New uniform & shoes for the S1 students at Bright Futures SS

This year’s S1 students at Bright Futures Secondary School. They have received gifts of uniform, shoes and school bags.


Sarah’s blog 20/09/23

Firstly, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated school uniform and school bags for the vulnerable students at Bright Futures Secondary School. Levison said that one of them had said ‘we never expected to have such good quality clothes as this’. So thank you for making a big difference to them and helping them feel important and valued for a change.

Secondly, another huge THANK YOU to the charity Sal’s Shoes Our Story – Sal’s Shoes ( We were gifted three big boxes of shoes for the teenagers at Bright Futures Secondary School. We are very grateful for this support and we know the young people are delighted to have proper shoes to wear. It has such an impact on their confidence and self-esteem that people who don’t even know them have shown they care about the students by donating uniform and shoes. Now they all look smart and are able to have a sense of pride in their appearance. Proper shoes are also very important when the young people are walking the long distances to and from school across rough ground. Thank you again Sal’s Shoes for all that you do, all the hard work of your volunteers and for everyone who donates shoes to you to pass on to those who need them.

Here are photos of the new S1 students at Bright Futures Secondary School. All of them are vulnerable. All have been given shoes, uniform and school bags. The Only a few of them have sponsors to support their education through secondary school. If you are able to support one of these young people then please do get in touch It’s £25 per month to sponsor a young person. Or you could commit to £5 or £10 per month to help pay for school lunches. Each student gets a nutritious cooked lunch each day at Bright Futures Secondary School….for many it is their only proper meal of the day. These young people cannot be expected to concentrate and learn if they have no food in their tummies. Your help would be very much appreciated. The more people who help us support these young people, the more young people we can help and then we can offer places at Bright Futures Secondary School to additional young people. Thank you, Sarah x

Martha, Mphatso and Aaron are choosing shoes from one of the boxes that Sal’s shoes donated
New shoes for Aaron, Martha and Mphatso – thank you
looking very smart in their new uniforms and shoes
John and Asante pose in their new uniform and shoes
Thanks to Sal’s shoes for these very smart shoes that John and Asante are delighted with
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S3 treat for passing exams

S3 students at Bright Futures Secondary School deserved a treat for passing their S2 national exams


Sarah’s blog 13/09/23

Schools across Malawi started back on Monday. We were so thankful that the new classroom block at Bright Futures Secondary School was finished in time for the new term starting.

We decided that the S3 students deserved a treat for passing their S2 national exams. The whole class passed and this story was even picked up by the national news. An amazing achievement for some of the most vulnerable students in Malawi. Many of them are orphans. Most don’t eat properly every day (apart from their cooked lunch at school) and most have missed school at some point to try and earn a pittance to buy themselves and their families some food.

After lessons finished on Monday, the S3 students were given bottles of fizzy drinks and sweets. These are things they would never have. They also had a meal of goat meat, rice, beans and vegetables. Again, meat is something that they might only have once or twice a year at The Feeding Programme. Rice is far more expensive to buy than maize so they don’t usually have rice either. Everyone was really happy and delighted to have these unexpected treats. The students were telling their friends in S1 and S2 how they must work really hard to pass their exams too.

The aim at Bright Futures Secondary School is to keep class sizes smaller than the average to ensure that these vulnerable students get the attention they deserve. However, class sizes remain very small as we need more help to feed everyone. Food prices continue to rise and students must be fed as, for many, this is their only meal of the day. How can they concentrate if they have not eaten? If you can help by either sponsoring a teenager’s education or commit a monthly amount towards school lunches then please get in touch . The bigger the team who are supporting school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School the more young people we can help to educate.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the school project; Bright Futures Secondary School is an amazing learning environment. There will be more photos and videos later in the week as school supplies are handed out. Thanks again, Sarah x

Ready for School!

The new term starts tomorrow and the new classrooms are ready just in time


Sarah’s blog 10/09/23

Just a few photos before the new school term starts tomorrow in Malawi.

The new classroom block at Bright Futures Secondary School has been finished, names have been written over the doors. The carpenter is making some extra desks that will be finished in a couple of days.

