‘The time is always right to do what is right’ – Martin Luther King Jnr


Sarah’s blog 15/1/23

I absolutely love volunteering for Changing Lives Malawi and helping to support some of the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi. It is hard work and a huge responsibility but very worthwhile. They are in a very rural location so there are no big agencies working in that area yet. There are no big charities feeding children in primary schools that far north.

Everyone is hungry. Most are suffering from malnutrition and don’t eat properly every day. 500 children come to The Foundation each weekend to be fed at the Feeding Programme we help to support. They are given a nutritious, substantial cooked meal. Some of the 500 children walk up to 20kms for this one proper meal of the week. We can only afford to send enough money for the feeding programme to run once a week for that many children as we are also trying to address other issues for them like education, skills for life, clean water and projects that will help the community be self-sufficient.

If there were less vulnerable children needing support, it would be easier. Five hundred hungry, malnourished children of all ages is a big responsibility. We need to grow our supporters so that these children have a team of people lifting them out of dire poverty. We need you. The 500 vulnerable children need you.

So how can you help?

  1. 500+ children are fed once a week at the feeding programme. Can you make a one off payment to support this? or can you commit to a monthly amount of £5 or £10 each month? Can your business sponsor the feeding programme one day for a donation of £100. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  2. The nursery – for 75 vulnerable preschool children, They are fed every time they meet. Can you commit to a monthly payment of £5 or £10 to support nursery feeding? Or can you help by buying a bag of gifts for a child for £12 (each child receives a gym bag containing a blanket, 3 pairs of pants, 2 red t-shirts, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book). contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  3. Bright Futures Secondary School – Phase 1 recently opened and the students are being given a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime which is probably their only meal of the day. Can you commit to £5 or £10 per month towards continuing to provide free school meals at the secondary school? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  4. School Literacy Project – we are sending boxes of preloved books to the primary schools that are nearest The Foundation. Please could you sponsor the cost of sending a box of books for £20? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  5. Could you sponsor a vulnerable child to help provide them with more food and help towards their education? It’s £25 p/m and you can share the cost with a friend. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  6. Bright Futures Secondary School – through very generous support, we raised enough money to build phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School (two classrooms and staff accommodation). We now need your help to raise funds for classrooms 3 and 4. https://gofund.me/44a92444
  7. Chickens & Eggs – now we have the incubator connected to solar power, it’s ready to be used to hatch chicken eggs. It can hold approximately 500 eggs and a tray of fertilized eggs costs £10. If you’d like to buy a tray of eggs then please do get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com The incubator was bought with a generous donation from Lochlie Construction Ltd.

We all have the ability to do our little bit to help. We all have the ability to help others and do what is right. Each of us has different skills we can use. Even if you are unable to donate financially, could you keep sharing our posts with your friends? Thanks so much for reading and supporting us to continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

Some of the pre-school children having received their bags of gifts. You can provide a bag of gifts for a child starting nursery in September for £12

Each preschool child received a bag containing; a blanket, 2 red t-shirts, pants, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book. Can you help us continue to provide these gifts for £12 per child? These children also receive preloved clothes at least twice a year.
Secondary students at Bright Futures Secondary School enjoying lunch at their Christmas Party – paid for by two generous supporters.
More of the 500 children who all received a nutritious meal at the Christmas Party.
Some boys enjoying their meal. This will be the most food they will have in a week. We wish we could run the feeding programme more often than once a week.
Phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School has opened, providing free education for the most vulnerable. We now need your help to build classrooms 3 & 4.
You can’t help but smile when you see that these vulnerable children are happy and relaxed and having fun with their friends. At The Foundation they can forget their worries for a while.
This was when the incubator was first bought with a donation from Lochlie Construction Ltd, before the power supply got even worse. Thankfully now that it is running on solar power there will soon be more eggs and chicks for the nursery children to look at.

