah’s blog 15/3/22

Now that we have the added bonus of being able to play videos on our website, I thought it would be nice to see this little video again that was previously shown on facebook. Tables and chairs were sent on the last container and this is the children from the nursery in Emma’s Rainbow Library.

These children (ages 4-6) are sitting at tables for the first time and have been given books to look at. Compared to our children they have missed out on lots of stages of pre literacy; sitting on an adult’s knee as a baby whilst an adult reads a story, learning whilst a toddler to turn the pages of a book to continue the story, looking at all the pictures and talking about that with the adult or pointing to items in the pictures. Then children usually will follow the text with their index finger, even though they aren’t at the right word they know by that stage that words go left to right and that the words make up the story.

Hopefully, now there are books in the library the children will have lots of opportunities to look at books and have stories read to them. There are nursery bags on the container that is about to leave Dundee next week that will be given to each child who starts at The Foundation Nursery. These bags contain; a blanket, two red t-shirts, 2 pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap and a picture book. Each child will then have a book at their home and books and reading will become more of an everyday part of life. Enjoy the video, Sarah x

Asante & Madalitso playing recorders

Sarah’s blog 9/3/22

I sent 5 recorders to The Foundation on the container….looks like Asante (red trousers) and Madalitso have found them! This is great playing as they’ve never seen a recorder before. Well done boys!

I’m quite pleased too….David (one of the trustees and the technical expert) upgraded the website….so this is the first time I’ve been able to post videos! I promise I’ll leave it a few days before there are any more videos of recorder playing! Thanks for reading, watching & listening, Sarah x

A Generous Donation

Sarah’s blog 23/2/22

It’s been another busy day at Changing Lives Malawi HQ (our house) and the Logistics Manager (my ever helpful husband, Stuart) has been kept extremely busy and I’ve been busy helping him.

At 8.30am this morning we had a delivery of 22 large boxes of school uniform. Most of it is new. Very sadly, a school closed and all of this is their excess uniform. I saw a post on a fb charity site so made contact. The lady that has collected and sent all this uniform was determined that it wasn’t all going to go to landfill.

We are only about a third of the way through repacking it in stronger boxes but here are some photos of the lovely clothes and bags that will be on their way to Malawi very soon. There will be lots of very smartly dressed children who will be delighted to have the gift of brand new clothes. We will, of course, post lots of photos when things eventually arrive at The Foundation. Many thanks for your generosity. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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