Bible Knowledge & the gift of bibles

Thanks to St Michael’s Church Slateford Road, Edinburgh for helping to support the students at Bright Futures Secondary School.

Sarah’s blog 3/2/23

Last year we had a very generous donation of lots of preloved bibles from St Michael’s Parish Church, Slateford Road in Edinburgh.

Bible Knowledge is one of the subjects on the school curriculum in Malawi. Yesterday, there was time to open some more boxes and the bibles were given to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. These will be so helpful with their studies as previously all the teenagers were trying to share only a few bibles between them. Thank you so much to St Michael’s Parish Church for supporting the students’ education.

I asked Levison when I saw these photos that he sent me yesterday why some of the students were in casual clothes. He said they got absolutely soaked through on their way to school. It’s currently the rainy season and most of these students do not have a rain jackets. You can see in the photos that some of the students have flipflops/sliders or will have walked in bare feet to keep their school shoes clean. Do you have a good rain jacket that you no longer need or that your child has outgrown that we can send to these vulnerable students please? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Also, I mentioned to Levison that everyone looked very serious in the photos. He told me it was because these photos were taken just before lunchtime and these students hadn’t eaten since the day before so they were really hungry and tired. We must try to find more support with feeding these young people. Can you commit a small monthly amount to help provide breakfast to these orphans as well as them receiving a free school lunch? There isn’t much at home for them to eat and they cannot study properly if they are hungry and malnourished. Will you help by committing £5 or £10 per month to help provide food at Bright Futures Secondary School. Because costs have risen so much, we estimate that it will cost £25 per student per month to feed them breakfast as well as lunch, so whatever you can give towards this will make a difference. We can’t do it on our own. We always say it is about teamwork and you are a valuable part of our team. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Thanks for reading and supporting these vulnerable teenagers, Sarah x

The First School Trip – football & netball

Sarah’s blog 30/1/23

The students at Bright Futures Secondary School were invited to go to Chisenga Secondary School yesterday to play football and netball against Chisenga.

I don’t think we can quite comprehend the level of excitement and how much this trip meant to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School. Levison had sent me photos and videos last night but phoned me this morning to give me details and he was so happy that it had all gone well. All the students, and teachers, had enjoyed the afternoon enormously.

Most of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School have never been in a car before. So when they found out that they were going to Chisenga in taxis they were amazed. Levison said one student asked “Sir, you mean we have to pay for this journey?” so Levison was able to say “No, this is part of your education at Bright Futures Secondary School.”

Levison said that the students were a real credit to Bright Futures Secondary School, encouraging each other and singing lots of songs together. They cooperated well with each other and were very proud to be representing their school.

So from new experiences like being in a vehicle for the first time, having nice football and netball strips, trainers and football boots, and representing their school, the students know that they are valued. They know people care about them. They know that people are investing in them and their future. Levison said they are motivated to work hard in school. The spectators and staff at Chisenga School were surprised by the kits that the Bright Futures students were wearing and the fact that Levison took a new football to be used.

Unfortunately, the netball results didn’t go in Bright Futures favour; the first team’s results were 1 – 9 and the second team’s results were 6 – 10 but they tried their best and that’s all anyone can ask of them and we are proud of them.

Bright Futures football first team won their match 2 – 1 and the second team’s match ended in a draw 0 – 0. Very well done everyone we are proud of you!

So we want to thank everyone who has made yesterday a hugely successful trip. Thank you for the donation towards the taxis. Thank you to those who have donated trainers and football boots and sports kits. We couldn’t support the children without your help. Levison was very keen for me to pass on his thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday “I would really like to thank the donors…it was the best day for our school so far”.

We still need to raise a bit more money to cover the cost of the taxis yesterday, so if anyone would like to donate then we would be very grateful contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Levison said they would have given the students from Bright Futures a special meal if they could have afforded that. Instead, each student today has been given a new pen and pencil.

One of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School, Daniel, speaking on behalf of the students said “I want to thank you about the support you gave yesterday. I’m very glad to say that we won the game yesterday. We are more than happy because we have put our school on the map. Thank you supporters. The other school was challenging us, saying that Bright Futures is just a baby school that opened some few months ago which they thought it was obvious for us to fail the game. So winning the game was a relief to put the school on the flag of the winners.”

