It’s been another busy day today. We met some new people and made some new connections which is always great. Today we were in Stirling to meet Tony at Replay Sport Scotland. They are a small charity who donate sports clothes and equipment to those in need and recycling/reusing/repairing sports equipment and sports clothes to ensure that, as much as possible, nothing ends up in landfill.
Replay Sports Scotland had a huge donation of clothing from The Queen’s Baton Relay and also from The Scottish Swimming Team. They have been able to distribute these to a variety of organisations in the Stirling area. I contacted Tony and told him about the projects we are supporting in Malawi and he was especially interested in the sports projects; football, netball and rugby.
So this morning we were given trousers from the Queens’ Baton Relay, and also t-shirts and jackets from the Scottish Swimming Team. Two boxes of these will be going to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School….and it just so happens to be the same blue as their school uniform!
Thanks so much to Tony and everyone else involved for allowing our charity to repurpose some of this kit to send to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School in rural northern Malawi. We will ensure that we receive lots of photos when this kit eventually arrives. The young people will be delighted.
People in need arrive at The Foundation every day. Things are tough. The rainy season makes an already difficult existence even harder. Food is scarce and prices have rocketed. Some people Levison can help, others he can’t. Everyone is given time for a chat. Levison, as well as being a teacher and having a degree in Agriculture, is a trained councillor. His skills are regularly put to good use.
Mrs Ng’ambi arrived at The Foundation this afternoon with her three children. Her husband is ill and they are struggling. Mrs Ng’ambi cried and cried after she and her children were given clothes, blankets and soap. Look at the happiness on the faces of these children because they have some new clothes and some flipflops instead of bare feet. Christina is holding a pack of 4 bars of soap.
Levison said sadly there is no spare food at The Foundation so he was unable to give them any food. Prices of everything have increased hugely in Malawi. Food prices usually go up in the rainy season when food becomes more scarce. However, Levison has told me thatmaize, their staple food, has more than doubled in price. How can people, earning a pittance, continue to buy food? The situation is getting harder and we must continue to be able to at least continue feeding the 500 children once a week. Please help us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Showing kindness in small ways makes a big difference to people like the Ng’ambi family. That’s why we need people to sign up to commit £1 per week to help us to continue to feed the 500 vulnerable children at the Feeding Programme which runs once a week. Children of all ages receive a nutritious, substantial meal once a week. Some children walk up to 20km for this meal. There are no charities feeding children in primary schools in this area. Children are malnourished and hungry. We need your help to continue feeding the 75 nursery children to give them a better start in life. We need your help to continue feeding the vulnerable students at Bright Futures Secondary School. We need your help to have some ‘emergency food‘ for people in need like Mrs Ng’ambi and her family.
If we can get 100 people committing to £1 per week, that will help us ensure the Feeding Programme keeps running as well as ensuring that the pre-school children are fed. The students at Bright Futures Secondary School need breakfast and lunch to help them study properly as they don’t eat when they go home. And we need some ‘extra’ food for families like Mrs Ng’ambi and her children.
Will you commit to £1 per week please? That’s not much at all to us…. to Mrs Ng’ambi and her children, it means the gift of a meal. Will you please join our team and commit just £1 per month to feed the hungry? Thanks for reading, Sarah x email@example.com
I’m feeling really sad looking at these photos I am going to share with you today. You might remember that recently Eliza, one of the lovely hardworking volunteers, sadly died after having an asthma attack. Eliza had been volunteering since Levison started feeding the children and had understood the importance of his vision for improving the lives of the most vulnerable. She also understood it wasn’t going to happen without volunteers. Eliza worked tirelessly, cooking for and serving 500+ children, cooking for the nursery children and, more recently, for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. She is missed very much by everyone.
I said I would try to find sponsors for her children. Her husband is a peasant farmer, working very hard for not much return. They had four children. Unfortunately, the eldest two have gone to live with relatives quite far away as their dad couldn’t support them all. So these older children have not only lost their mum, they are now separated from their dad too and their two youngest siblings. Who knows when they will all see each other again. Life is so hard.
The two youngest children are still living with their dad. The girl, Chifundo, who is 13, has had to start doing the chores her mum would have done, including looking after Junior, 8 years old, while their dad is working long hours. Chifundo will have to cook and do the washing. What will she cook? They don’t have much. They need food. They need soap to wash the clothes. They need some new clothes. And they need some blankets. You can see the mat, in one of the photos, where they sleep sharing a dirty old blanket.