10 Teddies – supporting the nursery children


Sarah’s blog 8/1/23

I’ve had a lovely donation today from a lady who heard me talking about Malawi, and showing photos, at church one Sunday. She has been busy knitting teddies for the children in the nursery as well as a baby blanket and two quilts. We are always very grateful when people have spent time & used their talents to help us support some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

This week, the 75 children in the nursery will receive the gifts we have sent for them. Proper records are kept, so any children who are absent, will receive their gifts another day. This way, we know that all children have had gifts when starting nursery and again when starting at Bright Futures Secondary School.

Each child will receive; a gym bag, a blanket, 2 red t-shirts (nursery uniform), 3 pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap and a picture book with some words in it. These children have missed out on all the stages of pre-reading that we take for granted with our children. We would love for every home to have at least two books. So you should see a post later in the week of the pre-school children receiving all these gifts.

As this is an ongoing project, I would love to be able to send a knitted teddy or other small soft toy for each of them. This would be the first toy they would have of their own. Can you help us? It would be lovely if they each had a teddy to cuddle as they go to sleep at night. please email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com if you would like to support this project by knitting teddies for the 75 children we help to support who are age 4-6.

Or when you are shopping, could you buy some bars of soap on a regular basis? Or toothbrushes & toothpaste? Quite often, at this time of year, there will be packets of pants in the sales…we need age 3-6 please if you’d like to buy some. Are your children tidying out some of their books they’ve finished reading? Then we’d like pre-school ones for this nursery project and older books for the school literacy project please. The plain red t-shirts we are sending are either round neck or polo t-shirts that are ages 3 – 6 and are in the school uniform department of shops & supermarkets.

As these children are fed each time the nursery meets to try to reduce the malnutrition all the children suffer from, this obviously has an ongoing cost. Could you support helping to feed these children please? Could you commit to £5 or £10 per month towards food for the nursery? Any help you can give will make a huge difference. We need to build a team to support this project and these children to give them a better start. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for your support and commitment to helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

At the Nursery


Sarah’s blog 30/11/22

At the nursery today, Levison was able to gift some resources that had been sent. There were books and balls to be kept in nursery to be used whilst the children are there.

When the next container arrives (hopefully very soon) there are gift bags to be given to each of the children. Each child will receive a gym bag containing; a blanket, 2 red t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book. This will be an ongoing project so that, in future, whenever a child starts nursery, they will be given a gift bag, and we will have a record of every child who has been given these gifts.

The books that have been donated to the nursery and that will be gifted to each child to take home, form part of The Literacy Project. The children will learn about looking at pictures, turning pages and that the words tell the story. We hope that this will help with learning to read and also that books can be read every day for enjoyment and fact finding. We want every family to have at least one book in their home and, hopefully, older children can read to their younger siblings and adults. If some adults struggle with reading, we aim to have literacy classes for them too.

Although I was glad to see these resources being given to the nursery, I feel really quite sad looking at these photos. I have enlarged some of the photos to pick out three children that I noticed. All of the 500+ orphans and other vulnerable children we help to support, through a variety of projects, are malnourished to varying degrees. These children that I have highlighted have stunted growth and one has an enlarged tummy due to malnutrition. Prices of maize and other food are rising. Families are really struggling. Levison suspects that most of these children are only eating when they are fed at nursery and when they attend the weekly feeding programme.

There are no other charities or agencies feeding children in this area. Feed The Children Charity do occasionally donate some porridge for the nursery children; however, it doesn’t last long. Children walk for up to 20km to receive one substantial nutritious meal from the feeding programme once a week. We wish we had more money to be able to feed the children more often. It’s a huge responsibility trying to fundraise for food for over 500 children.

It costs approx £125 per week to run the feeding programme once a week for 500 children. The nursery children must be fed too. This is approx £50 per week. Bright Futures Secondary School is approx £100 per week to provide nutritious lunches each day. It would really help us and help the children if we had several people committing to pay a small amount of money each month to support feeding the children. If you can spare even £5 or £10 per month then you would be making a big difference. The children need more food. The children need you to help us support them. If other people, all pay a little amount each month then we can feed these malnourished children more often. Please email for bank details contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Thank you so much for reading and supporting us to continue helping the hundreds of vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi, Sarah x

Photos of children who have sponsors (primary & nursery)

Photos of primary and nursery children who are sponsored. Thank you so much to their sponsors for changing their lives.


