The Wear A Sports Shirt Day Football Tournament

Sarah’s blog 23/09/22

We have been extremely fortunate to have had donations of football kit and other sports kit from a variety of sources and we are very grateful for the donations and support we have received. If you see a kit that you recognise/donated in the photos or videos from this tournament, then feel free to share and tag teams or people.

The Foundation has hosted the first football tournament that will be held annually. It has been named after one of our supporters. Julian Chenery works tirelessly every weekend collecting preloved football kit and other sports kits to send to those who need them. Julian’s charity is called ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’ and that is what this annual tournament is called as a thank you for the ongoing support that Julian has given.

It has been very successful, well attended and enjoyed by all. Five teams received gifts of new (to them) football kits. The players in the local teams taking part are all aged between 14 and 20 years old.

Well done to The Bombers who were the overall winners beating Mtelera in the final 3 – 1.

In one of the videos you will see a man talking to the crowd. This is Mr Msachi and he is the chairperson of The Area Development Committee for Chisenga District. I asked Levison to summarise what he had said. Levison said “He was saying this is the first well organised short tournament. He is really thankful to the donors. He is very happy.”

As I have been preparing this post, Levison has messaged to say that he has been contacted by a journalist from Tuntufye Radio who had heard about this football tournament!

Footballs are always needed so if anyone would like to donate money for footballs then please do email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

I’m so thankful that it has been a success and was well organised, well attended and everyone enjoyed this first tournament. And, of course, we couldn’t do what we do without the help and support of everyone who has donated kit to us to send to The Foundation. It’s always about teamwork….so thank you for being part of our team. If you recognise any of the kits in this blog, then please do tag and share. Thank you again and hope you enjoy looking at the photos and videos. Sarah x

Mr Msachi, Chair of The Area Development Committee for Chisenga thanking the donors for the football kits and saying how well this new tournament has been organised.

Football Tournament

Sarah’s blog 22/9/22

This is only a short post…it’s been a hugely busy week in Malawi (and also here).

The young people are on holiday from school and Levison and team thought a football tournament between local teams would be a good idea. So that is what has been happening today and will conclude tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Levison has been busy with other things today so there is just one short video clip of a match, however I have been promised more photos tomorrow!

This is going to be an annual event and we decided that it would be nice to name it after someone who has been very good to The Foundation. Julian Chenery, whose charity is Wear a Sports Shirt Day, works tirelessly every weekend (and sometimes midweek too) going to football clubs, schools, other sports clubs etc to collect preloved sports kit that can be reused by those who need it. He supports lots of organisations. Julian has supplied the Foundation with football kit, hockey kit, tracksuits, Christmas jumpers and Santa hats over the few years we have known him.

So, this is another opportunity to say thank you to Julian for supporting us and The Foundation. More photos and videos from ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day Football Tournament’ will follow. Sarah x

A few people to thank

Sarah’s blog 29/04/22

We are always very grateful for the kind and generous people who support us. Whether it’s donating pencils, or shoes, driving boxes to Dundee, sharing posts, helping with fundraisers or sponsoring children….we thank you as we couldn’t help the hundreds of vulnerable children in Northern Malawi without you.

I want to thank four lots of people today who have helped us recently;

  1. Aquamarine.media in Devon have been helping us with our website and using their expertise to help us reach more people. We are very grateful for their input. Thank you Alona and Geoff.
  2. Strathendrick FC 2003/2 sections had been running in Balfron for 12 years. Now that the players have all left school and are no longer playing, the leftover funds have been shared with some local charities and UNICEF. We were delighted to be one of these charities and the money donated will help us a great deal. Thank you very much.
  3. Another Strathendrick but this time Strathendrick RFC have supported us again with more rugby kit to send to the children who have just started playing. This time they have donated a big bag of rugby balls, a box of cones and some water bottles. Once again, your support is very much appreciated. Thank you.
  4. Dumbarton FC Walking Football Club have donated a big bag of training kit and waterproofs which will be very valuable to the children in Malawi. Thank you so much for donating this. It’s very kind of you.

With a little help from our friends

Sarah’s blog 17/3/22

It’s been an extremely busy time at The Foundation. As so many boxes were sent, they have been opened gradually and there are still more to open.

