The Wear A Sports Shirt Day Football Tournament

Sarah’s blog 23/09/22

We have been extremely fortunate to have had donations of football kit and other sports kit from a variety of sources and we are very grateful for the donations and support we have received. If you see a kit that you recognise/donated in the photos or videos from this tournament, then feel free to share and tag teams or people.

The Foundation has hosted the first football tournament that will be held annually. It has been named after one of our supporters. Julian Chenery works tirelessly every weekend collecting preloved football kit and other sports kits to send to those who need them. Julian’s charity is called ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’ and that is what this annual tournament is called as a thank you for the ongoing support that Julian has given.

It has been very successful, well attended and enjoyed by all. Five teams received gifts of new (to them) football kits. The players in the local teams taking part are all aged between 14 and 20 years old.

Well done to The Bombers who were the overall winners beating Mtelera in the final 3 – 1.

In one of the videos you will see a man talking to the crowd. This is Mr Msachi and he is the chairperson of The Area Development Committee for Chisenga District. I asked Levison to summarise what he had said. Levison said “He was saying this is the first well organised short tournament. He is really thankful to the donors. He is very happy.”

As I have been preparing this post, Levison has messaged to say that he has been contacted by a journalist from Tuntufye Radio who had heard about this football tournament!

Footballs are always needed so if anyone would like to donate money for footballs then please do email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

I’m so thankful that it has been a success and was well organised, well attended and everyone enjoyed this first tournament. And, of course, we couldn’t do what we do without the help and support of everyone who has donated kit to us to send to The Foundation. It’s always about teamwork….so thank you for being part of our team. If you recognise any of the kits in this blog, then please do tag and share. Thank you again and hope you enjoy looking at the photos and videos. Sarah x

Mr Msachi, Chair of The Area Development Committee for Chisenga thanking the donors for the football kits and saying how well this new tournament has been organised.

This year’s p8 students

Sarah’s blog 21/08/22

These young people have been really busy and have recently taken their primary school leavers exams. We have our fingers and toes crossed for them that they all pass and have good enough grades to continue onto secondary school.

They have all written letters to their sponsors. They aren’t confident at writing letters as they don’t have many opportunities so this is good practice for them.

Hope you enjoy the photos and reading what they have written. Thank you to all their sponsors for changing their lives and giving them new opportunities. Sarah x

Traci’s challenge update

Sarah’s 14/08/22

Wow! Traci is still clocking up those kilometres to help us with our challenge. She also set herself the challenge of walking 500km in July/August. When she saw that she could do more than that she decided to set her self the target of 700km in July/August. She’s amazing! and the photos of the scenery on her walks are beautiful. It’s been very hot during the last few days so I’m sure that it has been hard work. Very well done Traci and thank you.

Here’s what Traci wrote ‘Still clocking up km for Changing Lives Malawi, but this weekend I have swapped the Campsie Fells and the River Kelvin for the Moffat Hills and the River Annan. Just 129km to go to meet my 700km target. https://gofund.me/dd3a1be3

We need people to show their support for Traci and the rest of the team who are taking part in the kilometre challenge – travelling the distance boxes of aid travel from here to Malawi – to raise money for a much needed secondary school. Please donate so that the most vulnerable young people can go to school – education should be available for all. Please donate a few £££ and give the gift of education today. https://gofund.me/dd3a1be3 Let’s build a school! Thank you Traci for your hard work and raising awareness of the importance of this project. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Some wonderful photos from Traci’s latest walks. Fantastic Traci, thank you.

Getting ready for school

Sarah’s blog 26/7/22

As you know, we are trying our best to raise money to build the first block of a secondary school. Bright Futures Secondary School will be a community school for the orphans and other vulnerable young people to attend.

Education should be available for everyone. There are currently not enough places at local secondary schools. If you don’t get picked for a place, even if you have passed your primary leavers exams and can afford the school fees.

This is what happened to eleven of our sponsored young people this year. They are resitting their last year of primary school, hoping for better grades, hoping to be picked for a place.

As the local secondary school is a distance away the young people, who are sponsored and do get a place at school, have to board at school. This adds to costs and also means they aren’t available to help their families with chores.

A secondary school in the village would make such a difference to so many people. Education is their way out of dire poverty – their way to a better future for themselves and their families.