Three classes of students will arrive tomorrow. What the s3 class don’t know is that some of our trustees have sent money for a celebration for them tomorrow afternoon. All S3 (well last year’s s2) passed their national exams… a great achievement. So they will be having a treat tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us to enable this to happen. It’s an amazing achievement and we are delighted that the classrooms are ready just in time.

We still need more toilets and textbooks if anyone would like to help . Thank you again, Sarah x

Some of the teachers today
Block 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School
Kenzo’s Classroom
Sadie Harmin’s Staffroom
Desks being made

These students need a sponsor

Can you help one of these vulnerable young people ? John is 14 and wearing a girl’s ‘brownie’ t-shirt (probably age 8-10). John is malnourished and needing help. Will you sponsor him or one of his friends?



It’s been a difficult morning for me, but even more so for Levison. Yesterday registration opened for the returning pupils and new pupils at Bright Futures Secondary School. Yesterday over 70 families came. Today more families and their young people continue to arrive asking for free education at Bright Futures Secondary School.

We want to be able to say ‘yes’ to all of them. However, we cannot. We need to be sensible as the school costs money to run. It is the food prices that are crippling…prices have increased so much. All students at Bright Futures Secondary School get a free school lunch each day. This is a cooked, nutritious meal and, for most, it is their only proper food of the day. We will not stop feeding the students as how can they concentrate if the haven’t eaten? How can they sleep if they have stomach ache from hunger? How can we expect them to do their best and achieve without their basic needs being met?

This is where we need your help again. As I always say, it’s teamwork and we cannot help this community without you. These young people need a sponsor to help pay for their education. They are all malnourished. They are all extremely vulnerable. Will you help us to help them please? Being a sponsor is only £25 p/m. You can sponsor as an individual, as a family or two friends can split the cost of sponsorship between them. £25 is less than £1 per day. Much less than the price of a takeaway coffee. Will you give your support?

Or could you commit £5 or £10 per month towards school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School? for our bank details. Several people each giving £5 per month would make a big difference to how much food can be bought. Can you commit £5 please?

Thank you so much to everyone who has/is supporting us to help these students. We are so grateful that they now have choices and chances for a brighter future. Can you give one of these young people the same chances? Can you be a sponsor? Thank you, Sarah x

*Win a signed Scotland Rugby Shirt*

Please support grassroots rugby in rural northern Malawi. £5 to have a chance to win a signed Scotland Rugby Shirt.


Sarah’s blog 21/8/23

It’s just over a month until Jack Maphande, Malawi Rugby Development Officer, returns to Chitipa for a second visit. Jack introduced rugby to the far north of Malawi on his first visit. He spent time with the older orphans and they loved it and picked up the skills quite quickly.

There is great excitement as Jack is visiting for two weeks. He is going to be working with the primary schools in the cluster; coaching and then having tournaments between the schools. In the middle weekend he will be spending time again with the orphans and vulnerable young people that we help to support.

We are grateful that lots of rugby kit and rugby balls have been donated and sent to be shared out amongst the schools and we are delighted that Jack has been able to set aside two weeks to visit which will benefit so many young people. We are so pleased that young people will be having the opportunity to learn a new sport, new skills and have fun with their friends. They will get to be children for a while and forget all the daily challenges in their lives.

As well as Jack’s expenses for public transport from Lilongwe and some accommodation and food for the days he isn’t staying at the foundation, we need to provide the children with food on the days that they are playing rugby. No organisations are feeding children in primary schools in this area, so these children are hungry and many are malnourished. We cannot expect them to play rugby and concentrate if they are hungry and have no energy. So we are looking for your help with providing money to buy food.

Scottish Rugby Union have been extremely generous to us. They have donated kit and some Scotland Shirts. They have now also given us two Scotland shirts signed by the Scotland Rugby Team. We are going to raffle these shirts to provide food for the children at this rugby event. Tickets are £5 each and you can purchase a ticket by donating to our fundraiser. and make sure you write your name so you can be entered into the draw. Thank you in advance for your continued support, Sarah x

Please help!

please help us to help some of the most vulnerable children in Malawi.