“I, as the headteacher, speaking on behalf of my colleagues, would like to say thank you for the support that we received yesterday. We are very glad to tell you that our first team won the football. We managed to beat one of our neighbouring schools who thought that they would win because we are only a small school. Winning yesterday made our school proud. It gave us confidence that we are strong as an institution. It has put Bright Futures Secondary School on the map. We have made history at yesterday’s game not only were there students there from Chisenga, but also people from surrounding communities came and watched the game. So, when they are leaving to go to their various places, they carried news that Bright Futures Secondary School is one of the strongest school with a strong team. This has given us confidence and has encouraged the students and the teachers. Our teams looked good in their jerseys and boots. Thank you so much. Please continue supporting us.” Miss Mtambo, Headteacher.

Bright Futures Secondary School Footballers are wearing red/black – Craigshill Thistle Football Club and also green – Edinburgh South Football Club. Bright Futures Secondary School Netball teams are wearing white/navy – Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club and also yellow/black – Fakenham Town Football Club. Thank you to all these clubs who have donated kit and also to Paul Goodwin, Paul Kelly, Julian Chenery and ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’ and, of course, The Bananabox Trust for their help with getting donations to Malawi.

Thank you for reading and supporting the students of Bright Futures Secondary School. I hope you enjoy the photos and videos, Sarah x

World Education Day – Changing Lives Malawi

Phase 2 0f Bright Futures Secondary School – classrooms 3 & 4 – Changing Lives Malawi

Many thanks to Edinburgh South, Craigshill Thistle & Fakenham Town football clubs and also Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club for these kits.

Football & netball matches

Sarah’s blog 27/1/23

The students at Bright Futures Secondary School have had an invitation from Chisenga Secondary School to play football and netball against them. Bright Futures teams will go to Chisenga Secondary this Sunday and, at a future date, the Chisenga School teams will play at Bright Futures Secondary School.

The Bright Futures students are really excited to be playing against another school at netball and football. It will be so good for them to be having fun with their friends playing team sports. Everyone is looking forward to Sunday.

We need some help please. It would be far too tiring if the students were to spend hours walking there, playing their matches and then walking back…so they will need to go in taxis to Chisenga School. We have already had one donation towards this but need approximately another £150. So if any of our supporters love football or netball or both, or just want the teenagers at Bright Futures Secondary School to be able to represent their new school playing sport, we would be so grateful for any donations towards the cost of taxi fares. contact_us@changinglivesmalaw.com There will, of course, be lots of photos from the matches on Sunday.

Thank you so much for helping us to support these vulnerable teenagers, Sarah x

Fakenham Town Football Strips donated by Wear A Sports Shirt Day

World Education Day

On World Education Day, we thank our supporters who are helping us provide education to some of the most vulnerable orphans in rural northern Malawi.

Sarah’s blog 24/1/23

What does education look like where you live? How many years do children go to school? Is it provided to all children, at no cost?

Where you live, what happens to children when they leave school? Do most go to college or university or an apprenticeship? Or they might go straight into employment? All of these opportunities happen after children have completed primary AND SECONDARY education. What would happen if they didn’t have these opportunities?

Not all children will pass all of their exams. As long as they’ve tried their best and worked hard, that’s all anyone can ask. They will still have been learning whilst at school.

Imagine that there are schools… but not for your children. In Malawi, primary school is free. However, if you cannot afford food then your children will have to miss school so they can earn a pittance to try to help buy food for the family.

Imagine your child walking all day to the nearest maize mill with a heavy bundle of maize balanced on their head. It’s not even your maize… they are walking 15km or 20km all day with their heavy burden to be paid a pittance for carrying someone else’s maize to the mill. No clean water or food to drink or eat all day, at risk of being attacked along the way. They have to miss school. How does that feel?

Laston, one of the boys we have matched with a sponsor, worked for a farmer, helping to look after his cows, for approximately £1.50 per month. There was no school for Laston – school was for other children – until we found a sponsor to support him.

In Chambo primary school, where the majority of orphans and other vulnerable children attend, whom the Foundation supports, they have minimal resources. No desks and chairs, apart from primary 8. All other children sit on the floor in their classrooms. They have hardly any books. They have no clean water supply and no latrines. We gifted 17 boxes of books to Chambo primary school to support literacy and help children become confident readers.

