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

Bright Futures Secondary School is in the news!

Sarah’s blog 22/11/22

Word has spread about the new secondary school in Ibuluma. A local radio station and The Malawi Guardian have contacted Levison for more information on Bright Futures Secondary School. It is amazing what has been achieved in a short period of time and we couldn’t have supported this project without the wonderful people who have helped us. It’s been a real team effort.

The school is being built in phases, due to the fact that it requires a huge amount of money to complete. Teachers’ accommodation, latrines and two classrooms have been built as phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Work is about to start on the foundations for classrooms 3 and 4 and it is hoped that these classrooms will be finished after the rainy season. We have sent 130 chairs for the school on The Bananabox Trust container that is due to arrive in Ekwendeni very soon.

We are still needing to raise money for desks and more textbooks. If you are able to help support the young people with this, please donate at Once desks and more textbooks have been supplied, fundraising will start for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. If anyone is able to contribute £500 or more, then they can name a classroom (after an individual or a business).

Class sizes are deliberately small to ensure that these vulnerable children get the best chance to succeed. Currently S1 and S2 have 35 students each. S3 has 10 students who are using the library as their classroom. The school won’t be taking on any additional students until more resources are in place.

I have attached the link to the Malawi Guardian post and thank them for their article. I have also put links to some recent articles on Bright Futures Secondary School in case people haven’t had chance to read them. There has certainly been a lot going on and it is wonderful to be playing a very small part in the team that are helping to change the lives of these most vulnerable children and help them towards a brighter future. Thank you for reading and enjoy the articles, photos and videos, Sarah x

First Day of Bright Futures Secondary School 07/11/22 – Changing Lives Malawi

Reviewing the first week of Bright Futures Secondary School – Changing Lives Malawi

International Children’s Day – Changing Lives Malawi

Sports at Bright Futures Secondary School – Changing Lives Malawi

Link to the news article: The William Stewart Foundation establish a… – The Malawi Guardian | Facebook

Copy of the news article in The Malawi Guardian: “In order to help less privilege students, the William Stewart Foundation an organization based in Chitipa has established a secondary school with support from a UK based Charity Changing Lives Malawi. According to the cofounder of the organization Levison Mlambya who is also a secondary school teacher said the secondary school has been established to target needy and orphaned secondary school going students who cannot afford to pay fees in other schools.

The secondary school has been established to give hope and bright future to less privileged students hence the name Bright Futures Secondary School. So far the school has enrolled about 35 students in forms one and two. The school has also provided job to cooks, watchmen, six teachers with degrees and diplomas.

“We have opened a secondary school targeting the needy students who can’t afford to pay their fees in other schools. They are learning for free and also given free food and teaching learning resources”.

“We are appealing for support from well-wishers from Malawi and all over the world to support us with teaching and learning resources like desks, food stuffs, books, pens so that we continue supporting these students”.

The school is opening in phases, this year we have started with junior school next year we will be opening the senior secondary. We are now working on the school registration processes so that the school is duly registered with the ministry of education,” he said. He added that they are targeting over 160 learners to be helped. The school is located in Ibuluma Village, in TA Wenya in Chitipa District.”

Lots of News

Sarah’s blog 27/10/22

Sorry that this is going to be a bit disjointed tonight but there are so many things going on at the moment and I thought it would be good to have an update.

  1. I went to Strathblane Church on Saturday for their Charity Christmas Card sale. It was lovely to see some people that I hadn’t seen for ages! I sold some calendars and lots of my mum’s lovely cards which have been made from her beautiful paintings. I also sold some alternative gifts with our new gift cards; a football and some fruit tree saplings. Altogether the charity made £258 which was fantastic.
  2. I’d recently been to visit the Ranger Guides in Strathblane to talk about the projects in Malawi. They are holding a bake sale this Sunday and have very kindly said they will donate some of their proceeds to Changing Lives Malawi.
  3. I’m taking part in the church service this Sunday at Balfron Church and will be showing photos and talking about Malawi. If you are local, then you are very welcome to come. It starts at 11.15am and there’s tea and coffee afterwards.
  4. In November, I have been invited to show photos at a knitting & sewing group in Torrance. They very kindly made lots of lovely baby things that are on the way to Malawi in the container. I am looking forward to meeting them.
  5. In Ibuluma, phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School is almost finished. It’s so exciting to see it all coming together. The floor is drying in the classrooms, the windows are getting finished tomorrow, the doors and roof are on and chalkboards will be made over the weekend. The teachers’ accommodation is finished, and teachers are being interviewed! Bright Futures Secondary School is really happening and will make a difference to so many vulnerable children’s lives. Thank you to all who have supported us to help the children. We still need more funds to buy more textbooks and have more desks made by the local carpenter so, if you can, please donate here
  6. I appealed for some support for the children whose dad had sadly died at the weekend. Two people have generously committed to a monthly amount to help buy food for them. We would like to have a little bit more support for them so if anyone else could spare £5 or £10 per month then please do let me know
  7. We will hopefully have an update on our kilometre challenge tomorrow…please let me know if you have some more kilometres to add to our total.
  8. If you’d like to buy any calendars for yourself and for Christmas gifts, they are only £10 each plus p&p. Packs of 8 cards (blank inside) are £5 each plus p&p. Alternative gifts are; 4 fruit tree saplings £10, a football £10, supporting the literacy project to send a box of books £20, soap for 100 children £50. These can be bought in any multiples and posted out to yourself or the recipient.

Thanks for reading and supporting and I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos and updates, Sarah x

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