31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 11 and 12

Sarah’s blog 12/5/22

11.30am There wasn’t much to report yesterday. I did 10km on the exercise bike and ate rice and veg. I have been finding the last few days harder, I think because it’s a bit colder and I’m wanting something a bit different from salad and rice. Last night I did open a tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce and had half of that tin with rice which was a nice change. I am currently making some soup which I am looking forward to.

6pm My soup was delicious….even if I say so myself lol. Sweet potato, broccoli and stilton. I only used a little bit of stilton to give it some flavour…it’s been nice to have vegetables in a different form today! I’ve just cycled 15km so if you think I’m doing ok then please donate and share my posts. I’m almost two weeks into my challenge and have cycled further than I first thought so I’d love your help to build a school for the children so everyone can go to school. Thanks for reading, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 3

Sarah’s blog 3/5/22

12.30pm Who needs sleep anyway? Sore tummy and sore legs last night and, for some reason, wide awake! I’m not saying this to moan, I’m just writing down facts as a record of how this challenge is progressing. I haven’t been hungry at all this morning. I’ve just had a lovely salad for my lunch which is the first thing I’ve eaten today. I’m saving my rice for dinner! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

The first day of the challenge was really hard as I was hungry all the time but yesterday and today have been ok as my body is obviously getting used to the change in what I’m eating and eating less than usual. Not having meat is a big change but I’ve not really missed it. I’m finding that I am thinking a lot more about the children in Malawi and trying to imagine the different difficult situations they find themselves in. Not enough to eat, nowhere near enough resources in the local schools, no medical care if they can’t afford it. Lots of chores to do to help their families. The heavy rains this year have affected the crops and maize will be more expensive to buy and not as readily available. Life is very hard for them but, bit by bit, we are changing their lives for the better. Always, the end goal is self-sufficiency.

8pm It’s been a busy day today so I didn’t get round to doing my 10km until 7pm. When I got to 6km I started to struggle so I made my lovely hubby come and talk to me until I’d finished…. so I made it over the finishing line! A bowl of rice and a few beans just now. I’m feeling a bit tired but hopefully that means I might sleep tonight. My challenge is to eat rice (instead of maize flour) and vegetables as a representation of what the children eat and cycle 10km to represent the distance the little kids walk to school and back. If you’d like to support me raise funds to build a desperately needed school then please donate to my fundraiser https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 thanks for reading and supporting me, Sarah x

Where is Ibuluma?

Sarah’s blog 28/04/22

I’ve put together some maps so that you can see where Malawi is in Africa. The Foundation is in the far north of Malawi. In Chitipa District. Chitipa town is the biggest local town. Chisenga is where the secondary school is. Chambo is the nearest primary school to the Foundation. The Mafinga Hills look very like Scotland and The Foundation is very near the border with Zambia.

Ekwendeni, where the container goes to the Mission Hospital, near Mzuzu, is where Levison has to travel to when he collects the boxes we’ve sent via the Bananabox Trust. Because some of the roads are small, and some are full of pot holes, it takes about 5 or 6 hours to travel from Ibuluma to Mzuzu. On the map of Africa, you can see the port of Beira in Mozambique where the container gets transferred from the ship to a truck.

You will be able to google Ibuluma yourself as the coordinates are on the photos. The shower block is not yet showing….I wonder how many buildings there will be at The Foundation by the time the photo is updated? Hope you enjoy this little bit of geography. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

This was taken before the shower block was built. You can see the sports pitches and the vegetable gardens.

Chisenga is where the nearest secondary school is
The Foundation is just outside Chambo. Chambo Primary school is the nearest to The Foundation.

Judith needs medical help

Sarah 24/4/22

Levison sees a lot of children. To a certain extent, he must have to get used to the dire poverty these families live in, as he can’t help absolutely everyone. However, he’s sent me these photos and said he was almost crying because of how this family are struggling. Mum has a 4 month old baby (sitting on the blanket) and three other children. Dad has had to go away to find piece work and no one knows when he will come home. Matthew, John and Judith are all malnourished and all need matched with sponsors. However, poor Judith needs urgent medical attention for her eyes. She must be in pain and needs to be seen as soon as possible.

I realise I am always asking for help, but there are so many children who cannot get out of their awful situation without our help. They need your help.

So today I am asking for three people to each sponsor one of these malnourished children. It’s only 85p per day and you can sponsor as an individual, two friends, a family or a business or club. Judith also needs someone to pay for her to see a doctor. Is this something you can do to help her?

