31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Completed!

Sarah’s blog 1/6/22

Challenge Completed! Today feels quite strange. My challenge is over. I’ve completed what I set out to do. I have far exceeded what I thought I could do on my exercise bike so I am quite proud of myself. I intended to cycle 10km a day to represent some of the younger children walking 5km to school and 5km home again. I never thought that by the end of the month I would be able to cycle 31km! That was a challenge in itself but I was determined….for the children.

I have eaten rice and vegetables every day – raising awareness for what the children have at the Feeding Programme. (I’ve had rice instead of maize flour). I’ve been eating every day. Even then I have had to occasionally have an egg or two or a piece of fruit to supplement my diet. At times, I was so tired, had a bad headache and occasional nose bleed. Unfortunately, the feeding programme can only run once a week for approximately 500 children as, at the moment, we cannot afford more money for it to feed the children more often. No big agencies are feeding children in this area, so the responsibility lies with The Foundation with us supporting them financially. I had a choice to do this challenge. The children whom The Foundation supports have no choices.

I’ve lost 14lb in weight which I’m delighted about. I am looking forward to adding in more food groups and not being so strict about what I’m eating. However, I do still intend to keep cycling…. not 31km though! Maybe after a short rest, I will think up another challenge….or for a large donation maybe someone could suggest a cycling challenge for me on my exercise bike!

This challenge is over but I still have the big challenge of raising money to build a desperately needed school as there are not enough places in the nearest secondary school. If you don’t get picked for a place at secondary school then you don’t get to go. All children deserve an education. All children should have access to education. All the children supported by The Foundation know that education matters and that it is their way out of poverty. They know it is their way to a better future for themselves and their families.

Please help me give the gift of education to hundreds of vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi. Together we can continue Changing Lives Malawi. Let’s build a school! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading and your support, Sarah x

https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 please give generously to give the gift of education
Yay! I did it! 31 days of May Challenge Completed! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Let’s build a school!

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 30

Sarah’s blog 30/5/22

It’s been a busy day today. I started out by doing a blog about rugby and the great donations we’ve got from Annan Rugby and Merchiston Castle School. I also had a conversation with Jack Mphande, Malawian rugby coach, as he was impressed with these donations. He is planning another trip north to continue the rugby coaching that he’s already started.

Rice and mushrooms for breakfast….it was nice but I am getting rather fed up with my limited diet.

Stuart, my husband (the logistics manager aka box packer and mover) and myself spent a couple of hours at our storage container packing up boxes of donations. These will be taken to The Bananabox Trust warehouse in Dundee next week to await the next container to Malawi. We have only recently been lucky to have this storage facility, paid for by a generous monthly donation. Previously, all of these were kept in our house which was looking more like a warehouse every day! So we are very grateful to have this extra storage facility.

I had a glass of water when I got home then managed 20km on my exercise bike. It took over half an hour but it wasn’t too bad as I’m reading a good book on my tablet at the same time. My knees are sore now though.

More rice and vegetables and a tub of cherry tomatoes filled me up and I’m going to have roasted vegetables for dinner. I am so pleased to have made it to this stage of my challenge. Only one more day to go. I need your help to support me to get to the end of my challenge and to give the gift of education to the children whom The Foundation supports. All children deserve an education. All children deserve to go to school no matter where they are in the world or whatever their circumstances. Please help me to give these children the gift of education. Let’s build a school! https://gofundme/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading and supporting me, Sarah x

Lots of boxes packed today with clothes, shoes, school uniform and books. It costs £15 to send each box on Bananabox Container to Malawi so we are very grateful when people give donations to go towards the cost of sending the items they’ve given us.
The first lot of boxes just need labelling then will be ready to head to Dundee next week
CLM storage container where donations now go and boxes get packed

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 22

Sarah’s blog 22/5/22

I had a nose bleed in bed last night…didn’t last long….and another one this morning….again not for long….but what’s all that about? I’m feeling tired and I am so glad that I only have 9 days left of this challenge. I thought it would just be difficult for me to go without certain foods and that I’d be constantly hungry. After the first couple of days, I’ve not been overly hungry thankfully. I’ve also rarely been picking at food….especially in an evening…which is great if I can break that habit. I’ve lost 13lb in weight so far….another good outcome.

