work has started on the foundations of phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School, however we still need your help to reach our target https://gofund.me/ece5753a
Sarah’s blog 10/8/23
Today’s blog is a bit of a photo & video dump to share how busy it has been during the last few days. Because the new school term starts in September in Malawi, there will be another intake of vulnerable students wanting to continue their education if they pass their primary school leavers exams.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far….work on phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School has started. However, we haven’t reached our target yet. We are taking a leap of faith that by the beginning of September we will have enough funds to buy everything that is needed. Work had to start otherwise, should we reach our target, work would never have been completed in time for the new school year.
Using bricks left over from phase 1 last year, the builders are starting on the foundations. The thousands of bricks that have been made over the last few weeks will begin to be fired at the weekend and we will share photos of that.
If you are a business or an individual wanting to support the education of some of the most vulnerable young people in Malawi, then please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org . A donation of £500 or above can have your name written above a classroom door or on the building. Without your help, these young people cannot achieve their potential and will not find their way out of poverty to a brighter future. These young people, most of whom are orphans, have experienced loss, hunger, extreme poverty and missed periods of school to work for a pittance to try to feed themselves. We CAN help them.
Please consider being part of the team around these young people and future students who will benefit from Bright Futures Secondary School. The link to our fundraiser to help us ensure that classroom 3 is ready by the start of September is: https://gofund.me/ece5753a. Please give if you can and share this post. Young people are depending on us to help them out of poverty. Education is the best way to do this. Help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks, Sarah x
Please show your support for Joanne who is fundraising for a new classroom for Bright Futures Secondary School. Read today’s blog to find out how brave and strong she is.
Sarah’s blog 31/07/23
My sister is amazing. My sister is strong, brave and determined. She has been through so much in the last few years; finding out she had breast cancer, having her breast removed, several operations, lots of infections, not to mention the mental trauma of all of that.
Whilst she was waiting for her original surgery, she raised money towards the shower block by doing a walking challenge. Now, whilst she is waiting for reconstruction surgery and needing to reduce her BMI slightly, she has taken on another challenge for us. Thank you Joanne.
Bright Futures Secondary School opened last year with two classrooms. Secondary education needs to be paid for in Malawi and none of the teenagers we help to support could afford this. There will be another intake of vulnerable teenagers wanting to start at Bright Futures Secondary School in September, but we need to build another classroom. As there will be more students, we also need to build another toilet block. Will you help us?
She set herself the challenge of walking 200km in July….she’s almost finished…5km left to go and this is her last day. It’s pouring with rain here today, so she would welcome some support. Can you help?
Joanne’s fundraising link is here: https://gofund.me/91721cad If you could spare a few £££ it would be much appreciated. Joanne has taken photos from her walks round the village of Killearn where she lives. If you are a business in Killearn who would like to support Joanne we will give you lots of mentions on social media. We welcome businesses partnering with us to help support the hundreds of orphans we help in rural northern Malawi.
Hope you enjoy Joanne’s photos and please support her if you can. Thank you, Sarah x
In November 2020 my sister, Joanne, was waiting for surgery for breast cancer. She used that time to do a walking challenge to raise money towards the shower block that was being built.
Now, as she’s waiting for reconstructive surgery and needs to lower her BMI slightly, she has said she’s going to challenge herself again. I have no doubt that she will reach her target of 200km in July. As well as being one of the bravest people I know, she is also one of the strongest.
So she has set up a fundraising page to raise money towards a new classroom for Bright Futures Secondary School. Please support her in her challenge as it will mean a great deal to her, to us and, of course, the children who need a new classroom for term starting in September. Joanne’s fundraiser is https://gofund.me/91721cad .
If anyone else wants to set themselves a challenge to fundraise for our charity we would be so grateful and would promote it on social media for you. email@example.com
Good luck, Joanne and thank you…we know you can do it! Thank you all for reading and your support, Sarah x
Thanks to Strathendrick RFC and Scottish Rugby for supporting grassroots rugby in rural northern Malawi.
Sarah’s blog 29/6/23
As well as Scottish Rugby having given us pre-loved rugby kit to send to the vulnerable young people we help to support, Scottish Rugby have given us 6 new shirts for fundraising.
We have teamed up with our fantastic local rugby club, Strathendrick RFC, who have a big rugby family. They have kindly offered to help raise the profile of the projects we support and, in particular, the two week rugby event in September that hundreds of young people will be able to take part in and learn to play rugby. Our fundraiser for that event is here https://gofund.me/46e63377 Proceeds made from the shirts will be split between our rugby event and Strathendrick RFC. Thank you everyone who is supporting us to help change the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Malawi, giving them choices and chances and a much brighter future. Here is what they have said on their facebook page:
Please support this rugby event in September. Give vulnerable children the joy of rugby.