Bricks are being made…about 40,000 so far, and kilns are going to be built soon to fire the bricks.

There are people working hard in Malawi and here to try our best to help these vulnerable children. As well as education, a school will help prevent teenage pregnancies and girls being married off too soon. Already, The Foundation has proved that if the young people are kept busy and given opportunities then there will be far less teenage pregnancies. The young people’s self-esteem has increased as they learn new skills, play team sports with their peers and read in the library. They know people care about them. They have hope for a better future. We need to continue supporting the projects that support them. This is absolutely vital to protect these vulnerable young people.

Here, we are trying to raise funds and awareness. It’s really hard as we know that some people have less available cash. We need to reach a wider group of people and if we all give a little, that will add up to a lot!

Also, we are trying to source supplies to provide for the young people when the school is built. We need to plan ahead as the container takes approximately 3 months for its journey.

There are over 100 chairs at The Bananabox Trust warehouse that we are sending for the first phase of the school. Someone donated boxes of new laptop bags. We are sending 80 of these for the young people to use as school bags. Pencil cases and pens are in boxes too as well as some secondary school uniform.

Stuart, my husband, delivered some boxes and 72 rugby balls to Dundee today and took a photo of all the chairs to show Levison.

I also received a photo from one of our supporters today who put a shout out on her village Facebook page asking for preloved secondary school uniform. People have been very generous as she’s collected a great amount which will kit out some of the pupils who will attend Bright Futures Secondary School.

There’s still so much to do and so much money to raise but we WILL do this. The children are relying on us. So if you can spare a few £££ we would be so grateful. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Donate here: https://GoFund.me/44a92444 or get in touch contact_us@changibglivesmalawi.com

The donations that Stuart took to Dundee today including 72 rugby balls from Annan rugby club and Merchiston Castle School. You can see that the warehouse is getting full.
The chairs that we are sending for Bright Futures Secondary School
We are grateful for this huge pile of secondary school uniform donations that we will send for the pupils when they start school

Our website visitors

Sarah’s blog 24/7/22

Just a short post from me today as I’ve got an issue with my laptop that will hopefully be sorted by tomorrow. It’s times like this that I realise that technology isn’t my forte… but thank goodness for friends who can help.

Douglas & Lynda delivered another load of boxes to Dundee yesterday. Stuart & I spent a couple of hours yesterday packing boxes. The Bananabox Trust shed in Dundee will soon be full again and then they will book another container. It won’t be long until the current one arrives at it’s destination .

Hopefully, I’ll have an update on the kilometre challenge for you tomorrow with some photos too.

So I want to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ again to everyone who supports us. We really do appreciate you.

I love this photo from The Foundation Christmas Party where younger children were all given a rain jacket, a pencil and a lolly. Smiles like this are so good to see.

Our website is having visitors from all over the world which is brilliant! This week some of the countries from which people have viewed our website are; Thailand, Spain, U.K., USA, UAE, Canada, Israel, China, Netherlands, Malawi, Ireland, Peru, Zimbabwe, Libya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Antigua and France.

You can keep up to date with the most recent news by signing up to receive my blog. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

International Day of the African Child – some of the projects which are helping the most vulnerable children

Sarah’s blog 16/6/22 (I wrote most of this post on 16th but as it was a very busy day I ran out of time so had to add the photos this morning 17th)

Today we remember all the vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi who are supported by The Foundation and those who will require support in the future.

We want all children to have the best possible start in life and be the best they can be. Unfortunately, life has been very difficult for the community we are helping The Foundation to support. Through a variety of projects, these children’s lives are changing for the better. We are passionate and committed to continue Changing Lives Malawi. Here are some of the ways life is improving for the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children that The Foundation supports.