Children have to sit exams when leaving primary school. If you don’t pass then you don’t go to secondary school. There are not enough places in secondary school, so if you don’t get picked for a place then you don’t go. If you do pass your exams and are lucky enough to be picked for a place but you can’t afford to pay the fees… it’s heartbreaking. That is your formal education finished at the end of primary school.

That’s why Bright Futures Secondary School was desperately needed. To ensure all the orphans and vulnerable children, supported by The Foundation, had the chance of a secondary education without having to pay. Education is everything to these children. They know it is their escape from the dire poverty they live in.

Bright Futures Secondary School is being built in phases, as it’s obviously a big and costly project. Phase 1 has been successfully completed – staff accommodation, staff latrine and classrooms 1 and 2 and passed with flying colours when the inspectors came from the Education Department.

Now we need to continue our fundraising commitment to build classrooms 3 and 4 to ensure these vulnerable students have the opportunities the deserve. That they have choices and chances. That they have a brighter future.

All students at Bright Futures Secondary School are provided with a uniform, a school bag, other clothes. They receive a free school lunch. They have access to clean water and showers. Girls are given reusable sanitary towels (made at The Foundation) so they don’t have to miss one week of school each month. They are allowed to borrow books to take home from the library at The Foundation. Their dreams are coming true. They are working hard. With your help we are changing lives in Malawi.

On World Education Day we are saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who has helped us to support the students this far. Without your help, these students would not have been able to attend secondary school and have a free lunch each day. The school lunch is vital as it’s probably the only meal for many of them.

We need your help to build the next phase of the school. Two classrooms and more latrines will cost £25,000. Will you be part of the team supporting these vulnerable students to succeed and achieve? Will you be part of the team allowing them to have more choices and chances? Will you be part of the team helping them to help themselves out of poverty? https://gofund.me/ece5753a

If, on World Education Day, you would like to show your commitment to some of the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi, please get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or donate to our fundraiser here

We are passionate about helping these children to help themselves out of poverty and giving them a better start. The nursery has 75 preschool children (age 4-6). As well as clothes and blankets, each child has just been gifted a book to take home. We want children to learn that books are a wonderful resource that can be used each day for information and escapism. Who knows if any of these children will become authors in the future and write books for other children?

As you might imagine, running costs, as well as capital costs for these projects need to be found. The children need more people fighting their corner and supporting their education. Here are ways you can get involved;

1. Can you donate to our fundraiser to build classrooms 3 & 4? https://gofund.me/ece5753a

2. Can you commit to £5 or £10 monthly to help pay for food for the nursery or secondary school?

3. Will you organise a fundraiser for us? Can you involve your friends? Can your family help? What could your children & their friends do?

4. Would you like us to visit your club or school and show photos & talk about the projects we are supporting in Malawi?

5. Would you like to be matched with a vulnerable child to support their education and wellbeing? It’s only £25 p/m and you can split this cost with a friend.

6. If you are selling preloved clothes or toys… could you do it on behalf of our charity?

7. Can your business sponsor an event? Or donate towards a building? Or pay for the feeding programme for a week? We would, of course give you publicity. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

You can be sure that all money goes to the projects we support. Our charity is run by committed volunteers. So we have no salaries or admin costs. Thank you for reading and supporting us to help continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

Gifts for the nursery children – Changing Lives Malawi

Rugby, School & Sponsorship – Changing Lives Malawi

children at the nursery have all been gifted a book to support their literacy
Students at Bright Futures Secondary School in the rugby kit donated by Merchiston Castle School
Some of the girls with their new school bags
Students showing off the new rugby kit and balls supplied by Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
Students in a practical science class
we sent school uniform for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School
Exam time
Practical agricultural lesson – preparing the ground in the new polytunnel for growing crops.
The library has a good selection of books and computers
Laston, one of the sponsored teenagers. The photo on the left shows Laston in the only clothes he had. His shoes had holes in the toes so he could continue to wear them as they were too small. He missed a lot of school and worked for a farmer, looking after his cows, for approximately £1.50 per month. Laston is now doing really well as he’s been matched with a sponsor and is working hard at school.
Stuart, one of our trustees, collecting rugby balls and kit from Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh

Happy New Year 2023

Sarah’s blog 2/1/2023

Happy New Year to you all. Wishing you health & happiness in 2023.

