At the Nursery

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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

Another busy day at Changing Lives Malawi HQ

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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

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