Have a look at what the children have been doing today!
Sarah’s blog 11/06/23
It’s been another busy day at the Foundation. The Feeding Programme was on today so hundreds of hungry vulnerable children flock to the Foundation to receive their one nutritious, substantial meal of the week. Some children walk up to 20km to receive this food as no big charities are feeding children in primary schools in this area. All are hungry. All are malnourished. All need our help.
Children know that the Foundation is their safe place. A place to have fun and be with their friends. In addition to being fed, children have access to the library and can choose books to read. Some children have been learning about the computers too. Others have been weeding the flowerbeds and some have been playing with building blocks.
Team sports are always high on the agenda. Football and netball matches were played too. Children of all ages can forget about their problems for a while at The Foundation and enjoy themselves as they should. The netball posts were a gift from Community Sports Leaders Africa and we are very thankful for this generous donation. We have plenty of rugby balls on the way in the container but we the children always need footballs and netballs. So if you’d like to make a donation for us to buy a ball on your behalf or to help donate towards the cost of feeding 500 children please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy the photos and video from today. Thank you for your continued support, Sarah x
Sustainability and self-sufficiency for the community we are working with in rural Northern Malawi is always the end goal. So much is being achieved but there is still so much more to do.
Because no children are being fed in primary schools in that area, all children are malnourished. All children are hungry. No children and young people whom we help to support have enough to eat. We MUST ensure they get food NOW to help them begin to thrive whilst also ensuring that there is food for the future.
This is why we are asking for more people to join our feeding team. By committing to just £5 per month, you will help us feed 500 malnourished children and young people more than just once a week. They deserve our help. They deserve food. They deserve to thrive. They need us. Please will you help us help them? email@example.com Our bank details are: Bank of Scotland, Changing Lives Malawi, Sort Code 80-22-60, Account Number 21605268. By donating £5 per month you WILL make a difference. You WILL help a child thrive. Please put ‘feeding’ as the reference.
It is a juggling act because we cannot spend all of the donations we receive on feeding the 500 orphans and other vulnerable children and young people. That just isn’t sustainable and there will be nothing to help the community be self-sufficient in the future. So whilst we are investing in this vulnerable community’s future, we need more help from our supporters to be able to provide enough food for the children now.
A couple of years ago, over 100 fruit tree saplings were bought and planted at The Foundation. The orchard was named after my lovely mother-in-law who had recently passed away. We made a personal donation towards buying some fruit tree saplings and lots more were bought by other people through an appeal. Unfortunately, the weather and also termites have killed some of the saplings. However, the majority are thriving and I was delighted with these photos that Levison sent me yesterday.
Amazingly the guava saplings are producing fruit now, even though the plants are still quite small. The orange and lemon saplings are doing well but have no fruit yet. Some more saplings are going to be planted soon. We would also love people to help pay for more saplings firstname.lastname@example.org Our bank details are: Bank of Scotland, Changing Lives Malawi, Sort Code 80-22-60, Account Number 21605268. £5 will buy two fruit tree saplings. Please put ‘saplings’ as the reference.
The hope is that this project will be sustainable for people and planet. Planting more trees is obviously vital for the planet and climate change. It will also help prevent against soil erosion in the heavy rains. Levison will send photos of the children eating the guavas when they are ready to be harvested in about a month’s time. In future years, especially if you help us plant more trees, there will be fruit for the children to eat and there will be extra fruit that will be able to be sold which will bring in an income for The Foundation. It’s really exciting to see the trees bearing fruit….may this be the first of many harvests supporting the 500 malnourished children.
I’ve put the links to previous posts about the fruit tree saplings and the orchard. I know Levison would like to also grow bananas in addition to the fruit trees in Isa’s Orchard. Who is driving you bananas that you would like to name a banana plantation after? Enjoy the photos of the first guava fruits and thank you for your support, Sarah x
Students were busy planting sweet potato vines after lessons today
Sarah’s blog 04/04/23
It’s Easter School Holidays in Malawi as well as here but we had arranged to support an Easter Study School for students. We had to arrange for them to be fed each day so they would be able to concentrate and study. We are still looking for supporters to contribute towards these extra costs please. email@example.com for our bank details or text FEEDING to 70480 to donate £5 towards feeding these hungry, vulnerable students. As the saying goes….every little helps!!