If you will help Judith and her family please email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com This might be the kindest thing anyone has every done for Judith. Will you help? Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

The Munyenyembe Family (baby Miracle is on the blanket). All are malnourished and Judith needs urgent medical attention.

The Starfish Story

Sarah’s blog 9/4/22

I love the Starfish Story that I am going to share with you. Some of you will know it already.

Sometimes situations seem daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how we can make a difference to the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. But we are, bit by bit. Each of us helps, doing our little bit, as part of a team.

Five hundred malnourished children are receiving a nutritious, substantial meal once a week at the feeding programme. We wish we could afford to send more money to feed them more often or to set up a porridge programme at the schools. Unfortunately, at the moment, we can’t. We don’t yet have the finances for this. But the teachers have noticed that even this one meal is helping their concentrate and their grades.

Teenage girls are no longer missing school each month as they have been given reusable sanitary towels. This has given them dignity, inclusion and equality of education.

A nursery has been set up for 50 very vulnerable preschool children three times a week. They’ve been given clothes, blankets, flipflops and raincoats. They receive porridge at each session. This is making a big difference to these young children.

Ninety children have been matched with sponsors. They receive food, clothes, blankets, soap and education thanks to their generous sponsors.

These are only a few ways you have been helping us help the hundreds of very vulnerable children that The Foundation supports.

It’s teamwork as we couldn’t do it without you. If you haven’t yet taken on a sponsorship role or donated to the feeding programme… think about The Starfish Story I am sharing today. One person can make a difference. You can make a difference. If you sponsor one child, I sponsor another and so on, we CAN make a difference to ALL the vulnerable children. Please can you sponsor one of these vulnerable children today? It’s only £25 per month.

These children may not be starfish like in the story… but each one of them is a star. They are doing their best to survive. But they each need one of us to help them have more food and education. They each need one of us to help them be the best they can be. We need you to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Each child deserves a chance. Let’s each of us support one child and Change their Life. We can do this if each of us makes up part of a big team around these children. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and supporting. Please choose one of these stars to change their life today. Sarah x

Please make a difference to a child today

Rugby videos

Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

We’ve paid to upgrade our website so that we now have fancy features like being able to show videos. David, one of our trustees, very kindly provides technical support so I have been trying out a few new things. So here are some videos from the recent rugby coaching camp led by Jack Mphande, Malawian International rugby coach. We were so lucky that Jack was able to spend some time with the children. Just look at all the fun they are having whilst they learn new skills playing a team game they’ve never even heard of previously. Obviously, a big thank you to Jack for coming to teach rugby in the far north, to Community Sports Leaders Africa for facilitating Jack’s travel north, Strathendrick RFC for providing rugby balls that we sent out and a huge thank you to our supporters who donated money to enable the rugby coaching to happen for so many children. Enjoy the videos, Sarah x

Having fun whilst on lunch break at rugby camp
Practicing whilst waiting for lunch

Each child deserves a chance

Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

These amazing children need a helping hand to reach their potential. To be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? Each of these children suffers from malnutrition. They need more food, clothes, education. Can you be a helping hand for one of these children? It’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com please look at each photo and help a child today. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Sponsored – Melise & Mwiza – update

This story is about the Mtambo family, living in rural northern Malawi. Not many of us can imagine just how tough life is for this family.

Sarah’s blog 4/4/22

This family has four children and a mum and a dad. That sounds a good way to start a story. Depending where in the world this family live they might have a big house and 2 cars and plenty of money in the bank or a smaller house with the children having to share bedrooms and only one car in their family. Life might be a bit more of a struggle for them but they still have enough to get by.

But this story is about the Mtambo family, living in rural northern Malawi. Not many of us can imagine just how tough life is for this family. Not many of us can imagine just how poor they are. Mum is trying to earn some money to feed her family and hold everything together. Dad is ill and unable to work or help her with housework or the care of the children. There are three girls and a boy. Mwiza, the boy is disabled. He is left to his own devices a lot of the time, sitting on a mat, as mum cannot spend all day with him as she is working and the girls are at school and nursery. Grandma sometimes comes to help.

The story of this family and the mother’s struggle touched people’s hearts and two kind people came forward to sponsor Mwiza and Melise. The other two girls, Thokozani and Eliness, still need to be matched with sponsors. Melise’s sponsor also wanted the mum to have some money to spend on food or what she needs so she pays an extra £5 for the mum which Levison gives her and for which she is very grateful.