So, who will help them? Who could help support these two children whose world has been turned upside down. They’ve lost their lovely mum and their two older siblings. They need our help. It costs £25 to sponsor a child each month. They receive a food parcel each month, clothes, a blanket, welfare checks and medicine if they need it. Please will you help? You can sponsor as an individual or two friends can share the cost or your club or business could sponsor a child. Please email me if you’d like to help Chifundo or Junior firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading and thanks to all our sponsors who are making a big difference to each child, Sarah x
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I just wanted to post a few videos celebrating how wonderful we think the children in Ibuluma are. There are hundreds of them who are malnourished and have suffered varying amounts of trauma but, despite all that they are doing well. They now know that people care about them.
If you have helped us then we thank you. Here are ways you can support us to continue Changing Lives Malawi.
Things are going well at Bright Futures Secondary School, and everyone is settling into a routine. An holistic approach is taken to changing the lives of these very vulnerable children. How can they sleep if they are cold? How can they learn if they are tired? How can they learn if they are hungry? How can they be confident individuals if they are wearing rags and old clothes?
We have been supporting The Foundation with all of these issues, through a variety of projects, and we are making a difference to the lives of the children. However, it is really difficult when there are 500+ children requiring support whilst the community works towards self-sufficiency. These children need a brighter future. They deserve a bright future. This is why we need your help.
We sent some secondary school uniform, which had been donated, on the last container and Levison gave this to some of the boys yesterday who look very smart. We will probably need to buy skirts for the girls as generally the skirts that teenage girls like to wear to school where I live are slightly too short for the girls in Malawi. More uniform is on the next container that is due to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
The young people at Bright Futures Secondary School are being provided with a hot, nutritious lunch every day at school. They are also able to access the Feeding Programme once a week so, even though these meals are only once a day, that is 6 days out of the week where they are getting a proper, hot, nutritious meal. Families are so poor that lots of the time, children do not have a proper meal every day. If you would like to support the school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School with a monthly donation, then please do get in touch email@example.com
If you are local to where I live in central Scotland and have any teen boys/men’s black trousers, white shirts or blouses, black jumpers or cardigans, and flat men’s/women’s shoes that are in good, clean condition, then we would be very happy if you were able to donate them. We would also welcome any donations of money to cover the cost of sending boxes on the container. firstname.lastname@example.org
The young people were delighted to be given fleecy blankets to help keep them warm at night. Some of the students had smaller blankets…they have already had a blanket gifted to them, so this was an extra one.
Work will be starting soon on the foundations for classrooms 3 and 4. We are so grateful for all the help we have received but we still need your help with providing more classrooms for next year. It’s been amazing what has been achieved and the amount of money that has been raised within such a short time to provide secondary school education, free of charge, for those who are most in need. Anyone who is able to donate £500 or more, can chose to have a name or business name above one of the classroom doors. https://gofund.me/44a92444 to give the gift of education.
The carpenter will start making some desks this week; however, we still need money for desks for the second classroom…approximately £500 is still required to provide desks for everyone in the two classrooms. We also need to provide more textbooks; this will be another £2,000. Thankfully, we did have a grant from The Souter Charitable Trust for £3,000 which purchased a good number of books. Until we have provided enough textbooks, we will keep adding new ones each year when there is money to do so.
So here are photos of some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, from yesterday with their new blankets and some with new uniform. I have put the link to yesterday’s post with our fundraising gifts and cards from which all proceeds will go towards Bright Futures Secondary School. Thank you for reading and supporting us to help the children, Sarah x
As I’d said in my post yesterday, I am looking for some help and support for a family whose dad had died suddenly on Saturday. There are three children and their mum, but they’ve lost their main breadwinner. They were living in poverty anyway, but now they are desperate.
It was the burial today and Levison attended with some others from The Foundation. He took cabbages, maize and some small fish for the family and they were very grateful.
There are three children, and I am just as concerned about the eldest boy who is 19 as I am about the younger two children. Vincent never got the chance to finish primary school as he was working to help bring in a pittance to help feed the family. So, he doesn’t even have primary school qualifications and hasn’t had much schooling. He doesn’t have a job and I am worried about his self-esteem, especially now he is the head of the household. Vincent needs a job to keep him busy and to give him self-confidence as well as bringing some money into the home. Hopefully, Levison will be able to talk more with Vincent next time he visits on his way to town.
The younger two are at primary school and really do need sponsors. Mitinala is 14 and must have missed some school too as she’s only in p7. If the family don’t find some help, then Mitinala is at real risk of being married off too soon as her mother won’t be able to feed her. Despite child marriages being illegal, unfortunately, they do still happen. For lots of the girls whom we have already managed to match with sponsors, child marriage was a real risk. By giving them a monthly food parcel at home and keeping them in school, these girls are now safe.