We are looking forward to another busy and successful year. Our biggest achievement in 2022 was raising enough money for phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School to be built, providing education and a way out of extreme poverty for some of the most vulnerable teenagers in rural Northern Malawi. In 2023, we must continue our fundraising so classrooms 3 & 4 can be built by Sept 2023 in order that students can continue their education in Bright Futures Secondary School.

There are many obstacles; heavy rain (it’s the rainy season now), Cholera has closed schools in the south of Malawi (thankfully there are no cases in the far north so far), malnutrition and hunger, rising costs in Malawi, and never having enough money to do everything that needs doing or helping everyone who needs our help.

However, despite all these obstacles that are put in our way, we are changing lives. With your help, we are making a difference. We are a lifeline to hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

We need you on our team now more than ever. As we continue to grow, we need more volunteers. Because our charity is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers, all money donated goes to the projects we support and no money is spent on admin. Here is what you can do to help us:

  1. Can you share our posts?
  2. Can you make a one off donation?
  3. Will you commit to a £5 or £10 donation each month to help us continue to feed malnourished children?
  4. Will you take part in a sponsored event for our charity?
  5. Can you host an event within your community or business on our behalf?
  6. Can you pay £20 for a box of books to be sent as part of The School Literacy Project?
  7. Can you sponsor an orphan for £25 a month to give them a brighter future?
  8. If you are in central Scotland, will you invite us to speak at your church, club or school?
  9. Can you organise collections of stationary, preloved school uniform, shoes & books for us?
  10. Are you good at fundraising or grant applications? or any other skills? we’d love to hear from you!

here is the link to the fundraiser for Bright Futures Secondary School. Each classroom costs approx £10,000 https://gofund.me/44a92444 or you can email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

My birthday is in 2 days time and I’d love it, if anyone has any spare pennies, that they help me raise some money for a microscope and some other science equipment for Bright Futures Secondary School https://www.facebook.com/donate/465142452480110/

Be part of our team, Changing Lives (in) Malawi and making brighter futures for hundreds of vulnerable children and their community. Let’s make 2023 a wonderful year for the children of Ibuluma. Let them know that they are known and people care about each of them. Please help us continue Changing Lives Malawi.

Three quotes from the late Archbishop Desomond Tutu: ‘Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.’ ‘Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of insetimable value.’ ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ He was a very wise man.

Happy New Year from the team at Changing Lives Malawi! Thank you again. Enjoy these photos, Sarah x

Asante didn’t have shoes or a backpack, so he decided to make himself some out of a cardboard box! Very inventive! We found him a sponsor who sent a backpack and shoes for him. Asante was delighted with his gifts!
In the heavy rain last year, Blessings, his two siblings and their mum were made homeless when the roof of their home collapsed. This was the (better) home they were able to rent from someone else. We managed to match his two siblings with sponsors but Blessings is still waiting for a sponsor, as are many other children. We would dearly love to be able to start looking at better homes for the poorest families.
Education is the way out of extreme poverty. As part of our School Literacy Project, Chambo Primary School received 17 boxes of books to help the children become more confident readers.
Children are learning how to type on the computers in Emma’s Rainbow Library
With support from Welding Engineers, eco stoves are being made for the most vulnerable in the village. Here, one of the volunteers is preparing food for the children.
Esau came to The Foundation only wearing shorts. As you can see he was delighted to pose for photos wearing his new clothes. Esau is still waiting to be matched with a sponsor.
Children in the nursery were given new clothes and were gifted a wooden train set to play with
The children of all ages help with taking care of the fruit tree saplings. You could help with this project by buying 4 saplings for £10
The clean water supply and the shower block have made a huge difference to the vulnerable children who are supported by The Foundation. We want to do more to provide other clean water supplies and more latrines to help with hygiene and preventing cholera in this area.

Reasons to celebrate

Sarah’s blog 27/12/22

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I just wanted to post a few videos celebrating how wonderful we think the children in Ibuluma are. There are hundreds of them who are malnourished and have suffered varying amounts of trauma but, despite all that they are doing well. They now know that people care about them.