Sarah’s blog 9/6/23
We are delighted that Jack Mphande, Rugby Development Officer for Malawi Rugby Union, will be making a second visit to rural northern Malawi to introduce the sport of rugby to orphans and other vulnerable children.
Jack will be heading north from Lilongwe in the south where he is based for two weeks in September. He will be working with two clusters of schools during the two weeks and with the older orphans we help to support during the middle weekend. Teachers from each school will be trained and there will be tournaments too.
As there are no big charities feeding children in school in that area of Malawi, all the children that we help to support are malnourished. We help provide funds for a feeding programme for 500+ children once a week….but it’s not enough. Children are hungry and some are walking 20km for that one proper meal of the week. We need to feed all the children who are taking part in the rugby tournament. We can’t expect them to have the energy to play and enjoy themselves if their tummies are sore and they are tired because they have not eaten. Can you help please?
We have been very fortunate to have support from Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, Balfron High School, Scottish Rugby Union, Strathendrick Rugby, Stirling County Rugby, Grangemouth Rugby Club, Hillfoots Rugby, Blaydon Rugby, Annan Rugby Club and others who have helped and supported us with kit, boots and rugby balls.
We are charged £17.50 per box/bag on the container to cover the cost of getting everything to Malawi. Will you help please? https://gofund.me/46e63377
Thank you to those who have already donated via Facebook. We need to pay for Jack Mphande’s transport costs, his accommodation, food and expenses for the two weeks he has kindly set aside for the hundreds of vulnerable children who will benefit from his visit. We need to provide food for the children taking part in the coaching sessions and tournaments. We need financial help with sending kit to Malawi. We need your help please to spread the joy of playing rugby to orphans in rural northern Malawi. Until recently, they were ignored and forgotten. They didn’t have opportunities like this. Please help us make this happen for them. You can donate via our fundraiser https://gofund.me/46e63377 or by emailing for bank details firstname.lastname@example.org I’ve put some links to previous relevant posts where you’ll see some great photos and videos. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x
We were delighted to receive an email from one of the teachers at our local high school, Balfron High, asking us to go and meet with him and the headteacher.
Sarah’s blog 24/5/23
We were delighted to receive an email from one of the teachers at our local high school, Balfron High, asking us to go and meet with him and the headteacher. Jackie and I spent an hour with them and I was able to give a presentation about some of the projects we are supporting. It was really useful to meet face to face as we were able to talk about how many children and young people are needing a helping hand and how little food many of them have to eat and the daily struggles they face.
They are keen to form links between Balfron High School and Bright Futures Secondary School and communication between some of the students from both schools. We spoke about ways that we are trying to help Bright Futures Secondary School towards self-sufficiency by having projects that provide food and an income. I also suggested ways that the Balfron High students could help by donating maths sets, calculators and pencil cases to pass on to students in Malawi if they are no longer needed.
It was a really positive and informative discussion and we look forward to seeing what might happen after the school summer holidays.
In Malawi, the primary 8 students have done their national leavers exams and we have our fingers crossed that the ones supported by the Foundation will pass and therefore be able to start at Bright Futures Secondary School in September.
National high school exams are done at the end of S2 and also at the end of S4. The S2 students at Bright Futures Secondary School have been working hard. Their exams start on Tuesday for seven days. All we can ask is that they work hard and try their best. They have had such difficult lives that their school work has suffered. We have everything crossed for them!
So, looking forward to September 2023 and the new intake of S1 students. At the moment, we have nowhere to put them as we only have two classrooms. We need your help please to build another classroom. Will you help us please by donating to our fundraiser? https://gofund.me/ece5753a
All children have the right to a proper education.
All children have the right to food, clothes and warmth.
Bright Futures Secondary School is for the most vulnerable students who wouldn’t have been able to go to secondary school without support (secondary school has to be paid for in Malawi).
These students are each given a blanket as well as school uniform (and other clothes) and the supplies they need for school.
Each student is fed a nutritious and substantial meal each day (twice a day when we have extra funds). This is the only food many of them have each day so it is vital.
They have a clean water supply to drink and are able to have a shower at the shower block.
The Period Poverty Project means that all girls are given reusable sanitary towels made by a group of girls. We sent hand turn sewing machines and now no girl needs to miss a week of school each month.
All students have use of the well stocked library – Emma’s Rainbow Library and are learning how to use the computers there.