Sarah’s blog 11/6/22

**There are just a few children missing from this…once Levison gets their photos this week I will add them here ** Also, a few children’s ages were out slightly…it’s much harder to keep proper records there and occasionally children have got their ages wrong…these details have all been taken from school records. For example little Brighton who was helped last weekend said he was 7. He’s not quite 7 yet…so hopefully that explains any discrepancies. Any information I post is in good faith but I apologise if I get anything incorrect. Anyway….enjoy these photos and I’ll add the others very soon.

The schools are on holiday for two weeks so we thought it was a good opportunity to take photos of those who haven’t had their photos taken for a while. Unfortunately, Levison’s motorbike broke down yesterday (only a small part that needs fixing) but that took him away from his plans to get the rest of the children’s photos.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every sponsor who is making a difference to these children’s lives. All of the photos are of sponsored children at primary or nursery….apart from Rodrick. He was there when his big sisters were getting their photos taken and he wanted his photo taken too! So if anyone does want to sponsor a child…Rodrick hasn’t got a sponsor and there are also children in a post from earlier this week whom I highlighted. Sponsorship is only 85p per day….£25 per month. Two friends could split the cost between them and sponsor a child together. It makes a HUGE difference to these children who know that someone really cares about what happens to them. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Hope you enjoy the photos, Sarah x

Please will you sponsor me?


Sarah’s blog 8/6/22

After the wonderful response to the appeal for a sponsor for Brighton and also finding sponsors for Temwa and Ketti, I thought I would highlight some other children who are most in need of sponsorship. These are very vulnerable children who need a helping hand to change their lives. They need someone to take a chance on them, to give them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. They will know that someone cares about them…someone cares about their future.

There are 11 children who I am highlighting on this post. They are all in need of a helping hand. They are all living in dire poverty. Thankfully, they have been given clothes from the generous donations we have collected. Please consider sponsoring one of these children to change their lives. You can sponsor as an individual, as a family, two friends can share the cost of only 85p per day, or a club or business could sponsor a child. Can you make a difference today? Will you commit to one of these vulnerable children today? Please? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading, Sarah x

We were glad to be able to send money to Levison to pay for Judith to go to the health centre and get medicine for her eye infection. Levison was able to give her clothes and shoes from the generous donations we sent.
Fortune is looking like he’s going to be a promising rugby player…are there any rugby fans who could sponsor him please?
Flary is a real cutie and enjoys attending the nursery. She would benefit from having a sponsor.
Chimango enjoyed the rugby coaching camp. He would love a sponsor to help him continue having new opportunities.
Hopeson also enjoyed the rugby training. You can see from his legs and arms that he’d benefit from having a monthly food parcel once he’s matched with a sponsor.
Elizabeth was one of the girls on the rugby training camp. Are there any rugby fans who could sponsor her please?
Patricia is very pleased with her new clothes and shoes. She would be very pleased to be matched with a sponsor too.
Josephine would benefit from having a sponsor. She is the girl in the photo drinking water from the new water tap.
What a lovely smile Junior has. He would love you to sponsor him.
Ramsay looks like he’s loving his new clothes and shoes! Can you sponsor Ramsey?
Chawanangwa borrowed his sister’s clothes so he had something to wear to go to The Foundation. He was given clothes and shoes. His growth has been affected by malnutrition. Chawanangwa would really benefit from having a sponsor. Can you help him? He’s wearing uniform form Riverside Primary in Stirling.

The Nursery


Sarah’s blog 23/04/22

As the rainy season hasn’t finished yet, there were less children at today’s nursery session. I always say that the nursery caters for 50 of the most vulnerable children. However, Levison has recently told me that there are now 75 children age between 4-6 coming to the nursery. None of these children are turned away as they are hungry and suffering from malnutrition.