Sarah’s blog 29/07/23

This isn’t a long blog tonight. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed today, as there is so much to do, so as the saying goes ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. Please help if you can. Thanks, Sarah x

Update – Bright Futures Secondary School – phase 2 We really need your help to have phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School ready for the next intake of students. Please help?


Sarah’s blog 15/07/23

Thousands of bricks are being made for classroom 3 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Classroom 3 needs to be completed and ready for the new term starting in September 2023. Land is starting to be prepared today. Foundations will be done for classrooms 3 and 4 but, currently, we only have enough funds for classroom 3. As long as classroom 3 is built then classroom 4 can be completed at a later date. Thank you so much to The Inverclyde Trust for their generous donation of £4,000 towards phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School.

We also need funds for latrines and more teachers’ accommodation, so need to raise approximately £10,000 for these to ensure there are enough toilet facilities for the extra intake of new students and also accommodation for the extra teachers that need to be employed.

Will you help us to ensure this happens please? Can your company help sponsor this? Your name can be painted on a building. Can you donate £500 or more and you can have your name (or someone else’s name) above the classroom door? or above the doors of the teachers’ accommodation? or how would you like to sponsor a toilet? £10 x 200 people will pay for a toilet block…. will you donate £10 or more towards new toilets? Privacy, safety, dignity and hygiene are priceless and something every teenager deserves….especially the girls need to have safe, adequate toilet facilities. Will you help us help them? We cannot do this on our own. We always say it takes teamwork. Will you be part of our team? Can you spare a few £££? Please? If enough people will help then we will reach our target. The students need us.

During the first year of opening it was decided that there would only be very vulnerable students who wouldn’t have to pay school fees, or for uniform, school supplies or school lunches. The majority of places at Bright Futures Secondary School will still be for these vulnerable students. However, from September 2023 there will be ten places in each year group for fee paying day students which will help towards expenses at the school. These fees still won’t be as much as other schools charge but will provide an option for those who can afford to pay to send their children to Bright Futures Secondary School if it is nearer than the other secondary schools. Bright Futures Secondary School has smaller class sizes than other secondary schools and offers computer lessons and encourages practical agricultural classes in addition to the core curriculum subjects.

Please help us to provide a brighter future for up to 120 of the most vulnerable teenagers (3 classes x 40 students). These teenagers receive a substantial and nutritious school lunch each day which is their only proper meal of the day. School lunches are helping them concentrate in school and supporting their overall development. This is a big commitment we have made to these students but they need people to believe in them. They need people to give them choices and chances. They need opportunities to thrive and to shine. Will you help us continue Changing Lives Malawi? Please email me on if you’d like more information or you would like to help with ensuring Bright Futures Secondary School is ready to welcome more students and teachers in September. The link to our fundraiser is these vulnerable teenagers really do need your help. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School – We are Changing Lives Malawi

some of the vulnerable students at Bright Futures Secondary School with their solar lamps enabling them to see to study at home as it is dark year round at 6pm in Malawi. (solar lamps were bought with money donated by The Souter Charitable Trust)

students at Bright Futures Secondary School planting sweet potato vines

This rugby kit was kindly donated by Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh – students are outside the first classroom block – classrooms 1 & 2

68 baby chicks!

great news – 68 chicks have hatched!


Sarah’s blog 14/07/23

A while ago, Lochlie Construction generously donated money for an incubator to be bought.

Electricity has been so sporadic that it meant the incubator wasn’t able to be kept at the proper temperature so eggs didn’t hatch.

The incubator was linked up to the solar power kit that we sent on the last container and we thought that there would soon be lots of chicks hatching. Nothing is ever straightforward though. A few batches of fertilized eggs were bought but Levison ended up asking for a refund as none of these hatched.

So last month a few eggs were gathered each day until 103 had been placed in the incubator. Thankfully, 68 of those have hatched. They need to be kept warm until they have grown a bit bigger and, hopefully, they will all survive.