  1. Mother & Baby project. We have received beautiful hand knitted blankets and baby clothes as well as lots of generous donations of preloved baby clothes. This is an ongoing project with the health centre local to The Foundation. Mothers are given some clothes and a blanket for their new born baby. They can return at a later date to receive some more baby clothes. This gives staff at the health centre another chance to have an informal check up of each new mum and her baby.
  2. Agriculture – The Foundation grows a variety of crops and the children and young people help with planting, weeding, harvesting. This gives the children skills for their future and also provides some food to be used at The Feeding Programme.
  3. The Feeding Programme – many of the approximately 500 children who attend every weekend do not eat every day, or eat very little. They are given a substantial, nutritious meal once a week using food that has been grown at The Foundation if possible. Lots of maize and soya beans and vegetables still have to be bought as 500 children is a lot of mouths to feed. We wish we could afford to send money to feed them more often as there are no big agencies feeding children in schools in the far north of Malawi. Some children are walking up to 20km to have their food and 20km back home again.
  4. The nursery – was set up for 50 of the most vulnerable preschool children. It now has 75 children meeting three times a week. They are fed at each session. Feed the Children occasionally provides some porridge for the children to help but it only lasts a couple of weeks each time. All nursery children have been given clothes, nursery uniform, shoes, a blanket and a waterproof jacket. In future, all children starting nursery will receive a bag containing; a blanket, 2 red tshirts (uniform), 2 pairs of pants, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, and a picture book.
  5. School Uniform & preloved clothes – all children supported by The Foundation receive preloved or new clothes. We have sent lots of shoes but not enough…more shoes are needed in all age groups including adult sizes. Children are more confident and have better self-esteem now they aren’t wearing rags. They are warmer at night time because they have warm clothes. Eventually we won’t need to send so many clothes as they can start making their own as we have sent vintage hand turn sewing machines. The aim has always been to give a helping hand towards self-sufficiency.
  6. Period Poverty Project – why should teenage girls have to hide in shame at home for one week every month and miss out on lessons at school? Why should there be such an inequality just because of gender? Some girls have been making drawstring bags containing; 5 reusable sanitary towels that they have also made, 3 pairs of pants, soap and a health information leaflet. These have been given to every girl who needs one and will be an ongoing project. A small project making a very big difference.
  7. Apprentices – some teenagers are learning all about agriculture as Levison has a degree in this subject. They are learning about animal husbandry, making bricks and building, carpentry and other skills. These skills will help them with future employment.
  8. Child Sponsorship – currently there are 90 of the most vulnerable children and young people who have been matched with sponsors. They receive a monthly food parcel, clothes, a blanket, welfare checks and their school fees are paid.
  9. Sports – the children love playing team sports; football, netball and rugby. Generous people have donated sports kits/balls/equipment to enable the children to learn and play these sports. They are learning new skills, being part of a team, being healthy and active and able to forget their problems whilst having fun with their friends.
  10. Library and School Literacy Project – previously the children had little or no access to books. How are children supposed to learn to read without having books to practise their reading.
  11. WASH – (water, sanitation & hygiene) Latrines, a clean water supply & a shower block have been built at The Foundation.
  12. School – we have started fundraising to build a much need secondary school. There are not enough places for students in the nearest secondary school, so even if children have passed their primary school leavers exams and have a sponsor to pay their secondary school fees, if they don’t get picked for a place at secondary school then they don’t go. The young people know that education is vital as it is their way out of poverty. We want education to be available to all.
  13. Eco stoves are being made for the villagers. These are safer than open fires, retain more heat and use far less fuel.
  14. Fruit tree saplings have been planted as a future source of food and income and are a way of helping towards the climate crisis. More trees will be planted each year.

These are just some of the ways the most vulnerable children are being supported to have a better future. We are grateful for all the support we have had so far but, unfortunately, all these projects require funding. If you can donate we would be very grateful and please share our posts so others can learn about these amazing children in rural northern Malawi. Self-sufficiency is always the end goal and Levison and team lead the way on what is appropriate and most needed in their village. Thank you for supporting the children and enjoy the photos, Sarah x

some of the chidren at the weekly feeding programme
a donation of books for the school literacy project from Arnprior nursery
thanks to a donation from Strathblane Guild, the children received a meal at their Christmas party
the apprentices were sent some work clothes and also gifted other clothes

a borehole was dug and clean water is now available

17 boxes of books for all age groups/reading levels were gifted to Chambo Primary School to help improve literacy levels. More books are on the way to be gifted to other primary schools.