Maize is getting more and more scarce and more expensive as it is the rainy season and also because a lot of maize is being redistributed to the south of Malawi for the victims of the recent cyclone, meaning that it is becoming really difficult to secure enough food.
We sent some money last week as Levison had been able to secure some maize and beans towards feeding the students for the next two weeks. However, due to heavy rain and flooding, it wasn’t safe to go and fetch these supplies. Three days passed with heavy rain and the roads were more and more muddy. Would there be any food for students on Monday?
Levison was able to make a shorter journey on Saturday, in between the rain showers, to collect sweet potato vines. These were paid for by a donation for which we are very grateful. On Sunday late afternoon Levison and one of his staff set off to collect the maize and beans knowing that it was needed for the next day. However, their truck got stuck in the mud….they were there for 6 hours until another truck passed and was able to pull them out of the ditch. Nothing is ever easy or straightforward. I don’t think any of us realise just how difficult things are every day. However, thankfully, they returned with some food.
After lessons today, some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, helped with planting the sweet potato vines as part of their agricultural lessons. This crop is far less labour intensive than maize and, hopefully, the sweet potatoes should be ready after three months. There still won’t be a huge harvest considering that 500 hungry children turn up every weekend to be fed, but it is on the right road to self-sufficiency and these students are learning important skills for their futures.
Thanks for reading and supporting these vulnerable students, Sarah x
We are grateful to receive more sports kit to send to Malawi for teams that do not have matching kit.
Sarah’s blog 31/3/23
We have been very fortunate to have had several individuals and organisations donating sports kit and equipment to us for use by the vulnerable young people we support in rural northern Malawi.
Strathendrick Rugby Club and Merchiston Castle School have very kindly donated kit, boots and rugby balls and there will be some other donations coming soon from other supporters.
Via Julian Chenery from ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’ there has been hockey kit from Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club, and numerous football kits as well as Christmas Jumpers and Christmas hats. Julian spends nearly every weekend collecting preloved kits from clubs to pass on to a variety of charities. Sports kits then are able to be reused by teams who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford to buy matching kit.
Julian messaged me the other day to say that he has sent football kits kindly donated by Swale Ladies Football Club and Borden Village Football Club which made it in time to be loaded onto the Bananabox Trust container which is now on its way to Malawi. We will, of course, show photos when those arrive.
Julian also met with Mark Meekings who runs ‘Kitz4Kidz’ who have donated kit they have collected for use in Malawi. Thanks to Julian and Mark and to those who donated kit – photos to follow when the kit arrives in Malawi. Thanks also to the volunteers at Bananabox Trust for their hard work ensuring everything is recorded and packed safely into the containers.
During the two week Easter holidays, we are facilitating the running of an Easter Study School for the 66 p8 students at Chambo Primary School and the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. Lessons will run Monday – Thursday during the first week and Tuesday – Friday the second week. On Good Friday and Easter Monday, the young people will be playing organised team sports.
For 10 days during the holidays all these students will receive a substantial, nutritious cooked lunch. This will probably be their only proper meal of the day. This meal might be the only food that they eat that day. We would be very grateful for help towards providing this food. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details or you can text FEEDING to 70480. Every £5 or £10 donated will make a huge difference to these vulnerable students and help them concentrate whilst they study. Thank you, Sarah x
It’s just a quick post today. I am concerned about the children we are helping to support in rural Northern Malawi. There are over 500 orphans and other vulnerable children who come to be fed once a week… that’s all we can afford.
There are no big charities feeding children in schools in that area. All children are hungry, malnourished and don’t eat properly every day…some don’t eat every day.
We need your help to continue feeding these children as food prices have gone up and so many young people need our help.
If you can spare £1 per week… please, please will you help us? 100 people, each giving just £1 per week will ensure that the feeding programme can run twice a week instead of just once. We can make a difference to these hungry children.
Please will you commit to helping us help these very vulnerable young people? If we all give just £1 per week it WILL make a difference. All the money goes to our projects – there are no salaries or admin costs with our charity… every penny will go to feeding these malnourished children.
