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

In memory of a special lady

Sarah’s blog 14/11/21

It would have been my lovely mother-in-law’s birthday today. After she passed away, we sent money to Levison for him to buy fruit tree saplings in memory of her. Levison has kindly taken photos of some of the saplings for me to add to this post and we are sending more money to mark her birthday and to buy some more tree saplings.

As you know, it’s so important for the planet to plant more trees and we are hoping that people will join this initiative and support us. With COP26 having just finished and there still being a huge amount of work to do, it’s so important to plant hundreds of tree saplings to protect the environment and planet.

As wood has been the only source of fuel for cooking and warmth, previously lots of wood has been needed. However, Levison and team are going to look at making briquettes from agricultural waste and the eco-stove project is continuing so much less wood will be used in future. The eco-stoves use far less fuel and are enclosed so they are much safer to cook on.

Although these fruit tree saplings are small, Levison assures me they will grow fast during the rains which will be coming within the next few weeks. There should be fruit in the next couple of years. This project benefits the planet and the people. The most vulnerable people. The William Stewart Foundation supports over 800 orphans and other vulnerable young people and there are no agencies feeding children in schools in that area. Approximately 500 malnourished children are fed a nutritious meal once a week at the Foundation. That is their one substantial meal of the week. Imagine being able to add fruit to their diet too? A huge orchard of fruit trees will mean a healthier community. It will also create employment and any surplus fruit will be able to be sold as a source of income for the Foundation, helping them on the road to self-sufficiency.

Four fruit tree saplings are £10. I am buying 8 today in memory of Isa Black, my lovely mother-in-law. We would love your help to support this project to plant a sustainable future in rural northern Malawi. I can change the wording on e-gifts for any occasion and personalise them. You could also have a sign in the orchard in memory of a loved one. Just let me know and I can help. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Appeal – Planting a Sustainable Future

Sarah’s blog 3/11/21

As the world is highlighting changes that we all need to make to protect our planet at COP26 in Glasgow, we are doing our bit too. We would love you to help us support The William Stewart Foundation by expanding their Eco Stove Project. Levison would also like the apprentices to start making briquettes from agricultural waste, saving trees and also planting a large number of fruit tree saplings, bringing food for the future and planting for the planet. Please join us by buying fruit tree saplings as alternative, sustainable gifts. We can presonalise messages, and send either by email or by post with a card. Contact us via the website or facebook or by emailing contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com and we will help you purchase your gifts to plant a sustainable future in Northern Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x