Canani is 9 and in p4. He needs a sponsor to ensue some food goes into their home each month and therefore he will be more likely to stay in school and not have to work. These children need food in their tummies every day so they can concentrate at school. Please will you help them?
I’m looking to get a little team round this family, whether it’s someone sponsoring one of the children or several people giving £5 or £10 a month to give this family a monthly food parcel. What can you do to help today? To sponsor a child, it is £25 per month. They get a monthly food parcel, clothes, soap and stationery, a blanket and welfare visits. You can sponsor as an individual, a family or as two friends splitting the cost. I really hope that these children touch your heart, and you are able to help them even if it’s just a few ££ per month. Please email email@example.com if you can help us change these children’s lives. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x
We have some sad news and are hoping that some of our lovely supporters might help us.
The team of builders who have been working hard on Bright Futures Secondary School had the weekend off and went home. Levison heard late yesterday that one of the builders had died suddenly which, of course, has been a big shock. This man had a wife and children, although I don’t have details of the children yet. They are poor people and live in a village on the way to Chitipa town.
The funeral is tomorrow and Levison and a few others will attend. Levison will take some maize for the widow and her children. Although he wasn’t an employee of The Foundation, this family have lost their husband and dad. They no longer have his financial support. We would like to be able to help them like we try to help other families who are in need.
Would anyone be willing to help this family either by sponsoring one of the children when I have more information or by committing to a monthly amount towards a food parcel? You can email me if you can help and, hopefully, we can get a little support team around this family. Thank you, Sarah x
Lots of people have been busy in the background adding kilometres to the total for our challenge. We are fundraising to build a desperately needed secondary school in rural northern Malawi and decided we would follow one of the routes that the boxes of aid travel. The total route is over 13,000km and we need more people ‘donating’ their kilometres to help us get to our total.
Do your children walk to school? Could they take part and let us know their totals for the week? Do you walk them to and from school? That means you will do double what your children do. Are you walking the dog every day? Or supermarket shopping? We need your kilometres please whether the total is big or small. The more people who help then the quicker we will get to our total. The local newspaper said they will feature our fundraising story every time we get to a significant goal. So please join in and tell us how many kilometres you’ve walked in a day/week. firstname.lastname@example.org
A few of the children that the Foundation supports ran 3km yesterday adding to our total. They were delighted to be helping and they also received some new clothes and flipflops too. So, the new total is 4,940.423 km which is 37.59%. Very well done everyone who has helped us so far…and if you’ve not donated any kilometres yet….please can you help us?
We are building Bright Futures Secondary School as there are not enough places available in the secondary schools nearby. Also, young people have to board as it’s too far to walk every day. Secondary education has to be paid for, so it makes it prohibitive for the majority of young people who are supported by the Foundation unless they have sponsors.
The school is being built in phases as we are on a shoestring budget as usual! Two classrooms will be built to start with, and we will add to the school over the next few years. Please will you help? These young people need a way out of poverty… they are desperate for education as they know this is the way to a better future for them and their families.
To donate you can get in touch by email email@example.com for our bank details or you can donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 You can make a difference today. We need you to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Hope you enjoy the photos and videos of the children running yesterday. All of these children (apart from Catherine) would benefit from being matched with a sponsor, so please get in touch if you’d like to support one of them. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x
At the weekend, some of the donated clothes were gifted to the children. There is always great excitement on these days and lots of children turn up to receive some new clothes.
Two elderly ladies, Gogo Nandege and Namasachi, regularly come to The Foundation to tell the children traditional stories. Gogo is a respectful term for Grandparent and a married woman can add ‘Na’ as a prefix to her name. They are both very poor but very generous with their time. They were delighted to receive coats, shoes and walking sticks which will help them as they walk to spend time with the children.
All of the children who I have named are very vulnerable and looking for a sponsor. So, if you are able to help one of them, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org It’s £25 per month to sponsor a child. They receive a monthly food parcel at home to supplement what their family has. They also are gifted clothes, a blanket, soap and school supplies. They get regular welfare checks and are given medicine if they need it. You can sponsor a child as an individual, a family, a business or two friends can share the cost. It might be the most important thing you ever do for one of these children. Please help if you can.
We’ve always said that girls and women don’t wear trousers for cultural reasons. They do in the cities and towns but in the rural areas it is more traditional. However, some of the teenage girls asked if they could try on trousers. Some of them were far too big for the girls but it’s an indication that some of the girls would like to start wearing trousers. From now on we will gratefully accept women’s trousers too.