All students are learning skills for life through their Agricultural Lessons.
All students are regularly taking part in team sports.
Does this sound like a worthwhile project? As we have no admin costs or salaries because we are volunteers, all money donated goes to the projects we support. You can be sure that your donation towards a new classroom will go to that project. Foundations have been prepared and, as soon as we have more funds, work will start on building. However, we cannot do this alone. Please help us help these vulnerable children.
You can donate to phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School to build a new classroom https://gofund.me/ece5753a or you could you sponsor a student for £25 p/m? Or maybe you could commit £5 or £10 per month to the Feeding Programme? Our bank details are; Bank Of Scotland, Changing Lives Malawi, S/C 80-22-60, A/C 21081462 to make a donation. If you could put ‘school’ or ‘food’ or whatever project it is you are supporting as the reference please. We also have a rugby event in September that we are needing financial support with.
My email is email@example.com if you’d like more information about ways you can help us to support the children. I’ll put the links to some other relevant stories if you are new to reading my blogs. Many thanks for reading and supporting us, Sarah x
Well it has taken longer than we originally planned….but the small, dedicated team has done it! What an amazing and fantastic group of dedicated supporters!
We planned, in order to raise money for Bright Futures Secondary School, to run, walk, swim, scoot, cycle and sail to add together kilometres to cover the distance that the boxes travel between here and Malawi. It was a bigger challenge than we anticipated, for a small team, and the container covered the distance way before we reached our target, but the challenge is now complete!! Well done team!! We never give up!
As of yesterday, the total kilometres travelled was 13,161.195km! That was 17.195km more than was actually needed.
As you know, Phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School was built and opened in November 2022. This comprised of staff accommodation and two classrooms to add to the other buildings that we had previously fundraised for which included the library, shower block and clean water supply.
Now fundraising is well underway for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. We need at least one more classroom to be in place for the new term starting in September 2023. We also need some more staff accommodation and a dormitory block for the most vulnerable girls to be able to stay on campus. This will enable them to be safe rather than risking being attacked on the long walk to and from school. These are big plans but education is the way out of poverty for these very vulnerable children and young people, many of whom are orphans.
The photos below are just some of the lovely people who helped us achieve our goal. Thank you to everyone who took part. You are all brilliant and we couldn’t do what we do without you. If you would like to contribute towards phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School then you can either email me for bank details firstname.lastname@example.org or donate at https://gofund.me/ece5753a Thanks so much for supporting, helping, donating, volunteering, sponsoring….whatever you do to help us….thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Sarah x
Exciting news – We’ve partnered with a company called Leftover Currency. You can send coins and notes to them and ask them to donate the amount to our charity, helping us to continue supporting the hundreds of vulnerable children in northern Malawi.
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
On World Education Day, we thank our supporters who are helping us provide education to some of the most vulnerable orphans in rural northern Malawi.
Sarah’s blog 24/1/23
What does education look like where you live? How many years do children go to school? Is it provided to all children, at no cost?
Where you live, what happens to children when they leave school? Do most go to college or university or an apprenticeship? Or they might go straight into employment? All of these opportunities happen after children have completed primary AND SECONDARY education. What would happen if they didn’t have these opportunities?
Not all children will pass all of their exams. As long as they’ve tried their best and worked hard, that’s all anyone can ask. They will still have been learning whilst at school.
Imagine that there are schools… but not for your children. In Malawi, primary school is free. However, if you cannot afford food then your children will have to miss school so they can earn a pittance to try to help buy food for the family.
Imagine your child walking all day to the nearest maize mill with a heavy bundle of maize balanced on their head. It’s not even your maize… they are walking 15km or 20km all day with their heavy burden to be paid a pittance for carrying someone else’s maize to the mill. No clean water or food to drink or eat all day, at risk of being attacked along the way. They have to miss school. How does that feel?
Laston, one of the boys we have matched with a sponsor, worked for a farmer, helping to look after his cows, for approximately £1.50 per month. There was no school for Laston – school was for other children – until we found a sponsor to support him.
In Chambo primary school, where the majority of orphans and other vulnerable children attend, whom the Foundation supports, they have minimal resources. No desks and chairs, apart from primary 8. All other children sit on the floor in their classrooms. They have hardly any books. They have no clean water supply and no latrines. We gifted 17 boxes of books to Chambo primary school to support literacy and help children become confident readers.
Children have to sit exams when leaving primary school. If you don’t pass then you don’t go to secondary school. There are not enough places in secondary school, so if you don’t get picked for a place then you don’t go. If you do pass your exams and are lucky enough to be picked for a place but you can’t afford to pay the fees… it’s heartbreaking. That is your formal education finished at the end of primary school.
