Merchiston Castle School – Rugby Donation

Sarah’s blog 18/06/22

Last week, Stuart had been to Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh to collect donations of rugby balls and kit from Annan Rugby Club which Bruce Aitchison had collected for us. Bruce is House Master for Rogerson House at Merchiston Castle School and also founder of the social media site all about rugby

Bruce and some of his rugby friends have been very supportive of our charity and how we are trying to support some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. So Stuart visited the school again yesterday and met up with Bruce to collect the balls and kit from Merchiston Castle School.

Rugby has only very recently been introduced to the Chitipa District in the far north of Malawi when Jack Mphande, Malawi International Rugby Player and Rugby Development Officer, ran two rugby coaching camps. He is going to visit again to start coaching in schools in that area. Jack was very impressed with how the young people he was working with picked up the sport so quickly and his enthusiasm for the game was picked up by the children. The rugby donations we have been given are going to make a big difference to these young people. They will also know that people they have never met care about them.

All of these children are either orphans or living in dire poverty. All are very vulnerable. Until quite recently they had no hope. For them to have a visit from a top coach like Jack Mphande was so special for them. Someone important visiting them, working with them, teaching new skills, spending time with them, chatting with them, encouraging them and calling them by name. That experience is priceless. These children are more confident and their self-esteem has improved and they enjoy playing team sports with their friends whilst they forget about the problems and difficulties in their lives. An holistic approach is being taken, it’s so much more than just feeding hungry, malnourished children.

My blog from earlier this week International Day of the African Child – some of the projects which are helping the most vulnerable children – Changing Lives Malawi highlights some of the ways the children’s lives are changing for the better and shares some great photos and videos. Each of these projects requires funding to enable us to keep helping this community towards their goal of self-sufficiency. If you would like to donate to help the children please email me .

Children also benefit from being matched with a sponsor to help provide more food, a blanket, clothes, welfare checks and pay for secondary education. If you would like to sponsor a vulnerable child it’s only £25 per month and you can sponsor as an individual or share the cost with a friend or family. A business or club could sponsor a child too. Ninety of the most vulnerable children have been matched with sponsors but there are many more waiting for a helping hand. Can you sponsor a child today? Or donate to one of the projects? .

Thank you so much to Bruce and all at Rogerson House, Merchiston Castle School for your generosity. Here are some photos and videos of some of the children you will be supporting. These were taken on their first day so they did brilliantly! If you want to keep up to date with our latest news you can follow us on facebook. We are also on twitter and instagram and you can sign up to follow my blogs so you don’t miss anything! Thanks so much again, Sarah x

Afternoon Tea with the First Lady of Malawi, Edinburgh City Chambers

Sarah’s blog 2/11/21

I was very honoured to have been asked to attend an afternoon tea with Her Excellency, the First Lady of Malawi, Monica Chakwera and ladies of the diaspora. The event was hosted by Scotland Malawi Partnership and The Association of Malawians In Scotland. There was a presentation and the First Lady spoke about her charity ‘Shaping Our Future Foundation’ and her early life. There were other speakers and an interesting talk by Dr Emily Broadis on the burns project she set up at the hospital she worked at whilst living in Malawi.

Unfortunately, due to the event running over and having to collect my son, I had to leave before the group photo was taken, but did have chance to give The First Lady of Malawi information on the work we are doing at Changing Lives Malawi to support The William Stewart Foundation. I also gave her some of our charity cards from original paintings by one of our trustees, Christine Cresswell (my talented mum).

Thank you to Joyce Juma-Phiri, CEO of Fair Trade Scotland and head of The Association of Malawians in Scotland, for inviting me as one of her guests. It was such a special afternoon and I met some lovely people. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

first photo: The First Lady of Malawi, Monica Chakwera

second photo: Afternoon Tea at the City Chambers, Edinburgh (I am sitting in front of the fireplace)

third photo: group photo

fourth photo: me on my way to the event

fifth photo: flags flying outside The City Chambers, Edinburgh (the red carpet was out too)

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