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