That’s why Bright Futures Secondary School was desperately needed. To ensure all the orphans and vulnerable children, supported by The Foundation, had the chance of a secondary education without having to pay. Education is everything to these children. They know it is their escape from the dire poverty they live in.
Bright Futures Secondary School is being built in phases, as it’s obviously a big and costly project. Phase 1 has been successfully completed – staff accommodation, staff latrine and classrooms 1 and 2 and passed with flying colours when the inspectors came from the Education Department.
Now we need to continue our fundraising commitment to build classrooms 3 and 4 to ensure these vulnerable students have the opportunities the deserve. That they have choices and chances. That they have a brighter future.
All students at Bright Futures Secondary School are provided with a uniform, a school bag, other clothes. They receive a free school lunch. They have access to clean water and showers. Girls are given reusable sanitary towels (made at The Foundation) so they don’t have to miss one week of school each month. They are allowed to borrow books to take home from the library at The Foundation. Their dreams are coming true. They are working hard. With your help we are changing lives in Malawi.
On World Education Day we are saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who has helped us to support the students this far. Without your help, these students would not have been able to attend secondary school and have a free lunch each day. The school lunch is vital as it’s probably the only meal for many of them.
We need your help to build the next phase of the school. Two classrooms and more latrines will cost £25,000. Will you be part of the team supporting these vulnerable students to succeed and achieve? Will you be part of the team allowing them to have more choices and chances? Will you be part of the team helping them to help themselves out of poverty? https://gofund.me/ece5753a
If, on World Education Day, you would like to show your commitment to some of the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or donate to our fundraiser here
We are passionate about helping these children to help themselves out of poverty and giving them a better start. The nursery has 75 preschool children (age 4-6). As well as clothes and blankets, each child has just been gifted a book to take home. We want children to learn that books are a wonderful resource that can be used each day for information and escapism. Who knows if any of these children will become authors in the future and write books for other children?
As you might imagine, running costs, as well as capital costs for these projects need to be found. The children need more people fighting their corner and supporting their education. Here are ways you can get involved;
2. Can you commit to £5 or £10 monthly to help pay for food for the nursery or secondary school?
3. Will you organise a fundraiser for us? Can you involve your friends? Can your family help? What could your children & their friends do?
4. Would you like us to visit your club or school and show photos & talk about the projects we are supporting in Malawi?
5. Would you like to be matched with a vulnerable child to support their education and wellbeing? It’s only £25 p/m and you can split this cost with a friend.
6. If you are selling preloved clothes or toys… could you do it on behalf of our charity?
7. Can your business sponsor an event? Or donate towards a building? Or pay for the feeding programme for a week? We would, of course give you publicity. email@example.com
You can be sure that all money goes to the projects we support. Our charity is run by committed volunteers. So we have no salaries or admin costs. Thank you for reading and supporting us to help continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I just wanted to post a few videos celebrating how wonderful we think the children in Ibuluma are. There are hundreds of them who are malnourished and have suffered varying amounts of trauma but, despite all that they are doing well. They now know that people care about them.
If you have helped us then we thank you. Here are ways you can support us to continue Changing Lives Malawi.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helps us to support the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.
As today is Giving Tuesday, please could we ask that you donate to our charity if you are able?
These are our current priorities, and any donation of any amount WILL make a difference.
To provide a Christmas Lunch for all the children at the feeding programme so they have an extra meal and party – £150
To provide a bar of soap for all the children at Christmas (we have already sent enough pencils for a pencil each) – £200
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more desks -£500
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more textbooks – £2,000
Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide science equipment – £500
Bright Futures Secondary School – free school lunches – to provide a one-off donation or regular monthly amount towards school lunches – approx £400 per month. Any amount will make a difference to these vulnerable teenagers.
Whatever you are able to give will be very much appreciated. The hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children who we help to support need to know that people care about them. We want for them the same chances, choices and opportunities as our own children have. We want them to succeed and be the best they can be. Will you help us? Together we can make a difference. Together we can help these children out of poverty and onto a brighter future. What can you do today? email firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details.
The photos below are from last year’s Christmas Party. A donation from Strathblane Guild paid for the food and Julian from Wear a Sports Shirt Day sent the Christmas hats. Can you help us provide a Christmas Party this year? Or make a donation towards Bright Futures Secondary School? Thank you in advance for your support. Hundreds of children will know that people care about them. Thank you for helping us continue Changing Lives in Malawi, Sarah x