Today Levison sent me photos of donations from Julian Chenery whose charity is ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’. Julian is always very generous to The Foundation (he had supplied the Christmas hats and jumpers as well as previous donations of sports kit). These are some of the lovely sports kit that was in one box Levison opened today. Thank you Julian and to all the people who donate to you. We are very grateful for the difference you are making.

Julian spends almost every weekend going to football matches and other sporting events and collecting used kit to send on to lots of different organisations. Some donations he gives to groups like refugees or other people in need in England, and other donations go to lots of organisations like The Foundation working with vulnerable communities in other countries.

I love that there are so many helping each other to help the children and Julian is one of those people who does a great job. Thank you Julian at Wear a Sports Shirt Day! Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Some of the donations of sports kit that Julian sent to The Foundation

Donations…..

Sarah’s blog 21/1/22

We have lovely supporters donating in lots of different ways. Some give money to help feed the children, others sponsor young people so they can attend secondary school. I have a donation box in my front garden that people will leave things in if I’m out, and people will knock on the door with bags of preloved clothes and shoes or books. Occasionally, someone will proudly bring a bag of bargains that they’ve managed to pick up in a sale. Some supporters collect pencils, pens and soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste whilst doing their shopping. We are grateful for monetary donations to help cover transport costs as we are charged £15 per box on the container. These are all ways you can help us help the hundreds of children we help to support in Malawi. A few of our kind supporters knit lovely blankets or hats to keep babies and children warm and others help take the boxes of donations to Dundee to await the container to Malawi.

Whatever you choose to do to help and support us, ‘Thank you’. We are grateful you are part of our team. There is still so much to do…so if you want to get involved we would be very glad to have you on our team….Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

A big donation of preloved sports clothes was recently collected
We love it when people add things to their shopping for us….the children always love receiving a new pencil or some soap….and with up to 800 children to support….that is a lot of pencils needed!
Someone very kindly left these preloved teenage boys school shoes and two maths sets in the donation box in our front garden
One of our supporters has been busy knitting again….beautiful blankets

Watching your football team

Sarah’s blog 18/1/21

There seems to be something that is the same almost wherever you are in the world….cheering on your team when they are playing football. Malawi have been playing Senegal today. Unfortunately it ended up 0-0 but these children and young people enjoyed watching their team on the tv at the Foundation (until a power cut near the end). Levison has a wind up radio thankfully. The tv was installed for educational programmes (and for a treat like watching your country play football).

Hopefully, with your help, we will be able to provide more food for these children to eat and match more children with sponsors to pay for their secondary school fees. These children are just like our children and deserve the same chances. £25 p/m provides food and education for a young person or a commitment of £5 or £10 p/m will help feed the children more often. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x

The Third Sunday in Advent

Sarah’s blog 12/12/21

There’s been no rushing around for me shopping and meeting people this advent season. I am so grateful for the care and attention I received from all the NHS staff when I was in hospital recently, but it’s going to be a while before I’ll be back to normal…whatever normal is!

Advent season is about waiting and reflecting and the third Sunday is about love. Who do we love and care about? How do people know that we love and/or care about them? Hopefully, by our actions. Also by our kind words.

How do the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children supported by The William Stewart Foundation know they are loved and cared about? by our actions. A new football means the world to them. A blanket for two children to share to help keep them warm at night. Reusable sanitary towels, pants and soap giving a teenage girl her dignity back and enabling her to attend school all month like her male peers. There are so many ways we can show these children that they are important and cared about.

So in this season of giving, we would be so grateful for an extra football, or a blanket, or soap for the children. Can you help feed them an extra meal or provide some fruit tree saplings. By your actions they will know they are loved and not forgotten. Thank you for reading and supporting us. You can donate through our website, or by contacting us contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or through the link below. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecards/charities/changing-lives-malawi

Meaningful Cards & Gifts

Sarah’s blog 9/12/21

Whether you’ve got gifts to post, cards to send, something to buy for the person who has everything… then stop relax… we can help you and you can help us… hassle free.

https://www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecards/charities/changing-lives-malawi