Email email@example.com if you would like to change a life with just £1 per week. As a team, we can change lives in Malawi. Thank you, Sarah x
Running a Foundation is a huge responsibility and the rural location of The Foundation adds to the pressure that Levison is under.
There are no big agencies feeding children in schools in the far north of Malawi. The responsibility has fallen to The Foundation to feed 500+ children once a week. Children are walking from up to 20km away to have that one substantial meal each week.
This is all we can afford at the moment. There are so many calls on finances as we try our best to support a community back to self-sufficiency.
The Foundation teaches life skills to the children and young people. Growing crops is part of the skills the children learn. Unfortunately the crop of maize was affected by the flooding earlier this year and part of the crop was washed away. This year’s crop will only feed the children for two months.
The price of buying maize fluctuates throughout the year depending on availability and time of year.
The Malawian Kwacha was devalued a few months ago and all prices have gone up. However, maize is more than double the price it was this time last year.
Thank you to the few people who have given £5 per month towards the feeding programme as we have been grateful for this to top up the money we send each month to feed the children.
We know that we are asking for a lot of help but the more people who know about our charity and The Foundation, the more we can spread the help we need across more supporters. So I urge you to please share our posts and also tell your friends about us and the help we need.
All of us in the U.K. are volunteers and no money is spent on admin costs as we donate our time, petrol for transporting boxes to Dundee etc. So you can be sure if you donate money for feeding children, that’s where it will go.
Please, please can you donate £5 per month towards our feeding programme? I need 20 people to commit to £5 per month to enable the children to still be fed a substantial meal each week at The Foundation.
Please, if you can, donate £5 p/m by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details. The children have come to rely on that one substantial meal each week…we can’t let them down.
Please help us continue helping the children by donating £5 per month for food. email@example.com to help feed the 500+ vulnerable children today. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x
7am. So glad I am nearly at the end of my challenge. It’s tough because I am thinking about the food that I will be able to have next week and it’s making it harder to keep going with all the vegetables and rice!
As I had done 20km on my bike that I mentioned in my last blog, I decided just to do 10km on my bike for the next couple of days as my legs were sore.
I’ve been eating rice with mixed vegetables, lots of roasted vegetables, soup and a waldorf salad. Trying to drink enough water and finding that quite hard to fit in an extra couple of glasses. As I was out a lot yesterday, I did have a shop bought pack of melon and mango which tasted amazingly sweet and delicious.
6.30pm Just cycled another 20km and really pleased with myself! Never thought I’d be able to do that at the start of this challenge… I was struggling to get past 5km. So I will definitely try for at least two more 20km before I finish.
I decided to do this challenge for the following reasons;
To raise money to build a much needed school as there are not enough places in the local secondary school. If you don’t get picked for a place in secondary school then you don’t go. Education should be available to all. It is the children’s way out of poverty to build themselves a better future.
To raise awareness of the Feeding Programme and what the children have to eat. I am eating rice (instead of maize flour) and vegetables. I am fortunate that I have a choice. I am fortunate that I am eating more than once a day. I am fortunate that I am only doing this challenge for 31 days in May. The Feeding Programme feeds 500 children and young people once a week with a substantial and nutritious meal. As there are no big agencies feeding children in schools in that area, some children are walking from 20km away for this one meal a week. There will be some children who do not eat every day. Teachers have said that children are able to concentrate better and their grades have improved since The Feeding Programme was implemented. It’s not enough but better than it was. We would love to be able to send money to feed the children more often.
I set out to cycle 10km a day on my exercise bike to represent how far the younger children are walking to and from school (approximately 5km each way). However, some days I have been able to cycle 15km and have even done one 20km. I will try to do another couple of 20km before my challenge ends.
If you think that all children deserve an education please donate to my fundraiser https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Please help me help the children.
Children – There are hundreds of children, like Rodrick and his sister Lucia, who are suffering from malnutrition. They are hungry. They cannot concentrate properly as their bodies are lacking nutrients. Some have very stunted growth. Rodrick and Lucia have been given new clothes and attend the weekly feeding programme were , along with 500 other vulnerable children, they are given a substantial and nutritious meal. They are all still hungry and malnourished as they don’t eat every day. No big agencies are feeding children that far north in Malawi, so it is down to us to send money to feed these malnourished children.
