Three young men, a sponsor & a plan (part 2)

Sarah’s blog 8/3/22

I recently told you that three young men; Chancy, Manase and Lameck were making eco stoves for the villagers. Traditionally it’s the women who do the cooking so these eco stoves are making a hard life just a little bit easier for these women. They are delighted with their new stoves that use less wood, retain more heat and are safer to cook on. So on International Women’s Day we are very glad these women have new stoves that also help the environment.

A generous sponsor is paying the wages of these three young men so they are being paid whilst they set up their business and gain in confidence. You will see the difference in Chancy from his previous photo. As well as eco stoves they are going to be making bricks for future buildings. If anyone would like to sponsor a young person to go to school or to start work then please do get in touch Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Three Young Men, a Sponsor & a Plan

Sarah’s blog 22/02/22

When you are so poor you can’t even finish primary school as you have to try to earn some money to feed yourself as your family cannot afford to feed you….that is a level of poverty that is, for most of us, hard to comprehend.

When you don’t have enough money for food to eat every day, that is something that most of us cannot understand. This is the story of three young men who have faced hardship like that. They are living in extreme poverty but, thanks to their own initiative, and now thanks to their sponsor, there is a plan in place to improve their lives and make something of themselves.

Manase is in his early 20s. He and his brother had been pictured previously working hard labouring for the builders who were building the shower block. He has been helping out at The Foundation. Chancy (early 20s) also helps out and Levison is able to give them small amounts of money for their work.

Yesterday, Levison went to see some of the eco stoves that Manase and Chancy had made, free of charge, for people in the village. Because of their initiative, their hard work and thoughtfulness is being rewarded.

Lameck, a teenager, has been on my mind since Levison took a photo of him reading books at the Foundation Library a few months ago. He didn’t even finish primary school due to poverty and has been doing piece work to earn a pittance since, but there he was reading in the library and trying to learn. I’ve been wondering how we can support him since then and now an opportunity has arisen.

We have matched them with a sponsor who will provide some money for The Foundation to pay these three young men each month whilst they make eco stoves for those in the community who don’t yet have one.

Eco stoves are….as the name suggests….eco friendly. They are an enclosed method of cooking so are far safer for people than cooking on an open fire, especially when young children are around. They use less wood which is obviously better for the environment and they retain heat so they can give off heat when it’s colder weather. Because they use far less wood, people don’t have to spend so long searching and collecting wood, leaving them more time for work or other household chores. Along with planting lots of tree saplings, the team at The Foundation are doing their bit for a sustainable future for people and the planet.

Manase, Chancy and Lameck will work on these and also brick making. Hopefully, they will be able to make enough bricks for future buildings and, possibly, if they want to, they may be able to go to college or have a tutor come to the Foundation to teach them bricklaying and building.

Hope you enjoy looking at the photos. If you’d like to donate to one of our project or support a young person then please do get in touch Thanks for reading, Sarah x

As it’s enclosed it is a far safer way of cooking and uses less wood than cooking on an open fire
Chancy with one of the eco stoves that he and Manase made
Manase with an eco stove that he built with Chancy
Lameck enjoys using the library to improve his reading and knowledge. He has just been doing piecework for a pittance. He will now be working with Chancy and Manase to build eco stoves.
Gogo is the respectful name for an older person, like grandmother or grandfather

A family – homeless & in need of help

Sarah’s blog 20/02/22

I know I’m always asking for help and support. I’m sorry… but there are so many people who are in real need and we are trying to support Levison and his team to help them out of their dire situation.

A mother, twice widowed, and her three children are homeless. The roof of their mud home has blown off in the wind and rain. Levison visited them and was able to help them find temporary accommodation. The house belongs to someone else and really doesn’t look much better than their previous home.

They are being given blankets and clothes and some food but what I am asking of you, our supporters, please is that we get at least two of these three children sponsored so they have regular food and support going into their home. The children, especially Angela, are showing signs of malnutrition. They will know someone cares about them and it will make their lives a little bit better. It costs £25 to sponsor a child. An individual can sponsor a child, or two friends can share the cost, or a family or a business. This family is desperate and I really want to help them. As I always say, it’s teamwork. We cannot help The Foundation to do what they do without help from our wonderful supporters.

Ideally, we would like to be able to rebuild or repair houses but, unfortunately, we don’t have money for that. Maybe that’s something we can look at doing in the future. Climate change isn’t going to be kind to these homes. As you can see we have a great deal to do!

So if you can find it in your heart to sponsor Moses, Blessings or little Angela then please get in touch. If you can’t sponsor then please, please share our posts so that we do reach more potential sponsors. Together we can continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

The family’s house where the roof has been destroyed by wind and rain
This is their temporary accommodation, owned by someone else, and unfortunately the roof doesn’t look much better
Moses needs new clothes, food and a blanket
Blessings desperately needs clothes, food and a blanket
Angela is showing signs of malnutrition she needs clothes, food and a blanket

Planting a Sustainable Future for People & Planet & also helping those affected by the recent hailstorm

Sarah’s blog 14/2/22

There is an orchard at the Foundation with lots of fruit tree saplings. The children have been caring for the saplings by weeding and watering them.

People have generously donated money to buy more fruit tree saplings and yesterday over 100 were planted. These will give future food for the children and hopefully be a source of income too for the Foundation from selling surplus fruit. This will help towards their end goal…self-sufficiency.

Obviously tree planting is very important for the planet and the hope is that the trees will also help in the rainy season by providing protection for the crops from the wind and rain.

The first photos are from a few months ago and the rest are from planting the saplings yesterday before heavy rain storm in the afternoon.

Also, a few weeks ago we had an appeal for a few families whose houses had been damaged in the wind and hailstorm. Thank you to the people who had contributed to that appeal. I’d like to thank the people who donate clothes etc to us as these people were given gifts yesterday for which they were very thankful.

They received clothes and shoes, maize and walking sticks for the very elderly. They were also gifted fruit tree saplings to plant near their homes. The photos of the recipients of these gifts are after the photos of planting the fruit tree saplings. Hope you enjoy the photos and, as always, if you want to get in touch it’s thanks for reading, Sarah x

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 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. . 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 and we will help you purchase your gifts to plant a sustainable future in Northern Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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