This is such amazing news and far bigger than just 68 chicks successfully hatching. Here are some of the reasons we are all so excited about this good news story;

  1. more eggs can be hatched each month in the incubator
  2. some of the chicks can be sold as a regular income for the Foundation
  3. some chicks will be kept to increase the amount of ‘chooks’ in the Foundation flock.
  4. The Foundation flock will, when big enough, be able to provide eggs for sale bringing in extra income. Eggs and (occasionally) chicken will be able to supplement The Feeding Programme.
  5. Hopefully, there will be employment opportunities created once the number of chooks increases.
  6. There is a possibility that vulnerable families could be given a couple of chooks, meaning they would have their own eggs helping them to feed their families.

So this is just the start and we need to keep our fingers crossed that these chicks survive and the next batch are successfully hatched in the incubator too. This is one of the ways that The Foundation will start to become self-sufficient. They are proud and clever people. They don’t want handouts. They just need helping hands just now as things are so difficult and malnutrition is rife. Let’s hope this is the start of a brighter future.

This chicken project is going to take a long time before it starts making a difference. The feeding programme is providing 500+ hungry orphans with a substantial meal once a week. Some children are walking from up to 20km away. No one is feeding children in schools in this area. We need your help to help us continue the feeding programme as prices continue to rise. Can you commit to £5 or £10 per month please? Our bank details are Bank of Scotland, Changing Lives Malawi, A/C 21081462, S/C 80-22-60 and use the reference ‘feeding’ please. Your help WILL make a difference to hungry, malnourished children. Thank you for your continued support, Sarah x

Appeal for help to feed 500 vulnerable, malnourished children

Please help the Kasonda children

What a lot of hats!

lots and lots of hats!


Sarah’s blog 10/07/23

Yesterday, 72 children were given a hat each. A few of these were sun hats but most were knitted hats that had generously been knitted by talented supporters. All children were given food and also a pencil.

At this time of year it is cold at night and in the early mornings. These vulnerable children live in brick or mud houses that aren’t watertight and are full of draughts. They don’t have comfortable beds with duvets and pillows. If they are lucky, they have a reed mat and a thin blanket. There is obviously no heating so a hat will help to keep them warm.

Hats are given out regularly, as talented people knit for us, and if children haven’t received one this time then they will next time. My auntie Margaret is one of the people who are generous with their time and talents. She is staying with my parents this week and yesterday showed me her latest creations for the children we help to support…..she has knitted 150 hats….each one is different. Thanks to Auntie Margaret and all the other knitters. Children love receiving gifts and these will make a real difference in helping to keep them warm.

We are also grateful for knitted baby blankets, baby cardigans & hats and knitted teddies. Thanks for reading & supporting, Sarah x

Please help the Kasonda children

Cooking Club

The cooking club learning to cook sweet potatoes on an eco stove


Sarah’s blog 04/07/23

Levison sent these photos of The Cooking Club. They are all age 8-10 learning how to cook sweet potatoes. These sweet potatoes are the first of the crop that was planted by the students at Bright Futures Secondary School a few months ago. These children are being supported by Jean and Loveness and look so pleased with what they have achieved.

Growing their own food, learning skills for life and having choices and chances will surely lead to a brighter future for each of these vulnerable children? They are using an eco stove to cook on….it is far safer than an open fire for cooking on, it uses less wood and retains heat for longer. Welding Engineers had kindly supplied funds for several of these to be made. Thank you for reading, Sarah x

How far should you walk for lunch?

These children are desperate for help. How can they thrive without food?


Sarah’s blog 14/6/23

How far do you think is an acceptable distance for a child to walk to get some food? How far would you let your child or grandchild walk to have a meal? What if you had absolutely nothing to feed your family?

We help to support a feeding programme that runs once a week. We wish we could afford for it to operate more often. 500 orphans and vulnerable children are fed a substantial and nutritious meal each weekend at the feeding programme. This is their biggest meal of the week. Some days these children do not eat at home and are left to fend for themselves, to forage for food or beg for scraps. All of these children are malnourished. THERE ARE NO CHARITIES FEEDING CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS IN THIS AREA OF RURAL NORTHERN MALAWI. We need your help. We cannot do this alone. It is too big a job for us to ensure that 500 children have enough food every day of the week.

