31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 22

Sarah’s blog 22/5/22

I had a nose bleed in bed last night…didn’t last long….and another one this morning….again not for long….but what’s all that about? I’m feeling tired and I am so glad that I only have 9 days left of this challenge. I thought it would just be difficult for me to go without certain foods and that I’d be constantly hungry. After the first couple of days, I’ve not been overly hungry thankfully. I’ve also rarely been picking at food….especially in an evening…which is great if I can break that habit. I’ve lost 13lb in weight so far….another good outcome.

I have thought about food that I can’t have a few times but not all day every day. I didn’t bargain for how hard physically this would be. The tiredness is overwhelming now. This was my choice. I can’t imagine not having that choice. How can a child perform to the best of their ability if they are tired, hungry and malnourished? The younger children are walking 5km to school and 5km back home….with no food in their tummies….tired, hungry and malnourished. That’s why I have been cycling on my exercise bike…to raise awareness of their plight. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

We can only afford to send money for 500 orphans and other very vulnerable to be fed at The Feeding Programme once a week. There are no big agencies in that part of Malawi feeding children in schools. These children are dependent on us sending money for The Feeding Programme. Because there are no other agencies feeding children, this is why some of the children are walking from up to 20km away to have their one nutritious and substantial meal from The Feeding Programme. It’s not enough. It’s not good enough. But it’s better than what they had. We need more people to help us continue helping these children. We need you.

Education is the way out of poverty for these children. There are not enough school places. If you do not get picked for secondary school, despite passing your primary school leavers exams, then you don’t go to secondary school. An awful situation for these children who are desperate for an education as they know it’s their one chance for a better future, for themselves and their families. We need to build a school in the village so there is education for all. Every child deserves an education. Every child matters.

Here are ways you can help us:

  1. Sponsor a child – this provides a monthly food parcel and pays for their education.
  2. Contribute a monthly amount (£5 or £10) to the feeding programme. If enough people do this then we can feed the children more often.
  3. Fundraise for us. Can you organise a coffee morning? I could come and show photos and tell people about what we do and what happens at The Foundation. Or can you do a sponsored event for us? There are so many ways you could help raise funds for us. We would love to hear from you.
  4. Are you experienced (and successful) at writing grant applications? That’s another area that would be a big help to us…. there’s so much to do and spreading the load a bit more would be a fantastic support.
  5. Can you share our social media posts to help us reach a new audience?
  6. We would love to be invited to your club, church or school to show photos and tell people about the lives of the children in Ibuluma.
  7. Can you shake a collection tin and give out leaflets for us at an event?
  8. Get in touch if you would like to help us in any of the above or if you can think of other ways you can help. It’s always about teamwork. We need you on our team. We need to grow our team in order to help more vulnerable children. You might even enjoy helping out and meeting new people. We are a friendly bunch! contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  9. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 donate to help us build a school and give the gift of education. All children deserve a place at school. All children deserve someone to believe in them and give them a chance. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 20 and 21

Sarah’s blog 21/5/22

This challenge is getting harder. My body is complaining about lack of vitamins/and or minerals. I’m not complaining, only documenting how I am feeling. It was my choice to do this challenge, to raise awareness of how little the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi have to eat. I have far more to eat than they do. I have the choice to end this challenge at any time. I know that my challenge finishes in 10 days time. They have no choices. They are hungry and malnourished.

I am not sleeping well. I wake in the middle of the night for the toilet then I am awake for ages. My skin is drier than previously, especially my hands. I’m feeling quite anxious and generally tired out. This morning I was feeling panicky. Not a good way to feel. However this was my choice to raise awareness and money for a desperately needed school. Only 10 days to go. I’d really appreciate your support please. I’m sure these feelings are because of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I am thankful I was able to have eggs for breakfast today and had a snooze at lunchtime. I am definitely feeling better after having those eggs for breakfast. Imagine if I didn’t have that luxury? Only 10 days to go!

I gave myself a day off my bike yesterday as I was so tired but I have just completed 15km today so I am really pleased with that…I wonder if I can get to 20km on my last day? If you think I’m doing well on my challenge then please donate to help me help the children have the gift of education. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

If you think that education is every child’s right please donate to help us fund a new school. Education is a way out of dire poverty for the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children we help support. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

There is £1,000 in the online fundraiser now and £280 in the charity bank account. Thank you so much to all who have donated. However, we need to keep going to raise much more! Please give if you can. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 7

Sarah’s blog 7/5/22

5.30pm I’ve been a bit hungry today and bored by what I’m eating. I must admit I’ve opened the fridge a few times to look at what’s there, sighed, and closed the door again. But do you know what? The kids in Malawi don’t have a choice. They would be delighted to be eating what I’m eating. Even more so, they would be delighted that they were eating every single day.