If you have helped us then we thank you. Here are ways you can support us to continue Changing Lives Malawi.

1. Donate to help us build phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School (classrooms 3 & 4) https://GoFund.me/44a92444

2. commit a monthly amount of £5 or £10 to support one of our feeding programmes; the nursery, secondary or weekly feeding programme for 500 children.

3. Sponsor a vulnerable child or young person for £25 per month which supports their education and provides a monthly food parcel. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the videos. I’d be grateful if you could share with others as we try to grow our audience. Thanks, Sarah x

Rugby coaching
no guitar? no problem! let’s make one!
An update from Catherine
Getting used to the new computers in the library. Children are wearing clothes from Strathblane Primary and Riverside Primary Schools in the Stirling area of Scotland.
Food, fun and dancing at the Christmas Party
Chancy thanking his sponsors and telling them he passed his exams
one of the football matches…everyone loves team sports
Trying out the new clippers we sent
Let’s dance!
Laston, one of the sponsored children, asking for a new school. He is doing well now after missing a great deal of school to help a farmer look after his cows for the equivalent of £1.50 per month.

A Christmas Party for 500

Sarah’s blog 22/12/22

First of all I must thank a very special couple who have made today possible. They support us in several ways and are also sponsors. They paid for the food for today’s Christmas Party. Food prices are rising all the time so things are very expensive so we are extremely grateful to them for £150 they donated in order that the children were able to have a nice meal today. A goat was also killed and everyone was able to have some meat. It’s a happy day today.

I cannot imagine how much these children were looking forward to their food today. Some may not have eaten at all for a couple of days. This meal is a feast for them and the most nutritious food they get. Unfortunately, there are no big charities or agencies feeding children in schools in this area in the far north of Malawi. (I have written to them several times to ask for support for almost 5,000 in the local primary schools). So all the children are malnourished to varying degrees. The intention was that approximately 200 of the most vulnerable children, most of whom are orphans. Word spread, and soon there were 500 queuing for food, with some children walking from up to 20km away. It’s another world and we don’t realise how fortunate we are. We can only afford to send enough money to feed 500 children once a week. These children need more. They deserve more.

Unfortunately, it rained for a while today whilst the children were there. However, the silver lining is that there were indoor spaces for them to play and have their food now there are two classrooms as well as Emma’s library and Sophie’s Skills Shed. Thank you to the teachers, staff and volunteers who worked hard today to ensure that all who turned up were fed and had a great time. Unfortunately, because it was so busy, Levison forgot about all the Santa hats. He has said they will make an appearance another day. The pupils at Bright Futures Secondary School insisted on looking smart in their school uniform despite the fact that the last day of term was yesterday.

Going forward, we will require more people to support the feeding programme as costs have risen. If you would like to make a one off donation or could sign up for a monthly amount then please do get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Or if you would like to help us build the next two classrooms in phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School you can email me or donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 . We need to build the team around these children to enable them to have a better, brighter future. We cannot do that without your support. Hopefully, from these photos and videos you will see that your donations are making a difference and changing lives. If looking at these videos and photos brings a smile to your face could you ask yourself what you could do to support them?

We need sponsors to support the most vulnerable with education and provide food, clothes and welfare visits. We need people to commit to monthly donations to support the feeding programme or free school meals at Bright Futures Secondary School. Or could your company help pay for a classroom? Would you like your name or the name of a loved one over a classroom door? Also there are activities like the rugby coaching fortnight that will be happening in the spring that we need financial help with please.

We are making a difference. We are changing lives. We need you to help us. It’s always about teamwork and we all have a part to play. Will you help? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Enjoy and thanks for reading, Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School – Visitors

Sarah’s blog 18/12/22

Yesterday was a HUGE day for Bright Futures Secondary School, for Levison and his team and for us. The school inspectors visited.

There are very strict guidelines to be met when a school is being built and opened, especially for privately run schools like Bright Futures Secondary School. Classrooms need to be at least a certain size, desks have to be bigger than a minimum size, there have to be enough text books, latrines etc etc. So yesterday it was time for Bright Futures Secondary School to be put to the test.