I have thought about food that I can’t have a few times but not all day every day. I didn’t bargain for how hard physically this would be. The tiredness is overwhelming now. This was my choice. I can’t imagine not having that choice. How can a child perform to the best of their ability if they are tired, hungry and malnourished? The younger children are walking 5km to school and 5km back home….with no food in their tummies….tired, hungry and malnourished. That’s why I have been cycling on my exercise bike…to raise awareness of their plight. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

We can only afford to send money for 500 orphans and other very vulnerable to be fed at The Feeding Programme once a week. There are no big agencies in that part of Malawi feeding children in schools. These children are dependent on us sending money for The Feeding Programme. Because there are no other agencies feeding children, this is why some of the children are walking from up to 20km away to have their one nutritious and substantial meal from The Feeding Programme. It’s not enough. It’s not good enough. But it’s better than what they had. We need more people to help us continue helping these children. We need you.

Education is the way out of poverty for these children. There are not enough school places. If you do not get picked for secondary school, despite passing your primary school leavers exams, then you don’t go to secondary school. An awful situation for these children who are desperate for an education as they know it’s their one chance for a better future, for themselves and their families. We need to build a school in the village so there is education for all. Every child deserves an education. Every child matters.

Here are ways you can help us:

  1. Sponsor a child – this provides a monthly food parcel and pays for their education.
  2. Contribute a monthly amount (£5 or £10) to the feeding programme. If enough people do this then we can feed the children more often.
  3. Fundraise for us. Can you organise a coffee morning? I could come and show photos and tell people about what we do and what happens at The Foundation. Or can you do a sponsored event for us? There are so many ways you could help raise funds for us. We would love to hear from you.
  4. Are you experienced (and successful) at writing grant applications? That’s another area that would be a big help to us…. there’s so much to do and spreading the load a bit more would be a fantastic support.
  5. Can you share our social media posts to help us reach a new audience?
  6. We would love to be invited to your club, church or school to show photos and tell people about the lives of the children in Ibuluma.
  7. Can you shake a collection tin and give out leaflets for us at an event?
  8. Get in touch if you would like to help us in any of the above or if you can think of other ways you can help. It’s always about teamwork. We need you on our team. We need to grow our team in order to help more vulnerable children. You might even enjoy helping out and meeting new people. We are a friendly bunch! contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  9. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 donate to help us build a school and give the gift of education. All children deserve a place at school. All children deserve someone to believe in them and give them a chance. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 9

Sarah’s blog 9/5/22

Day 9 already! It’s been a busy one as I’ve completed a grant application and an article for a magazine. I enjoyed my lunch today as it had some herb butter on it (just a little bit) but just that made it taste wonderfully different to what I have been eating. I’m grateful for little choices that I can make….the malnourished children in Malawi that we are supporting don’t have that choice…their choice is trying to find enough food and to survive. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

Thankfully, we support the Feeding Programme to feed 500 children a substantial, nutritious meal once a week as there are no big charities feeding children in schools that far north. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to feed them more than once a week. We would love to be able to set up a Porridge Programme so that each child has some food in their tummy each day before lessons. However, that would cost a great deal of money. Eventually, once the situation improves for the villagers, they will be more self-sufficient and there will be more employment, more food and they will be able to feed themselves.

I went on my exercise bike…with my tablet next to me on top of the drawers next to my bike. I must have been so into the story I was reading that I looked up and I’d already gone past 10km….so I thought I’d keep going….guess what? I cycled 15km today. My legs are a bit like jelly but I did it!! If you’d like to support my efforts and my fundraising to build a much needed school then please donate at https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 8

Sarah’s blog 08/05/22

Its been a busy old day today. I’m really happy that I have completed my first week of the challenge. However, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been wanting to snack on food today. I’ve opened the fridge a few times and closed it again. However, at least I usually have a choice about what I can eat. I’ve not cheated so I’m pleased I haven’t given into temptation as we still have some Easter eggs here and ice cream in the freezer.

I was at a friend’s house this afternoon. She brought me a present while she had been out shopping. Rice cakes have never tasted so good lol. Not a great photo of me but hey ho….I enjoyed a few of my rice cakes! Thanks Alison. I’ve still got my cycle to do soon and then some vegetables to look forward to. If you would like to donate to my fundraiser to help build a much needed school then please click on the link https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading and supporting me, Sarah x

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