As you can see, the children are in their red t-shirts that have been sent, a few are still wearing their stripy waterproofs that they were given at Christmas and one little girl, Flary, whose mum volunteers to cook for all the children, is wearing a Riverside Primary School Jumper.

Levison and I decided that when the children start nursery would be a good time to give out a care package so we know that everyone has received their gifts. As I am an Early Years Educator, I’ve got a special interest in making lives better for these children and helping them achieve their potential. We have put together the following for each child as they begin nursery; a gym bag with, two red t-shirts, two pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap, a blanket and a picture book. Now I know that there are 25 more children, I am collecting and putting together some more bags to send on the next container. We always need soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens & pencils, children’s pants etc so if you find these cheaply while you are doing your shopping we would be very grateful if you’d donate some for the children.

We are also putting together pencil cases for each child leaving nursery and starting school, so if your child has asked for a new pencil case and their old one is still ok, could you donate it to send to the children please?

The nursery meets 3 times a week and the children play and are given something to eat. Periodically, Feed The Children Organisation bring some bags of porridge. The Foundation is grateful for this donation. These are only to be used for the nursery children. The porridge doesn’t last for many servings so the children are fed from money our charity sends and also from the crops grown at The Foundation when available.

This is one of the reasons that planting fruit tree saplings is so important, so children like these have more variety and vitamins in their diets and any extra fruit will be used as an income for The Foundation. Levison and team want a huge orchard with lots of different fruit trees. They want to keep bees too when the saplings start growing bigger. Obviously, planting hundreds of trees will be good for our planet as well as providing a sustainable future for the community. Fruit tree saplings are a way out of poverty and malnutrition for this village.

If you’d like to buy some fruit tree saplings they are £10 for 4. You can get in touch by email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or via the website form. Please also get in touch if you’d like to help support the nursery in any way. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Video – Nursery Children ABC


Sarah’s blog 15/3/22

Now that we have the added bonus of being able to play videos on our website, I thought it would be nice to see this little video again that was previously shown on facebook. Tables and chairs were sent on the last container and this is the children from the nursery in Emma’s Rainbow Library.

These children (ages 4-6) are sitting at tables for the first time and have been given books to look at. Compared to our children they have missed out on lots of stages of pre literacy; sitting on an adult’s knee as a baby whilst an adult reads a story, learning whilst a toddler to turn the pages of a book to continue the story, looking at all the pictures and talking about that with the adult or pointing to items in the pictures. Then children usually will follow the text with their index finger, even though they aren’t at the right word they know by that stage that words go left to right and that the words make up the story.

Hopefully, now there are books in the library the children will have lots of opportunities to look at books and have stories read to them. There are nursery bags on the container that is about to leave Dundee next week that will be given to each child who starts at The Foundation Nursery. These bags contain; a blanket, two red t-shirts, 2 pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap and a picture book. Each child will then have a book at their home and books and reading will become more of an everyday part of life. Enjoy the video, Sarah x

Have you ever seen a train set?


Sarah’s blog 8/2/22

Levison collected over 100 boxes from the container last week and it takes a while to sort through and distribute the gifts. So it will happen gradually as time allows and we will bring you photos when we can.

The Foundation has a nursery for 50 children that is paid for by a donation. The children receive food at each session and the nursery is on three days per week. Not all the children were there today as it had been raining heavily in the morning. The 31 who were there received gifts and their friends will receive theirs next time they come. They were given casual clothes to wear outside nursery; the boys all had a new t-shirt and the girls a new dress. A few of the children received trousers if the clothes they were wearing weren’t in a good condition and all were gifted jumpers or cardigans. All the children received flipflops and there are still red t-shirts (nursery uniform) to give out another day. The hats and bags they received were a great hit with the children!

One little boy, Chimango, is 3 and is small for his age due to malnutrition. Levison said he is getting a bit better because of the food he is receiving at nursery. If he was matched with a sponsor then he would have a monthly food parcel going into his home too. This would further help him on the road to recovery. If you would like to be matched with Chimango to support him then please contact me at contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com it’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child and change their life.