The inspectors arrived in the afternoon and spent about three hours in total. Mr Soko, the senior inspector and Mr Mwangupili met with Mr Levison Mlambya, Director at The Foundation and Miss Mtambo, Head Teacher of Bright Futures Secondary School. The outcome of the meeting was really important for the future of the school.

During the visit the inspectors looked at everything; teachers certificates, timetables, after school activities and other documents. They counted each text book. They looked at the classrooms, the desks and chairs, the science equipment, the latrines, teachers staffroom, clean water supply – the list goes on – they were very thorough.

Mr Soko and Mr Mwangupili couldn’t believe that the school had such lovely chairs. They also were amazed at the huge selection of books in the library and said how lucky the children are to have access to a library like that.

The new polytunnel that is a project of the agriculture classes got great praise and the inspectors were able to see that a wide variety of skills are being taught as well as the full curriculum.

Once the inspectors had ticked everything off their list they saw that there was still a big building that they hadn’t visited. They asked Levison what it was and he took them to see the shower block. They were absolutely delighted that the children had access to proper showers and private changing facilities.

The very, very good news is that the school passed the inspection with great marks. BRIGHT FUTURES SECONDARY SCHOOL IS NOW A REGISTERED SCHOOL IN MALAWI. This is an amazing achievement and we are so grateful for everyone who has helped us towards this goal.

As I keep saying, our charity is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers and no money is spent on admin and there are no salaries to pay. All of the money we receive goes to the projects we support. The fact that a secondary school was desperately needed and such a big project we knew we would have to build it in phases due to there being no reserves of money here or in Malawi. With your help, phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School has been completed and opened. Students are having opportunities that they previously would not have had.

Whilst the inspectors were delighted with everything they saw yesterday, we knew there would be recommendations going forward. Their first recommendations are for classrooms 3 & 4 to be built in order that students have continuity and can progress in their education at Bright Futures Secondary School. They also asked for more latrines to be built as student numbers increase. Thirdly, they were very pleased to see the science equipment but, as we knew, more needs to be bought to cover the whole curriculum.

Thank you so much to Mr Soko and Mr Mwangupili for such a thorough inspection and the very positive feedback. We are delighted that you are delighted with Bright Futures Secondary School. We are committed to ensuring that the school provides high quality teaching and a wide range of learning experiences. So our hard work and determination continues with fundraising for classrooms 3 & 4, latrines and science equipment. The two classrooms that have just been built worked out at approximately £10,000 each. New latrines will be approximately £3,000 in total, science equipment £2,000, desks £2,000 and textbooks £3,000. Thankfully, The Bananabox Trust supported us to send enough chairs for the next two classrooms.

In total £30,000 is required for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. It’s a massive amount but with your help and a huge amount of hard work we can achieve this to change lives in Malawi and give the children a much brighter future. Thank you so much for reading and supporting us, Sarah x

https://gofund.me/44a92444 contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

l-r Mr Levison Mlambya, Miss Mtambo, Mr Soko and Mr Mwangupili

New School Bags at Bright Futures Secondary School

Sarah’s blog 16/12/22

I always loved going to the shop to choose a new pencil case and pens & pencils for going back to school. I don’t ever remember getting as excited over a new school bag as these students!

I love seeing the joy in their faces. They have been given a gift that they’ve never had before. Things we take for granted are so precious to them. These photos that Levison sent from this afternoon are amazing and I hope they make you smile like they have made me smile.

Seeing these vulnerable children happy and achieving and having choices they previously wouldn’t have had is what makes the hard work worthwhile.

We do need your help to continue supporting these students and the next group of students each year. With your help we can change lives. With your help we can make a difference. With your help they can have brighter futures. https://gofund.me/44a92444 if you are able to donate to our school fundraiser for the next two classrooms, or email me if you can help with a one off or a monthly donation to help provide free school meals contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com thanks for reading, Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School – We are Changing Lives Malawi

Sarah’s blog 16/12/22

I wrote the following on my personal page last night… and am very thankful for all that has been achieved and will continue to be achieved through determination, hard work, teamwork, trust and truth, and the help of our supporters.

These photos could be from a school anywhere in the world. From these photos we cannot tell how big the school is, how new the school is, which country it’s in or how well off or poor the children and their families are. We cannot tell how much trauma they have been through, whether they have parents or are orphans living with extended family. We cannot tell whether they have eaten more than the one free school meal they have at school each day. That’s exactly how it should be.