That’s the link where you can find e-cards and e-gifts to purchase. Christmas cards and for other occasions. Also you can send one card to multiple people, saving time and effort. Meaningful gifts. Gifts that are going to change lives. A blanket for a vulnerable child, a football to help children take their mind off their problems whilst they play, soap, fruit tree saplings… we have lots of gifts to choose from. It would mean so much if you could support us to support the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. Whether you want to spend £5 or £50 you will be helping us http://www.changinglivesmalawi.com thank you for reading and please ask if you would like any help selecting cards and gifts. Gifts can also be printed out and posted in a lovely card on your behalf. Sarah x

School Holiday plans

Sarah’s blog 9/11/21

The school year is very different in Malawi than it is here. They are also playing catch up with schools having being closed for an extended period due to covid restrictions, so the school holidays are slightly less than usual.

Children need to be kept busy during the school holidays. The orphans know that The Foundation is their safe place. They can forget their trauma and hardships for a while and enjoy being children again with their friends in a place where they know they are cared for and important.

In the Chitipa area, especially where the Foundation is, teenage pregnancy rates were amongst the lowest in the country during the period when schools were closed because of covid. If the teenagers have somewhere to go, activities to do, skills to learn then they are at less risk of being sexually active and having teenage pregnancies. This is another reason why it’s so important for teenagers (especially girls) to have opportunities open to them like education. If people believe in them then they are more likely to believe in themselves.

So, during the next two weeks, these are some of the activities that have been planned for the children to get involved with;

  1. There will be football and netball training sessions and matches for different age groups on most days.
  2. Emma’s rainbow library will be open every day for children to borrow books.
  3. There will be paired reading offered for older children to help those who are struggling with their reading.
  4. Also a lego club with challenges for children working in small groups; can you build a house? how high can your tower be before it falls over? can you make a tower out of a sequence of two colours, three colours etc.
  5. The Period Poverty Project will be stocking up with new supplies. Each girl who requires one will be given; a drawstring bag, 3 pairs of pants, 5 reusable sanitary towels, a bar of soap and a health information sheet. This gives them dignity, and self-confidence and ensures they do not need to miss school for one week every month. First, new bags need to be made and also reusable sanitary towels. There are new pants on the container courtesy of Smalls for All charity.
  6. Children can learn how to weave door mats. Hopefully, if funds allow, there will be some resources bought to start weaving baskets.
  7. There is always work to do with the crops and looking after the chickens and goats. Ridges need to be made in the fields before seeds are planted. So there will be plenty of skills the children can learn whilst they are helping with the farming projects.

Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the feeding programme will still only be at the weekends. In future it would be good to be able to run an additional session or sessions during school holidays. Perhaps someone might sponsor the feeding programme for a day? Or a business could sponsor the feeding programme and we would publicise your company? It costs approximately £100 each time 500 children are fed. Or would you like to help with the purchase of fabric for the Period Poverty Project? Or buying resources for weaving? Please get in touch if you would like to help contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Of course, we are looking forward to seeing lots of holiday photos! thanks for reading, Sarah x

Football Training

Sarah’s Blog 25/10/21

Monday afternoon is football training for boys and girls at The William Stewart Foundation. Levison managed to be there today to take some photos of the teams looking very proud and smart in their new strips and boots. We are very grateful for everyone who supports us to support the children at The Foundation. Until recently, they had nothing. As well as enjoying the time with their friends, the football games and training, they now look the part too. Team sports are so important for morale boosting, self-esteem, fitness and mental health. These vulnerable children can forget about all their problems and enjoy being children for a while. They know that people who they’ve never met care about them enough to donate gifts of preloved kit and boots and other sports equipment.

So thank you today to Fakenham Town Football Club for the football strips, thank you to Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club for the white strips the girls are wearing for their football training and thank you to Letchworth Garden City Eagles for the football boots. Goal keeper gloves were kindly donated by Dan Cook and Joe Mant.

Julian Chenery from Wear a Sports Shirt Day collected all of the above and sent it to Dundee to go on the container to Malawi. Thank you Julian for all your hard work and donations. Also to Julian’s boss Nikki Nagra for sponsoring the cost of the box of football boots. Everyone’s contributions are very much appreciated and you can see how happy the children are. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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