Enough about clothes for now… Have you ever seen a train set? These children hadn’t. They haven’t seen many toys…only the few that we have already sent. This train set (and some wooden roads) has been very well loved and played with many, many times. It’s previous owner wrote road numbers and speed limits on the track and road….not just scribbles….there was intention to the writing. So, after it’s very long journey, today was the day that the bits of track, roads, trains and cars ended up on the floor of Sophie’s Skills Shed (where the nursery meets) for the children to play with whilst they are at nursery.

Levison reported that the children were all very excited and all wanted to play. Thankfully, there were plenty of pieces of track, road, trains and cars so everyone who wanted to could join in. It must be very strange to suddenly be faced with all of the pieces and little vehicles with wheels when you’ve never seen anything like that before. It didn’t take them long, with a little bit of encouragement from the adults, to join the pieces together and put the vehicles on the track and move them along. You can see, from the great photos that Levison has sent, the huge amount of learning that is taking place as they play. They are working things out for themselves and using their fine motor skills to connect the track and to move the vehicles along. They are working independently alongside each other but there are also times where they are collaborating. It will be interesting to see who is most interested in these resources and if they set it up differently next time. I’m also interested whether boys and girls use it equally as they don’t have any preconceived ideas about which gender has traditionally played with train sets. I am delighted to see these amazing photos and hope you enjoy them too.

All of these children have suffered trauma of some sort; whether it’s the loss of a parent, malnutrition and real hunger, being cold at night and being left to bring themselves up whilst the adults in the home do piece work to try to buy some food. There’s never enough food, sometimes there’s no food. The nursery is somewhere these malnourished children can come and forget about their problems for a while. They can concentrate on being children with their friends in a safe environment. They can learn through play. They are encouraged to use the showers in the new shower block and, as you’ve seen from today’s photos, they have been gifted new clothes and receive food. They all recently received a small blanket and raincoats. Soon toothbrushes and toothpaste will be distributed too. Life is improving for these orphans and vulnerable children. We want them to achieve and reach their potential.

Children have the right to have food. They have the right to have clean drinking water. They have the right to be cared for. They have the right to be warm. They have the right to education. We are addressing all of these things as we care about each of these children. Eventually, we want the village of Ibuluma to be self-sufficient, and the villagers want that too. However, until that time, they need our help and support. So we will continue to send clothes and will send more resources for use at the nursery so the children can experience some of the things our children do. Lack of money is always an issue with approximately 800 young people being supported through a variety of projects. So, if you are able, could you spare £5 per month (or £10 per month) towards providing more food please? The Foundation would love to be able to feed the children more often and, with no big agencies in that area, feeding all the local orphans and vulnerable children has become the responsibility of The Foundation.

If you are able to help these children eat more often then please do get in touch. Or if you’d like to sponsor a child we would love to hear from you. It might be the most important thing you ever do for one of these children. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com We need your help to continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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Another busy day at Changing Lives Malawi HQ


Sarah’s blog 6/2/22

When I say HQ I mean our house lol… we certainly aren’t a big enough charity for separate premises..and we have no employees…only volunteers. Luckily we have a very large shed in the garden where donations go until we start with boxing them up again and filling the car with enough boxes to go to Dundee to The Bananabox Trust warehouse to await the next container. Today and tomorrow are boxing up days. Yesterday, someone brought some lovely hats and some wool, there was also a donation of toothbrushes and pencils and someone else contacted me about children’s books. It’s so good that people are thinking about the children, getting involved and supporting our work.

I’m trying to find a sponsor for a year three girl in secondary school whose family can no longer pay her fees. Her name is Angela and I hope to have more details soon and a photo. She needs a sponsor for 2 years to help her stay in school and give her the security of knowing that she’s not constantly worrying about the next fees being due. Sponsoring a young person is just £25 per month.