Crops are being planted to supplement the feeding programme. Vegetables that the children have helped to grow are being served at the feeding programme. Fruit tree saplings have been planted for future food and for future income as the surplus fruit can be sold at market.

The sweet potato crop is doing well and will be ready in another 6 weeks. But how many sweet potatoes will a field produce? How long will this crop last divided by 500 children and young people? A few days maybe…..

We need people to partner with us. We need people to invest in the future of these very vulnerable children who don’t eat every day. To start a pig project at Bright Futures Secondary School, as part of their agricultural classes, to breed pigs to sell (and also pass on to the community) will only take £300 to set up. This will bring in money to help pay for school lunches for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, helping them become more self-sufficient and giving the students skills for life.

They need to plant more fruit tree saplings in the orchard. Each sapling costs approximately £2.50. Banana tubers cost approximately £2 each. We could pay for these project start ups but we cannot continue paying to feed the children at the feeding programme each week AND invest in these projects….unfortunately it is either one or the other and we are not going to stop the feeding programme as it is the only one proper meal that these children receive each week. How can these vulnerable children and young people be expected to thrive on one decent meal a week? It is heart-breaking. They deserve far more and they deserve our help and support. Please help us?

I have said several times that some children walk up to 20km for this one proper meal of the week at the feeding programme. I can’t comprehend what that must be like. Energy levels must be at a minimum already as the children haven’t eaten, then to have to walk up to 20km for a meal and 20km home again…they must be absolutely exhausted and any calories they have from their lunch will be used up on the long walk home. Can you help us help them please?

Levison sent me photos of 6 children who each walked approximately 18km to be fed on Sunday….so a total of 36km for their one proper meal of the week. Levison wanted me to show you these children. They, and others like them, are really struggling and we cannot expect them to thrive unless we give them a helping hand. Will you help us help them? Tasiyana, Praise, Atusaye, Kalebu, Esther and Nema all are hungry and malnourished.

All of them would benefit from having a sponsor. It costs £25 per month to sponsor a child and they will receive clothes, extra food and welfare visits. Two friends could share the cost of sponsoring a child. Or you could commit £5 or £10 per month to help support the feeding programme and help us to make it more sustainable by being able to plant more crops and fruit tree saplings. What will you do to help today?

Thank you for reading and for your support, Sarah x

Praise looks so tired and is suffering from malnutrition

Tasiyana looks so hungry and exhausted
Atusaya is wearing one of the navy cord pinafores donated by Sinclair House Prepatory School in London
you can see by Esther’s tummy that she is malnourished

The Sweet Potato Crop

The sweet potato crop is growing well.


Sarah’s blog 12/06/23

Food is scarce and more expensive. The maize crop hasn’t done well because at the Foundation they couldn’t afford to buy fertilizer. The Foundation is feeding 500+ vulnerable children once a week but obviously this isn’t enough. All are hungry. All are malnourished. No big charities are feeding children in primary schools in the far north of Malawi.

A donation bought sweet potato vines which students at Bright Futures Secondary School helped to plant at the start of April. Levison has sent me photos today and the crop is looking very healthy. The sweet potatoes will be ready at the end of July and will be used to feed the children. The fact that there are so many hungry children, even if this is a great harvest, it won’t last long.

We must find more people who are willing to make a monthly donation to support the feeding programme so that these vulnerable children can keep being fed. Ideally, we would like to feed them more often and we would also like to supply every family with sweet potato vines and other vegetables so that they can grow their own crops. Please email me if you would like to make a regular donation to the feeding programme or if you would like to contribute to buying sweet potato vines that can be shared with vulnerable families to help them become more self sufficient.

Sweet potato vines need deep ridges
The crop is looking healthy
Hopefully there will be a good harvest of sweet potatoes by the end of July
Some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School planting the sweet potato vines in April.
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