Having two out of the four children sponsored has made a big difference to this family. They have two monthly food parcels which supplement what mum can earn, so it takes a bit of pressure from her knowing that her children and herself and her husband have something to eat. The four children have been given new clothes and blankets and Mwiza has received a mattress and lots of toys and books to stimulate him and build up his muscles as he reaches for them. A chair is on the next container for him too.

Mum has said to Levison that she is amazed at the difference in Mwiza since the family started to have regular food and he had books and toys to stimulate him. Also, Melise although just 5 has been given a place at primary school as she is very bright. Usually children start primary school in Malawi at age 6. The extra food is obviously helping her concentration and growth and also the books sent for Mwiza will be helping all three of his sisters too. Families like these do not have the luxury of books so children miss out on lots of literacy that our children have from a very young age. It is great that the books that have been donated and sent are having a positive impact already.

This family still need a lot of help and support but the difference so far is great to see. Having the ongoing support of The Foundation and the two sponsors is helping to change these children’s lives. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and if anyone feels they would like to join the team around this family by sponsoring Thokozani or Eliness then please do contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and for all the support we receive helping us to continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

Some of the most vulnerable children

These are the most vulnerable children and most in need of a sponsor. Can you be a helping hand to one of these children?

Sarah’s blog 5/4/22

I wanted to highlight some of the orphans and vulnerable children that Levison has taken photos of previously. He’s done this as they are some of the most vulnerable and most in need of a sponsor. It’s only £25 per month to sponsor a child and you can do that as an individual, a group or two friends. 85p per day will mean the world to these children.

I’ve highlighted each child with a coloured background because I think they deserve to be seen. They deserve to have the same chances our children have. They deserve to have food, clothes, education. They deserve to reach their potential. They deserve to have a helping hand. They deserve to know that someone cares.

Please…can you be a helping hand to one of these children? It might be one of the most important things you ever do. It might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com thank you for reading and I hope to hear from some of you and match you with a child. Sarah x

Did you know….. some facts about Malawi

Sarah’s blog 1/4/22

I’ve had a little look round the internet to find some facts and figures that I hope you find interesting. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

  1. Malawi is 118,484 square kms. Malawi stretches about 840km from north to south and varies in width from 10 to 160km.
  2. It is known as the “warm heart of Africa” due to the welcoming nature of it’s people.
  3. It’s capital is Lilongwe and Malawi’s population is approximately 21,200,000.
  4. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. 85% of the population live in rural communities.
  5. Lake Malawi is the third largest fresh water lake in Africa and the ninth largest fresh water lake in the world and is a tourist attraction with it’s beautiful beaches and varied wildlife.
  6. Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world. There are between 500 and 1,000 fish species, and it is home to a vast array of Chichlids. These Chichlids are popular all over the world as aquarium fish because of their bright colours.
  7. High Girl dropout rate from education. In Malawi less than 10% of girls earn a high school diploma. Approximately 20% of school aged girls are prevented from continuing their education or miss one week a month as they lack menstrual health education and access to sanitary pads.
  8. Adult literacy rates (people over 15 years of age) are 62.14% ; male literacy 69.75% and female is only 55.2%
  9. Primary school is compulsory and children start at age 6 for 8 years. Class sizes are on average 75 children per class.
  10. Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with approximately 1 in 2 girls married and/or raising children by age 18.
  11. Nsima is a staple Malawian food. It is made from ground corn and served with side dishes of meat or vegetables.
  12. The currency is the Malawian Kwacha. Approximately 1,000 mkw = £1.00.

On Mother’s Day (UK) …..

Sarah’s blog 27/03/22

It’s Mother’s Day where I live but I would like to spend a few minutes thinking about the orphans whose mothers are no longer with them. The mothers who are struggling to feed their children. The mother figures who are caring for other people’s children. Thank you to all the volunteers who help at The Foundation to help nurture the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children. Life is hard for these children but these strong women are an integral part of Changing Lives Malawi. Thank you for helping these children feel loved and important. Thank you for all you do.

If you would like to support the work at The Foundation contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Buy some Fruit Trees for Mother’s Day – £10 for 4 fruit tree saplings

Sarah’s 25/03/22

£10 will buy 4 fruit tree saplings planting a sustainable future for people and planet. We have already sent money and saplings have been planted but we want to provide the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children at The Foundation with food for their future, providing employment and an income for The Foundation. We want children to have the nutrition they need and not to be hungry. The end goal is for self-sufficiency. Planting hundreds of tree saplings will help prevent soil erosion and help with climate change.

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com and we can send an email to you to forward or send the e-gift straight to the recipient. Thank you for helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

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