It’s on our minds all the time about trying to involve more people in supporting the feeding programme. If more people are able to commit to £5 p/m to help feed the children then they will be able to have more than one meal a week at the Feeding Programme which feeds 500 malnourished children once a week. They receive a substantial, nutritious meal but we would love to be able to support an additional meal or a cup of porridge before school. How can children concentrate on learning if they are hungry? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

One of our other trustees is currently exploring the idea of using the round metal sections of old trampolines to send to Malawi to use as the structure for polytunnels to help with food production at The Foundation. After the recent storms, I’m sure he will get a few donations to recycle!

At Dundee, there are boxes ready for the container that we’ve made up for young people going to secondary school next year. Each box has supplies for two students and they will each receive a blanket, sheet, towel, wind up torch, a school bag, calculator, dictionary, stationery, soap and toothbrush and toothpaste. Levison will still have things to buy for the young people going to school, but it will help him a lot having boxes already made up to gift to the students.

Now I’m looking at making up care packages for the nursery children. There is a nursery at The Foundation for 50 children and it meets 3 times a week, supported by donations. The children are aged 4-6 and they are fed at each session. They’ve had uniform and blankets recently gifted to them but it would be lovely if each child starting nursery was given a bag with a few useful gifts in. So from now on, every child starting at The Foundation nursery will receive a drawstring bag containing; 2 red tshirts, 3 pairs of pants, a blanket, a picture book, soap and toothbrush and toothpaste. That way we will know that every child will have been gifted a blanket…. there are still lots of children that the Foundation supports who aren’t even sleeping on a mat…they are sleeping on the bare floor and covering themselves with whatever they can. Hopefully, by making small changes like this then life will keep improving for the orphans and other vulnerable children in Ibuluma.

People are very kindly starting to collect milk carton tops for us so that they can have letters or numbers written on them and be used at the Foundation nursery or at Chambo primary school which is the nearest primary school to the foundation and where 17 boxes of children’s books were delivered recently. Education is key in Changing the Lives of those in northern Malawi.

In the photo are some resources I’ve put together for Chambo Primary School to help with numeracy and literacy. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

‘The best way to multiply your happiness is to share it with others’


Sarah’s blog 12/10/21

The children at The William Stewart Foundation Nursery were all gifted new uniform and a blanket each from the boxes that arrived a few days ago.
Christina smiles as she wears her new dress and cuddles her blanket, she needs a sponsor

Philemon in his new tshirt and squeezing his blanket tightly that he has just been given. He also needs a sponsor to improve his life.

There are 50 children at The Foundation Nursery, aged between 4 and 6. They meet three times a week and are always fed during each session. The nursery running costs are paid for by a monthly donation, without which the nursery couldn’t run. The children were each given uniform last year and donations of more uniform have just arrived. There were a few dresses but many more tshirts. So, thanks to donations, children were each given either a dress and a tshirt or two tshirts and each had a fleecy blanket gifted to them. As you can see, the children love receiving gifts.

In future, if we can get enough donations, we would like to present each child with a bag when they start a the nursery. This bag would contain a blanket, 3 pairs of pants, soap, t-shirt & shorts or a dress, plus two t-shirts and a sweatshirt as nursery uniform. Also it would be a great opportunity to include a toothbrush and toothpaste and a picture book. Imagine the difference this would make to each child at nursery. They’d have something to wear at nursery and something to wear at home. They would have clean underwear and a blanket to keep them warm at night. And to learn from a young age about the importance of cleaning their teeth. This is one of my goals to make this happen for each child starting nursery, so that everything would be made up in the bags already and gifted to the child on their first day. We take an holistic approach, with each child at the centre of all we do, to support the children at The William Stewart Foundation in Northern Malawi. If you would like to help with this project then please get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Look at the boy in the green top in the following photos of the nursery children having received new clothes on Sunday. He is examining his friend’s new clothes as well as his own. I love these photos and knowing that, as a team, we are helping to make their lives just a little bit better. Thanks for reading. Sarah x

And just look at the tie that the boy in the checked shirt has received…very smart!
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