Education – is also the key to these children having a better future. Unfortunately, there are not enough school places. We need to raise money to build a school so these children can have the education they deserve. Education should be available to everyone. The villagers want to be self-sufficient. They want to be able to provide for their families. They want their children to go to school and have the opportunities that they didn’t. The children work hard and are desperate to go to school.
Lack of school places – Currently, there are not enough school places available. Eleven sponsored children who passed their primary school leavers exams did not get picked for a place at secondary school and are resitting their last year at primary school. Will they get picked this year? So worrying for them and heart-breaking.
Help us please – There are great things happening at The Foundation and lives are changing for the better. However, there are so many children and so much to do that we cannot do what needs to be done without adding to our supporters and team.
We need fundraisers – we need people to organise small or larger events where you live, for your friends or community, on our behalf for the children.
We want active people to take part in sponsored events for our charity – is that something you can do? Walking, running, swimming, trampolining, a sponsored silence? Can you do this with your friends?
We need people to help us at events we organise eg looking after a stall, selling raffle tickets, making tea & coffee.
We need more sponsors to be matched with children like Rodrick and Lucia so they have a monthly food parcel at their home, clothes, a blanket, school supplies etc. We have 90 children & young people matched with sponsors so far but there are many more in desperate need. Can you help? It’s only £25 p/m.
Can you make a monthly donation to the feeding programme? Even a regular donation of £5 or £10 per month will make a big difference if several people sign up for this.
Can you make a donation from your company? We can give you publicity.
We need people to collect books so we can send them to schools.
We also need people to collect stationery, shoes, new underwear etc for all age groups to adult, and collect funds to cover the cost of transportation.
Will you invite us to talk at your club, church or school and show photos of the work taking place in Malawi?
Will you tell your friends, family, colleagues etc about our charity and like and share our posts?
firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details or to volunteer. It’s about teamwork and we all have a part to play in Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x
A quote from Mother Teresa ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples’
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has’ Margaret Mead.
I found blogging very difficult to start with. It’s not in my nature to put myself forward….I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes. However, although these blogs are written by me, they are all about bringing news and photos from The Foundation about the hundreds of vulnerable children we are trying to help. The blogs are about raising awareness, raising funds and trying to bring more supporters into our team.
In order to keep helping the community towards self-sufficiency, we do need to widen the net and increase our team. Self-sufficiency is the end goal and always has been but things have been so bad for this rural community it is going to take a while and a lot of support.
All children in this rural community are malnourished. Most do not eat properly every day. Some go for a couple of days without eating at all. The plan was to set up The Feeding Programme for approximately 200 orphans and vulnerable children who live in the villages surrounding The Foundation. However, there are no big agencies feeding children in that area. I have made contact with them numerous times but they are busy further south. Some children are walking up to 20km for their one substantial, nutritious meal each week. On average 500 children and young people are fed every weekend. Teachers are noticing a difference to these vulnerable children’s concentration and grades after The Feeding Programme being set up. If this is after one meal a week, imagine the difference to these children if they were able to eat nutritious food more often?
I can’t imagine not being able to feed my children. Especially during the pandemic when the schools were closed, my youngest son was looking in the fridge for food an hour after he’d had his breakfast. He wanted lunch at 10.30am….I think quite a few children were like this whilst at home and out of their routine. We had to say ‘no’ some of the time. We said ‘have some fruit’ ‘have a carrot or cucumber’ or ‘have a glass of water to fill yourself up until lunchtime’. We live in a totally different world to those living in dire poverty in Ibuluma and surrounding villages in rural Northern Malawi.
Lack of food will affect strength to carry out manual jobs like collecting and carrying wood, carrying maize, walking to school, it will make them tired and cold, it will mean stunted growth and malnutrition and the inability to concentrate. Imagine your children were crying with hunger and you’d nothing to give them. Imagine the hopelessness of sending your young children out to work instead of them attending school as you need the pathetically small amount of money they will bring in. One boy (now sponsored) helped a farmer with his cows for the equivalent of £1.50 per month. In this situation, children are missing a huge amount of school. Life is hard and it is certainly not fair.