So I can do this. I have done this! I’ve completed one whole week! 7 days of eating rice and veg to represent what the children have at the feeding programme (although I’m having rice not maize flour and I’m lucky enough to be eating every day). I’m cycling 10km every day on my exercise bike to represent the distance the younger children are walking to school and back each day. I’ve cycled 70km this week!! I’ve also lost 8lb in weight! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

Do you know what? I’m pleased with myself. Pleased with my determination. Yes, I am doing this challenge for myself but I am doing it for the children. They desperately need a new school as there aren’t enough school places. If you don’t get picked for a place in secondary school then you don’t go. Life is very, very unfair. I need your help.

Today, I have been applying for a grant for school text books as there are nowhere near enough to go round. A full set of text books for secondary school year 1-4 costs £325. This set can obviously be used by 4 students at one time if they are in different year groups. £325 is a huge amount of money and I am asking for 10 sets. I do hope that I am successful with getting this grant. There is so much to do and so much more we want to do to help this community to self-sufficiency. The fact that things had got so dire and that there are hundreds needing help makes it more challenging. That is why we need you to help us. We can’t do this alone. It’s always about teamwork and we need to grow our team of supporters as then we can do more to help.

I need your support to raise funds to build a school. I have £840 in my fundraiser after the first week of my challenge. Can we get it to £1,000 by tonight? Please? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have enough for a classroom by the end of my challenge? https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 6

Sarah’s blog 6/5/22

3pm Tired today as I had very restless legs last night. Also it’s been a tricky day (food wise) as we’ve been with family and there has been bacon frying and a buffet lunch…..with salad for me! That was hard as there were olives, cold meats and cheeses that I would have loved. But I didn’t give in and had my salad and carrot sticks!! I’ll post a couple of pictures of lunch so you can see how good I was avoiding the temptations!

6pm Just done my 10km cycle and it’s getting slightly easier….that’s 60km this week!! I need your encouragement please. Help me to keep going by sharing my posts and making a donation towards the new school building. Almost a week done but still a long way to go….please help? https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks so much for reading and supporting. I received a cash donation too today. Many thanks, Sarah x

If you think I did well sticking to salad for lunch, please donate https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

31 days in May challenge

Sarah’s blog 30/4/22

Tomorrow I start my challenge to help raise awareness of the hundreds of vulnerable children we support and how life is for them. So expect lots of stories from Ibuluma, rural Northern Malawi. I am also raising money to build them a school and I need your help.

There are not enough places in secondary schools and, if you don’t get picked (even though you’ve passed your exams) then you don’t go. That’s what happened to 11 of our sponsored young people this year. I had matched them with sponsors to pay their school fees, they worked hard and passed their primary school leavers exams and still didn’t get picked for secondary school! It’s heart breaking for them. Heart breaking and very unfair. How would you feel if that happened to your child? These 11 children are now repeating their last year of primary school in the hope that they get picked next year. But what if they don’t? There are not enough places at secondary school for all the children to get a proper education. What would you do if this had happened to your child and their friends?

If we build a school in the village then all children who pass their primary school leavers exams will be able to go to secondary school. Education, they know, is their way to a better future. It’s their way to a sustainable future where they will be able to support themselves and their families. ALL CHILDREN DESERVE AN EDUCATION. ALL CHILDREN DESERVE A CHANCE TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL. THESE VULNERABLE CHILDREN NEED MY HELP AND YOUR HELP.

Each day in May, I will be eating the equivalent of what the children have at the feeding programme. I am very aware that they only get this once a week and it’s the most they eat all week. Instead of maize flour, I will be having one bowl of rice each day and vegetables/salad. I will also be cycling 10km a day on my exercise bike which represents what the younger children walk each day to school and back.

To a lot of people this might not seem like a big challenge. However, I have some health issues and this is a big deal for me. I’ll be blogging during the month about how I’m getting on and bringing stories from Ibuluma.

So here is how you can help:

  1. Please donate money
  2. Tell your friends and ask them to donate money too
  3. Share my posts and cheer me on….I’m sure I’ll need your encouragement
  4. Can you join me on this challenge or do a challenge of your own?
  5. Can you or your children do a sponsored event or challenge? Bake sales/sponsored walks/sponsored reading books each day of the summer holidays/sponsored trampolining etc
  6. Can you save all your loose change in a jar for us? If enough people do this then it will certainly add up.
  7. Any other ideas? Anyone you know that has a big following on social media etc who could mention us and a link to donate to my challenge?

Thanks in advance for your support. Here is the link to my fundraiser https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 or you can donate via this website or contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com for bank details. You can also text SCHOOL TO 70560 to donate.

I can’t do this on my own…..but we can do this together! Please help me help the children. Please help me continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading and your support, Sarah x

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