Younger children received waterproof jackets (paid for by a supporter), lollies and pencils at the Christmas Party

Some of the most vulnerable young people have been matched with sponsors who pay their school fees. These are some of them at Chisenga Secondary School. As it is too far to walk each day, these children need to board. There are not enough places at secondary schools for everyone which is why we are fundraising to build a school for all at The Foundation.
Many boxes of donations are sent via The Bananabox Trust Container. It costs £15 per box on the container and Levison has a long trip to collect them. Thankfully, he no longer has to hire a truck thanks to a donation that went towards the purchase of this truck.
A library has been built and books sent. It now has some computers (although no internet yet) so the children are learning computer skills.

The young people are delighted with all the sports kits that have been donated. They love playing team sports.

Eco stoves are being made for the villagers. These are safer to cook on than open fires, retain more heat and use far less fuel.

Lots of fruit tree saplings have been planted and are being cared for by the children. These will provide food for the future, create an income and provide sustainability for people and planet. More will be planted next year.

young people enjoyed learning new skills at a recent rugby camp
baby clothes and blankets have been gifted to the maternity dept at the local health centre as part of the Mother and Baby project
Children in the nursery have been given uniform, clothes, blankets & flip flops. Here they are investigating the new train set/roads/trains & cars that have been gifted to them.

Young people are learning to grow their own crops at The Foundation

Children have fun with their friends at The Foundation

Mwiza has additional needs. We, and his sponsor, have sent books and toys to stimulate him and encourage him to use his muscles. He is also benefitting from new clothes, soap and food. His mum has noticed a big difference in him now he has more food as he is more alert. Mwiza’s younger sister has benefitted from Mwiza’s books as she has been allowed to start school at age 5 instead of the usual 6 years old.
The new shower block and sinks are making a big difference to the lives of the young people
School uniform donations. Children are more confident now they aren’t wearing rags and are warmer at night. Eventually, they will make their own clothes as we have sent vintage hand turn sewing machines.

An amazing homemade guitar!

young people learning basket weaving

Some young people have been learning to use the sewing machines that have been donated. Reuasable sanitary towels are being made for all who need them, enabling girls to be at school all month like the boys. They no longer have to hide at home for a week each month missing out on vital schooling. Tailoring lessons have also started.

Madalitso made himself a fantastic bike out of scraps he found.
Asante made himself some shoes and a backpack from cardboard. When a mother and daughter saw my post they were so impressed with his ingenuity that they both decided to sponsor him, splitting the monthly cost of £25 between them. They also sent him a lovely backpack of his own filled with practical gifts.
Singing and music making with a homemade guitar
Great dance moves from these children. You can’t help but smile when you see them enjoying themselves.

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

Happy 3rd Birthday to us!

Sarah’s blog 29/5/22

Happy Birthday to everyone involved with Changing Lives Malawi. I’m using today as another opportunity to thank everyone who helps us and supports us. We cannot support the vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi without your continued and valuable help. So a heartfelt thanks to you all. If you’d like to make a donation as a birthday gift to our fundraiser to build a desperately needed school, here is the link https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 . There are children in these photos waiting to be matched with sponsors, so if you’d like to be a sponsor or help in any other way then please contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com .

It’s a huge amount of hard work doing what we do, but so worth it to see the difference that we are able to make, whether it is sending money for Levison to take Judith to the health centre to have her eye infection treated, or collecting boxes of books to help the school literacy project. There is so much good being done by Levison and his team because of the help you all give. It is very much a team effort. We need more people to get involved so that we can continue helping more orphans and vulnerable people in rural Northern Malawi. Can you help us help them? Here’s to another busy and successful year! Enjoy the photos, Sarah x

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

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

This year’s S2 students

Sarah’s blog 30/03/22

Yesterday we had an update from the new S1 students so now it’s the turn of those in S2. It’s lovely to see photos of them and to hear their views via answering a few questions. If you are a sponsor then a big THANK YOU as you are making such a difference to the young person you sponsor. You are giving them new opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had. You are giving them the gift of education. Their self-esteem is growing because of you. Thank you so much. Hope you enjoy the photos and writing. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

This year’s S1 students

Sarah’s 29/03/22

Whilst the first year students were back from secondary school for the school holidays last week, they each had their photo taken and were asked to write their thoughts by answering a few questions. I hope you find their answers interesting. If you’d like to sponsor a young person to help them achieve their potential then please get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com it’s only £25 per month to change a child’s life. Thanks, Sarah x