Some girls are at risk of being married off too young as child brides, despite this being illegal. Their families don’t want this, the girls don’t want this but their families cannot afford to feed all their children. What a desperate situation to be in.
My youngest son needed some new t-shirts and a waterproof jacket as he has grown. We don’t have an endless pot of money but I was able to order the clothes he needed. Imagine your children have one set of clothes and they grow? These families cannot afford to buy new clothes. Children have been wearing rags.
Thanks to your help and support, The Foundation is able to feed these children once a week and you have donated clothes and shoes. You’ve also generously donated stationery and books to help with the children’s education. Then there are the 90 children who are sponsored who have a monthly food parcel and their secondary education paid for them by their generous sponsors. There are lots more children needing a helping hand and a sponsor.
So what I am trying to say is that, as a team, together we are Changing Lives (in) Malawi. However, we need more people to help more people. Here are some ways you could help;
Fundraising – can you do a sponsored event for us like The Kiltwalk or something else? I will help with sharing posts on social media to get more sponsors.
Fundraising – can you organise an event in your community? Whether a quiz, a table top sale or a coffee morning or a carwash? Or what else? All these type of events help spread awareness of our charity to a new audience.
Fundraising – could you organise a raffle, whether online or at an event?
Fundraising – are you part of a church or club that you could invite us to speak at and show photos?
Sponsoring – could you sponsor a week of the feeding programme or raise £100 to sponsor one meal for 500 children?
Sponsoring – could you sponsor a child or young person. It’s only £25 per month.
Donate – could you make a one off or regular donation towards the feeding programme or support another one of the programmes?
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Share our posts to reach a wider audience please and talk to family and friends about what we do.
Are you doing your Duke of Edinburgh Award or another volunteering activity? Do you want to add some volunteering to your CV? What could you do to raise funds or awareness for the children in Malawi?
Any other ideas you have – please get in touch. As the saying goes ‘every little helps’. We cannot do this on our own. The hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children need you.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING. WE NEED YOU. THE HUNDREDS OF ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY NEED YOU. PLEASE HELP US CONTINUE CHANGING LIVES MALAWI.
email@example.com Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you, Sarah x
These amazing children need a helping hand to reach their potential. To be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? Each of these children suffers from malnutrition. They need more food, clothes, education. Can you be a helping hand for one of these children? It’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child. firstname.lastname@example.org please look at each photo and help a child today. Thanks for reading, Sarah x
These are the most vulnerable children and most in need of a sponsor. Can you be a helping hand to one of these children?
Sarah’s blog 5/4/22
I wanted to highlight some of the orphans and vulnerable children that Levison has taken photos of previously. He’s done this as they are some of the most vulnerable and most in need of a sponsor. It’s only £25 per month to sponsor a child and you can do that as an individual, a group or two friends. 85p per day will mean the world to these children.
I’ve highlighted each child with a coloured background because I think they deserve to be seen. They deserve to have the same chances our children have. They deserve to have food, clothes, education. They deserve to reach their potential. They deserve to have a helping hand. They deserve to know that someone cares.
Please…can you be a helping hand to one of these children? It might be one of the most important things you ever do. It might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. email@example.com thank you for reading and I hope to hear from some of you and match you with a child. Sarah x
Each week approximately 500 orphans and other vulnerable children come to The Foundation for a substantial, nutritious meal. Some children walk up to 20km for their meal….there are no big agencies feeding children in the far north of Malawi….this is probably the only proper meal these malnourished children get each week. Some days, some children might go without any food.
It requires a big team around these children and we are very grateful for all who are part of that team. However, we need more people in our team to continue to be able to change these children’s lives using an holistic approach. They now have better clothes, they have clean water to drink and showers to wash themselves instead of drinking and washing in the river. They can concentrate better at school because of the food they are receiving. Their self-esteem is better as they feel better about themselves and how they look. The children are enjoying team sports and are learning life skills. They have books and now computers in the library. All of these things are thanks to the team we have supporting these children. Thank you.
To help support the children email firstname.lastname@example.org . Can you see the difference in the third and fourth photos compared to the first two? The children all have clothes donated by our generous supporters. They are clean, their clothes are clean. Their drinking water is clean. They have been fed. They have opportunities. They know people care. Please help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x