Container 11 has arrived!

The container has arrived and been unloaded


Sarah’s blog 24/07/23

It’s a long process to send boxes to Malawi. Firstly, we take the boxes to Dundee to The Bananabox Trust warehouse. When their warehouse is full of boxes (from individuals and other organisations) they order a container which goes to Ekwendeni, near Mzuzu. We are charged £17.50 per box to cover the cost of the container. It takes approximately 3 months for the container to arrive in Ekwendeni which is still several hours drive south of where The Foundation is.

Levison and two helpers left last Wednesday to be in Ekwendeni for Thursday when they were hoping the container would be there. Unfortunately, the lorry that the container was on broke down and only arrived this morning. So there has been a lot of wasted time, waiting around, and a lot more expense for meals and overnight accommodation.

However, this morning, the waiting was over and the container was opened. The boxes and other items were all unloaded and handed to the people from charities and organisations who were there patiently waiting to collect them. It’s always a good time to catch up with friends and acquaintances when everyone gathers on container day and Levison was able to spend time with several people he knows.

Once they were sure they had everything safely, it was time to pack the truck. They are now on their way home with all the boxes which will be opened over the next few weeks. Levison is also delivering boxes to a football coach in Chitipa on behalf of Community Sports Leaders Africa (who donated the netball posts in recent photos). There are resources for Bright Futures Secondary School, lots of baby knitting and primary school uniform donations as well as three big boxes of school shoes from charity for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. They will be amazed and delighted when they see the gifts and resources that have been sent.

We want to thank The Bananabox Trust in Dundee for their hard work in organising the container and the volunteers who label the boxes and pack the container and everyone in Ekwendeni who helps on container day. It’s difficult for Levison, travelling from a long distance away, to collect the boxes we send (most people are local to Ekwendeni or Mzuzu) but we are very grateful for those friends who give of their time and offer assistance to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

We are looking forward to bringing more photos when boxes are opened and of the progress of building the next phase of the school. My sister, Joanne, has been doing a wonderful job with her walking challenge in July. She is trying to raise money towards the next phase of Bright Futures Secondary School whilst facing personal challenges. Her story and the link to her fundraiser is here . If you can share a few £££ then please do head over to her fundraising page to keep encouraging her towards the end of her challenge. Showing your support will make all the difference to her and to the orphans in Malawi who need another classroom. Many thanks for all the support so far, Sarah x

Levison surrounded by boxes
some of the donations from Community Sports Leaders Africa
Levison’s truck
The container arriving at Ekwendeni

Levison is finally back with all the boxes and fuel in the truck!


Sarah’s blog 11/09/22

I wrote the comment below on Facebook on Tuesday 7th September. Levison and Sam had been waiting at the fuel station since the afternoon of Sunday 5th September. Little did we know that petrol deliveries wouldn’t arrive in Chitipa until Friday and diesel, which Levison’s truck needs, didn’t arrive until yesterday afternoon. Seven days after they first arrived to try to fill up the truck. It’s been an extremely stressful week but, thanks to friends in Ekwendeni, all the boxes were delivered safely to Levison at the petrol station. Then they still had the long wait for fuel. Thankfully, it seems the country’s fuel shortage is now over.

The first few boxes have been opened today and the donations of clothes will be distributed to the children during the next few days. I will post more photos when I get them. Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported. We couldn’t do what we do without you. It’s always about teamwork. Thanks, Sarah x

“The last couple of days have been extremely stressful for Levison. We have also been concerned. There is a fuel shortage in Malawi, especially in the far north where Levison is. He knew the container was being unloaded yesterday in Ekwendeni, a few hours drive south from him. He had no fuel for the truck and sat at a petrol station in a queue from Sunday afternoon until midday yesterday. No fuel arrived and has still not arrived despite people being told a delivery was imminent.
Levison had contacted some of his friends at the Bananabox Trust and other organisations who help supervise the unloading of the container. They assured Levison they would look after his boxes. Then they suggested that we pay for a truck to take everything north to Levison to save him worrying about when fuel would be available. A member of Bananabox Trust staff was also spared to travel with the truck to ensure everything arrived safely.
We are thankful and delighted to be able to say that the truck with all our boxes has arrived safely with Levison. It is very much appreciated when friends and colleagues go out of their way to help each other.”

Sarah Black, Facebook 7/9/11

In the queue for fuel for seven days

We are so grateful to our friends who work for Bananabox Trust in Ekwendeni and friends who work for other charities who looked after all our boxes when Levison couldn’t get to the container. They organised a truck, which we paid for, to take all the boxes safely to Chitipa.

Some of the lovely donations in the boxes that have been opened today
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