Container 11 has arrived!

The container has arrived and been unloaded

Sarah’s blog 24/07/23

It’s a long process to send boxes to Malawi. Firstly, we take the boxes to Dundee to The Bananabox Trust warehouse. When their warehouse is full of boxes (from individuals and other organisations) they order a container which goes to Ekwendeni, near Mzuzu. We are charged £17.50 per box to cover the cost of the container. It takes approximately 3 months for the container to arrive in Ekwendeni which is still several hours drive south of where The Foundation is.

Levison and two helpers left last Wednesday to be in Ekwendeni for Thursday when they were hoping the container would be there. Unfortunately, the lorry that the container was on broke down and only arrived this morning. So there has been a lot of wasted time, waiting around, and a lot more expense for meals and overnight accommodation.

However, this morning, the waiting was over and the container was opened. The boxes and other items were all unloaded and handed to the people from charities and organisations who were there patiently waiting to collect them. It’s always a good time to catch up with friends and acquaintances when everyone gathers on container day and Levison was able to spend time with several people he knows.

Once they were sure they had everything safely, it was time to pack the truck. They are now on their way home with all the boxes which will be opened over the next few weeks. Levison is also delivering boxes to a football coach in Chitipa on behalf of Community Sports Leaders Africa (who donated the netball posts in recent photos). There are resources for Bright Futures Secondary School, lots of baby knitting and primary school uniform donations as well as three big boxes of school shoes from charity for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. They will be amazed and delighted when they see the gifts and resources that have been sent.

We want to thank The Bananabox Trust in Dundee for their hard work in organising the container and the volunteers who label the boxes and pack the container and everyone in Ekwendeni who helps on container day. It’s difficult for Levison, travelling from a long distance away, to collect the boxes we send (most people are local to Ekwendeni or Mzuzu) but we are very grateful for those friends who give of their time and offer assistance to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

We are looking forward to bringing more photos when boxes are opened and of the progress of building the next phase of the school. My sister, Joanne, has been doing a wonderful job with her walking challenge in July. She is trying to raise money towards the next phase of Bright Futures Secondary School whilst facing personal challenges. Her story and the link to her fundraiser is here . If you can share a few £££ then please do head over to her fundraising page to keep encouraging her towards the end of her challenge. Showing your support will make all the difference to her and to the orphans in Malawi who need another classroom. Many thanks for all the support so far, Sarah x

Levison surrounded by boxes
some of the donations from Community Sports Leaders Africa
Levison’s truck
The container arriving at Ekwendeni

An Amazing & Busy Week for Levison

Sarah’s blog 16/07/22

Levison Mlambya is a humble man. He is an incredibly hard worker and he has a vision to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in his community. His friendship with William Stewart helped to make this vision a reality and Levison has been hard at work for long hours every day serving his community.

Since William died in January, 2021, Levison has had a difficult time, but he has kept plodding, day by day, ensuring he does everything he can for those in need who come to The Foundation every day.

There has been a lot happening for Levison this week and we, at Changing Lives Malawi, are delighted that he has had these opportunities. We are also very proud of him. He is making some great connections with people and what he and his team do at The Foundation, through the various projects, is getting recognised.

On Sunday, Levison and the children had a visit from author, Ndongolera Mwangupili who wrote ‘Sons of The Hills’ and who kindly donated a copy of his book to Emma’s Rainbow Library at The Foundation. Ndongolera was impressed with the library and spent time chatting with some of the children. Visits like this are so important so the children can see that they can aspire to be writers if they wanted to.

Levison was en route to Mzuzu and stopped off at Karonga on Wednesday. He was delighted to meet and have a meal with Mercy Sibande, Manager of The Maime Martin Fund in Malawi, and Alan Laverock, Treasurer and Trustee of The Maime Martin Fund and also Chair Person of The Bananabox Trust in Dundee. They had a good chat before Levison set off again to The Grand Palace Hotel, Mzuzu.

He was honoured to have been invited to ‘The Regional Consultation of The National Book and Reading Policy in Malawi’. Even more of an honour, Levison was asked to be a speaker about the literacy initiatives that are being implemented at The Foundation. We are so proud of you Levison for making a difference to so many children.

Of course, none of this could happen without our supporters. So if you have donated books, paid for the transportation of a box, driven boxes to Dundee, sponsored a vulnerable child so they can go to secondary school, or donated to the new school project….or anything else…THANK YOU! We value your help and support and we are glad you are on our team as we all do our own little bit to help some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

However, there is so much more to do and we need even more support. Here are ways you can get involved and help us:

  1. Donate £££ to our new school fundraiser
  2. Join in with our fundraiser by walking, running or cycling and logging your kilometres for our kilometre challenge
  3. If you live fairly local to me…can you donate children’s books? They must be in good condition and a few £££ to help towards transportation would be really helpful. Seventeen boxes of books were already gifted to Chambo Primary School and lots more schools have said they would like books too.
  4. Could you sponsor a box of books please? It’s £15 per box on the container.
  5. Pencils/pens/rubbers/sharpeners/pencil cases/maths sets/scientific calculators/English pocket dictionaries are always needed.
  6. Soap, toothbrushes & toothpaste are always needed and very welcome.
  7. There are lots of vulnerable children still waiting to be matched with sponsors. It’s only £25 p/m to be a sponsor, or you can split that cost with a friend or extended family. Also a club or a business could sponsor a child.
  8. Can you organise a fundraiser for us? A coffee morning? A sponsored event?
  9. Sharing our posts online is a great way of helping more people find out about the projects that are happening in rural northern Malawi.
  10. Can we come and speak at your event and show photos & videos from Malawi?

If you’d like to help in any way then please do get in touch

Author Ndongolera Mwangupili gifted a copy of his book to the library

Levison met Mercy and Alan at Karonga for a meal
Levison (next to lady in green skirt) and other delegates outside The Grand Palace Hotel, Mzuzu
The invite to the conference
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