As I keep saying, our little charity runs on a shoestring and, because we are volunteers, takes no money for salaries or admin whatsoever. All money goes to the projects we support. We have had to accept that the building of a school was going to have to happen in stages because of costs involved. I also keep saying that it’s all about teamwork. Some might have time, talents or contacts or spare money. All of us have care and compassion.

Phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School opened on 7/11/22. It has been such hard work, here and in Malawi. But we’ve achieved. Two classrooms have been built. Staff accommodation has been built. Desks have been made. Tables and chairs arrived on the container. School uniform and school equipment arrived on the container. Levison bought some basic science equipment when he was in Mzuzu. (We will buy more when funds are available).

There is so so much more to do for which we are relying on the generosity of others. But we are achieving. We are Changing Lives Malawi. These children are not to be pitied. They only require to be nurtured. Education is their way out of poverty. Bright Futures Secondary School will provide them with brighter futures.

I was feeling overwhelmed earlier on today as it has been busy and stressful but I went for a little sleep and am feeling much better now and that’s what prompted me to write this.

I am so proud of our charity and the small team of volunteers and I want to thank them all. I want to thank everyone who supports us and makes everything possible. We couldn’t do what we do without you. However, there is one person who has worked harder, longer hours than anyone else, in order to see his dream become a reality. He was one of these children. He has achieved and wants the same for each and every one of these vulnerable children.

So I just want to say Levison Mlambya I am so proud of you. Look what has been achieved for the children. We are a good team. Thank you all. If you would like to help then please email or message me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com www.changinglivesmalawi.com or donate at https://gofund.me/44a92444 and feel free to spread the word by sharing this post and others. Thanks, Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School – Science

Sarah’s blog 15/12/22

The teenage boys and girls have been working with the new science equipment that was bought at the weekend when Levison was in Mzuzu.

With the money that was available, he was only able to buy the bare minimum but it is a start. We do need to find funds for more expensive items like microscopes so if anyone would like to contribute towards buying more science equipment then it would be very much appreciated or if you are local to me and have a microscope that is no longer needed then please let me know contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

I have put the links in to our Christmas fundraising – there are still some calendars available to purchase at £10 each plus £2 p&p, we have alternative gift cards as well as cards and paintings to purchase. Why not put a loved one’s name on one of the buildings at The Foundation as a Christmas gift? Any donation over £500 can do this….. a unique gift!

We must keep our fundraising efforts going to ensure that phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School will be built next year. So if you can help then please either email me of donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 One classroom costs approximately £10,000 to build, so it’s a big ask but we know that together we can make this happen for the children. Thanks for your support and enjoy these photos of the boys and girls at Bright Futures Secondary School, Sarah x

Christmas Fundraising & news update – Changing Lives Malawi

Bright Futures Secondary School – desks, chairs, uniform & exams – Changing Lives Malawi

Bright Futures Secondary School – desks, chairs, uniform & exams

Sarah’s blog 14/12/22

These are the photos we are very excited to show you. Now that the boxes, tables & chairs have arrived safely from the container, we have lots of photos that have been taken this morning.

Students at Bright Futures Secondary School are starting class exams today and these will continue over the next few days. Malawi is 2 hours ahead of us and the young people were delighted to be met with gifts of new uniform before school started for the day. The classrooms are looking brilliant with the addition of the new desks in one classroom, tables in the other classroom (that will be replaced by individual desks) and new chairs in both classrooms.

These young people do have Brighter Futures at Bright Futures Secondary School. This school was only a dream this time last year and look what has been achieved with your help. Thank you so much to all involved in helping this to happen for these children. We need to keep looking ahead and are still fundraising for classrooms 3 & 4 so if you can help us, it would be very much appreciated. https://gofund.me/44a92444 or email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com I keep saying that it is always about teamwork and these vulnerable children need us as the team around them to ensure their futures are brighter and that we continue to be able to change their lives.

To all the students – we are very proud of you. Good luck in your exams and try your best. You can achieve and you will achieve, and you will have chances and choices open to you.

Thank you for reading and supporting us to help the vulnerable children. Hope you enjoy the photos, Sarah x

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