I hope you enjoy the photos and please do get in touch if you can help by sponsoring a child, supporting the feeding programme with a monthly donation, or paying for a box to go on the container. email@example.com or to donate to our school fundraiser the link is https://gofund.me/44a92444 Thank for reading and supporting, Sarah x
I sometimes think I don’t get across the sheer scale of the difficulties faced by the people that Levison and his team are trying to help in the rural far north of Malawi. When he first wanted to improve the lives of the most vulnerable, he was just thinking about those in his village. However, from reading what he has written below, you can see that people are coming every day begging for help, and walking huge distances to get to The Foundation because they have heard that they won’t be turned away. People do not have food to feed themselves or their families.
In addition to the 500+ children who are fed once a week at The Feeding Programme, the 75 preschool children who are fed three times a week in The Nursery, as well as all the other projects and wonderful things that are happening, there are so many others needing our help. These people are feeling forgotten. There are no other charities or big agencies feeding children in that area. It is a huge responsibility for The Foundation and a huge responsibility for us. That is why we rely on your help. That is why we need you as part of our team.
When you give us preloved clothes and shoes, blankets and soap…you will understand the importance of these when you read Levison’s words. It’s also important that we continue to have the funds to send this aid to the most vulnerable people in rural Northern Malawi. So, if you can, please when you donate clothes, shoes, or anything else to us, could you include some money to cover the cost of sending boxes to The Foundation. Or raise some funds for us to continue this important work. It’s £15 per box on the container. People need our help. We need you to be part of our team. Great things are happening but there is more to do. firstname.lastname@example.org thanks for reading, Sarah x
As you know, we are trying our best to raise money to build the first block of a secondary school. Bright Futures Secondary School will be a community school for the orphans and other vulnerable young people to attend.
Education should be available for everyone. There are currently not enough places at local secondary schools. If you don’t get picked for a place, even if you have passed your primary leavers exams and can afford the school fees.
This is what happened to eleven of our sponsored young people this year. They are resitting their last year of primary school, hoping for better grades, hoping to be picked for a place.
As the local secondary school is a distance away the young people, who are sponsored and do get a place at school, have to board at school. This adds to costs and also means they aren’t available to help their families with chores.
A secondary school in the village would make such a difference to so many people. Education is their way out of dire poverty – their way to a better future for themselves and their families.
Bricks are being made…about 40,000 so far, and kilns are going to be built soon to fire the bricks.
There are people working hard in Malawi and here to try our best to help these vulnerable children. As well as education, a school will help prevent teenage pregnancies and girls being married off too soon. Already, The Foundation has proved that if the young people are kept busy and given opportunities then there will be far less teenage pregnancies. The young people’s self-esteem has increased as they learn new skills, play team sports with their peers and read in the library. They know people care about them. They have hope for a better future. We need to continue supporting the projects that support them. This is absolutely vital to protect these vulnerable young people.
Here, we are trying to raise funds and awareness. It’s really hard as we know that some people have less available cash. We need to reach a wider group of people and if we all give a little, that will add up to a lot!
Also, we are trying to source supplies to provide for the young people when the school is built. We need to plan ahead as the container takes approximately 3 months for its journey.
There are over 100 chairs at The Bananabox Trust warehouse that we are sending for the first phase of the school. Someone donated boxes of new laptop bags. We are sending 80 of these for the young people to use as school bags. Pencil cases and pens are in boxes too as well as some secondary school uniform.
Stuart, my husband, delivered some boxes and 72 rugby balls to Dundee today and took a photo of all the chairs to show Levison.
I also received a photo from one of our supporters today who put a shout out on her village Facebook page asking for preloved secondary school uniform. People have been very generous as she’s collected a great amount which will kit out some of the pupils who will attend Bright Futures Secondary School.
There’s still so much to do and so much money to raise but we WILL do this. The children are relying on us. So if you can spare a few £££ we would be so grateful. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x
Just a short post from me today as I’ve got an issue with my laptop that will hopefully be sorted by tomorrow. It’s times like this that I realise that technology isn’t my forte… but thank goodness for friends who can help.
Douglas & Lynda delivered another load of boxes to Dundee yesterday. Stuart & I spent a couple of hours yesterday packing boxes. The Bananabox Trust shed in Dundee will soon be full again and then they will book another container. It won’t be long until the current one arrives at it’s destination .
Hopefully, I’ll have an update on the kilometre challenge for you tomorrow with some photos too.
So I want to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ again to everyone who supports us. We really do appreciate you.
Our website is having visitors from all over the world which is brilliant! This week some of the countries from which people have viewed our website are; Thailand, Spain, U.K., USA, UAE, Canada, Israel, China, Netherlands, Malawi, Ireland, Peru, Zimbabwe, Libya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Antigua and France.
You can keep up to date with the most recent news by signing up to receive my blog. Thanks for reading, Sarah x