In the news!

Good news from here and Malawi!

Sarah’s blog 21/08/23

It’s been an extremely busy week here and in Malawi with lots of good news.

I had been contacted by my MSP, Evelyn Tweed, asking to meet with me. So we met at Doyles Cafe in Balfron last Tuesday. I was able to tell her all about the great things that are happening in Malawi and also ask her advice. She was very supportive of me and the charity and has suggested a few ways she can offer some help.

Jackie and I had a very busy Saturday at ‘The Balfron Bash’. We had a stall with info about the charity, lovely home baking for sale and a tombola. We made £263 on Saturday…so thank you to everyone who supported us and came to say ‘hello’. Big thanks to Ewan and Stuart for their help with the gazebo and to Jackie for organising the tombola.

David, one of our trustees, took the last lot of boxes to Dundee today. The Bananabox warehouse is full and they will order a container for the first weekend in September so, hopefully, those boxes might be there by Christmas (or early January).

Chambo Primary School had their clean water taps connected yesterday. We had received a grant from The Kitchen Table Charities Trust and part of the grant was to use the clean water supply at Chambo Health Centre and run a pipe to Chambo Primary School. They now have three taps and clean water to drink and wash their hands. We are so pleased to have been able to play a small part in helping to improve lives for so many children. Chambo Primary has clean water!

The national press in Malawi have picked up on the story that, although Bright Futures Secondary School only opened in November, 100% of the second year students who sat their national exams all passed!! Such good news for them, the school and the teachers. Malawi24 – School for needy students in Chitipa appeals for… | Facebook Bright Future scores 100 percent JCE pass rate – The Malawi Guardian

We are still fundraising for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School to ensure there are enough classrooms for the next intake of students. We also need to raise funds for text books as, currently for s3, there is only one set of books for the teacher. Any help that you can give will be so appreciated Thank you so much for all the support everyone, Sarah x

Me with my MSP, Evelyn Tweed at Doyle’s Cafe in Balfron
The builders are working hard to ensure the new intake of students have a classroom next month
Some of the students from Bright Futures Secondary School. They get a free lunch each day at school but, as it’s school holidays, they came to collect food parcels instead

Chambo Primary has clean water!

Thanks to The Kitchen Table Charities Trust, Chambo Primary School now have a clean water supply.

Sarah’s blog 20/08/23

Another great news story!

Months ago we applied to The Kitchen Tables Charities Trust on behalf of Chambo Primary School. The criteria for their grant was to help primary schools and, as most of the younger children we help to support attend Chambo Primary, we decided to try to help them.

There are 8 classes at the school and only one classroom has desks and benches. There are no latrines and no clean running water for the students to drink or wash their hands. Chambo Health Centre is a short distance away and we paid for a survey to be done to ensure it was viable to tap into the Health Centre’s water supply and pipe it to the primary school.

We were awarded a £6,000 grant to be split between clean water and supplying desks and benches for another couple of classrooms. The water project is almost complete…just the concrete bases to put round the three taps at the primary school. It was such hard work digging the ditch from the Health Centre to the school. It is the dry season now so the ground is hard. They had to wet the ground to make it a bit easier to dig. Some of the young people wanted to help, as you can see from the photos, and also some of the apprentices were paid to help with digging the ditch.

We feel very humbled to have been able to help in this small way. All we did was fill in the grant application and the hard work has been carried out in Malawi. Thank you so much to The Kitchen Table Charities Trust for entrusting us to carry out the work to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. They may not have anyone feeding them in school yet, but having clean water to drink and wash their hands is a great start in changing their lives for the better.

Enjoy these photos and videos – I’m sure there will be more to come once the children start back to school on 11th September. Now the clean water project has been completed, Levison will engage carpenters to make the desks and benches with the remaining grant money. The plan is that the apprentices will be allowed to help the carpenters with some of the easier tasks.

Gracious Nyondo, who is in p8, is the boy in the video who is thanking the donors for bringing clean water. Mr Enock Nyondo is the headteacher. As well as thanking the donors he says that they used to have to draw water from a well or the river and is delighted that they no longer have to do this and that the children have clean water to drink.

Things we take for granted make a HUGE difference. We are so happy to see that things are changing, bit by bit, for the most vulnerable children. They deserve so much more. Thanks for reading and supporting us, Sarah x

Levison (blue Maple Leafs t-shirt) discussing the height for the taps with the plumbers
Gracious Nyondo, in p8, thanks us and the donors for the clean water at Chambo Primary
Enock Nyondo, Headteacher at Chambo Primary is thankful for clean water at the school
Enjoying clean running water

Great News for Chambo Primary School

We are delighted to have received a grant.

Sarah’s blog 22/4/23

Yesterday was a day for good news. To be honest, I haven’t stopped smiling every time I think about this.

Yesterday our small team of volunteers finished the challenge to travel the same number of kilometres as the boxes we send to Malawi on a container ship. If you’d like to donate to help us build phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School then the link is here and here is the link to yesterday’s story From here to Malawi – The challenge is complete! – Changing Lives Malawi we would be so grateful for any donations.

As part of trying to raise funds for our charity, I am regularly applying for grants. I’m not just thinking about The Foundation but about the whole community so when I saw a grant that the criteria was for a primary school, I thought of Chambo. However, lots of other charities are applying for the same grants so it isn’t often that good news comes back from an application. Thankfully this time the answer was ‘YES’.

Chambo Primary School, which is nearest to The Foundation we help to support, has only one classroom with desks and chairs. The children sit on the floor in the other classrooms. There are not many resources. We have already provided 17 boxes of books to help the students become more confident readers.

Lots of these children are orphans and make up the 500 children and young people we help to feed every weekend. This is the only substantial meal many of them get each week as no big charities are feeding children in primary schools in this area. At Chambo Primary School there is no water supply. There are no toilets.

We have secured a grant of £6,000 from The Kitchen Table Charities Trust, a small charity set up by John Humphries, to help the students at Chambo Primary School. This grant will provide them with a clean water supply and also two more classrooms will have desks and stools. We are so delighted as having clean water to drink will help their concentration and they will also be able to wash their hands. Thank you so much to The Kitchen Table Charities Trust for enabling us to help the hundreds of vulnerable children at Chambo Primary School.

I will keep everyone updated as this project progresses and there will be lots of photos coming regularly from Malawi. The headteacher, staff and students at the school haven’t even been told about this yet….Levison is looking forward to sharing this wonderful news on Monday morning.

So thank you again to The Kitchen Table Charities Trust for trusting us and helping make a difference to very vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. There is still much to be done but, bit by bit, we are Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Students in p8 at Chambo Primary School. We paid their teachers to run a study school during the Easter holidays to prepare them for their national leavers exams. We also ensured they were fed each lunchtime.
Children at Chambo Primary looking at some of the books we sent to help them become confident readers.
The 17 boxes of books we gifted to Chambo Primary School. Many of these were preloved books donated by our supporters. We are now supplying other primary schools with boxes of books.
The Health Centre which is near to Chambo Primary School. They have a clean water supply and have kindly allowed this to be used to pipe water to Chambo Primary School.
A water tower at the Health Centre. We paid for a survey to be done to ensure that this project was feasible. Staff at the health centre are delighted that the clean water can be shared.
Students at Bright Futures Secondary School. These two classrooms were built as part of phase 1. We are now fundraising for phase 2.
Feeding the 500 orphans and other vulnerable children are fed a substantial meal once a week
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