Bright Futures Secondary School – Desks

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Sarah’s blog 3/12/22

It’s been another busy day for Levison. In preparation for the long journey to collect the boxes from the next container, which will hopefully be arriving very soon, Levison took the truck to get two new batteries today.

He also called in at the carpenter who is making some desks for one of the classrooms. We were delighted to have received a donation towards these desks and, as always, we are very grateful for the support. The carpenter agreed to make the desks for £20 each and they will be ready for collection on Tuesday. If anyone would like to purchase a desk for the other classroom, then please do let me know. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com 130 chairs are in the container that is arriving very soon, so the school is really taking shape and pupils will have more uniform and school bags.

There is still a lot to buy and also continuous costs for Bright Futures Secondary School, so here is the link for our fundraiser https://gofund.me/44a92444 if you would like to make a donation. We are hoping that the builder will be back at The Foundation this week to start measuring out the area for the next classroom block.

Here is the link to the post about our fundraising gifts and cards. We still have some of our lovely calendars for sale and they would make a great gift at only £10 plus £2 p&p with all money going to the school project. Christmas Cards & Gifts – Changing Lives Malawi I hope everyone is having a good weekend and thank you again for supporting us to help the vulnerable children in Malawi. Thanks, Sarah x

Giving Tuesday – 29th November

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Sarah’s blog 29/11/22

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helps us to support the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.

As today is Giving Tuesday, please could we ask that you donate to our charity if you are able?

These are our current priorities, and any donation of any amount WILL make a difference.

  1. To provide a Christmas Lunch for all the children at the feeding programme so they have an extra meal and party – £150
  2. To provide a bar of soap for all the children at Christmas (we have already sent enough pencils for a pencil each) – £200
  3. Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more desks -£500
  4. Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide more textbooks – £2,000
  5. Bright Futures Secondary School – to provide science equipment – £500
  6. Bright Futures Secondary School – free school lunches – to provide a one-off donation or regular monthly amount towards school lunches – approx £400 per month. Any amount will make a difference to these vulnerable teenagers.

Whatever you are able to give will be very much appreciated. The hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children who we help to support need to know that people care about them. We want for them the same chances, choices and opportunities as our own children have. We want them to succeed and be the best they can be. Will you help us? Together we can make a difference. Together we can help these children out of poverty and onto a brighter future. What can you do today? email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com for bank details.

To donate to our school fundraiser the link is here https://gofund.me/44a92444

Here is a link to our fundraising gifts, cards & calendars Christmas Cards & Gifts – Changing Lives Malawi

The photos below are from last year’s Christmas Party. A donation from Strathblane Guild paid for the food and Julian from Wear a Sports Shirt Day sent the Christmas hats. Can you help us provide a Christmas Party this year? Or make a donation towards Bright Futures Secondary School? Thank you in advance for your support. Hundreds of children will know that people care about them. Thank you for helping us continue Changing Lives in Malawi, Sarah x

Bright Futures Secondary School is in the news!

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Sarah’s blog 22/11/22

Word has spread about the new secondary school in Ibuluma. A local radio station and The Malawi Guardian have contacted Levison for more information on Bright Futures Secondary School. It is amazing what has been achieved in a short period of time and we couldn’t have supported this project without the wonderful people who have helped us. It’s been a real team effort.

The school is being built in phases, due to the fact that it requires a huge amount of money to complete. Teachers’ accommodation, latrines and two classrooms have been built as phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. Work is about to start on the foundations for classrooms 3 and 4 and it is hoped that these classrooms will be finished after the rainy season. We have sent 130 chairs for the school on The Bananabox Trust container that is due to arrive in Ekwendeni very soon.

We are still needing to raise money for desks and more textbooks. If you are able to help support the young people with this, please donate at https://gofund.me/44a92444 Once desks and more textbooks have been supplied, fundraising will start for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School. If anyone is able to contribute £500 or more, then they can name a classroom (after an individual or a business). contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Class sizes are deliberately small to ensure that these vulnerable children get the best chance to succeed. Currently S1 and S2 have 35 students each. S3 has 10 students who are using the library as their classroom. The school won’t be taking on any additional students until more resources are in place.

I have attached the link to the Malawi Guardian post and thank them for their article. I have also put links to some recent articles on Bright Futures Secondary School in case people haven’t had chance to read them. There has certainly been a lot going on and it is wonderful to be playing a very small part in the team that are helping to change the lives of these most vulnerable children and help them towards a brighter future. Thank you for reading and enjoy the articles, photos and videos, Sarah x

First Day of Bright Futures Secondary School 07/11/22 – Changing Lives Malawi

Reviewing the first week of Bright Futures Secondary School – Changing Lives Malawi

International Children’s Day – Changing Lives Malawi

Sports at Bright Futures Secondary School – Changing Lives Malawi

Link to the news article: The William Stewart Foundation establish a… – The Malawi Guardian | Facebook

Copy of the news article in The Malawi Guardian: “In order to help less privilege students, the William Stewart Foundation an organization based in Chitipa has established a secondary school with support from a UK based Charity Changing Lives Malawi. According to the cofounder of the organization Levison Mlambya who is also a secondary school teacher said the secondary school has been established to target needy and orphaned secondary school going students who cannot afford to pay fees in other schools.

The secondary school has been established to give hope and bright future to less privileged students hence the name Bright Futures Secondary School. So far the school has enrolled about 35 students in forms one and two. The school has also provided job to cooks, watchmen, six teachers with degrees and diplomas.

“We have opened a secondary school targeting the needy students who can’t afford to pay their fees in other schools. They are learning for free and also given free food and teaching learning resources”.

“We are appealing for support from well-wishers from Malawi and all over the world to support us with teaching and learning resources like desks, food stuffs, books, pens so that we continue supporting these students”.

The school is opening in phases, this year we have started with junior school next year we will be opening the senior secondary. We are now working on the school registration processes so that the school is duly registered with the ministry of education,” he said. He added that they are targeting over 160 learners to be helped. The school is located in Ibuluma Village, in TA Wenya in Chitipa District.”

International Children’s Day

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Sarah’s blog 20/11/22

Every day is a day to celebrate children but today is International Children’s Day. Today I am thinking about the hundreds of wonderful, resilient children we help to support in rural northern Malawi. Despite the fact that they have all experienced grief, trauma, malnutrition, poverty and hardship, they get on with things and make the best of life. Many have missed out on a proper childhood as they have had to work long hours, missing school, for a pittance to try to help feed themselves and their family.

We are helping to change their lives. We need your help. We are a team, each with our own part to play. These vulnerable children need a team around them to help nurture them and help them thrive. They are fed once a week at The Feeding programme. We would love to do this more often if we had more funds. If you would like to support the feeding programme for 500+ children by donating a monthly amount, then please email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

The Child Sponsorship Project matches the most vulnerable children with sponsors. The children receive clothes, a blanket, a monthly food parcel, welfare checks, and secondary education. If you are able to sponsor a child, then please do get in touch. It is only £25 p/m to sponsor a child and it might be the most important thing you ever do for these very vulnerable children. You can sponsor as an individual, a family, a business or share the cost with a friend. Please do let me know if you could help give a child a brighter future. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Here are some of the young people who have just started at Bright Futures Secondary School and who need your help. Please will you sponsor me? – Changing Lives Malawi

We are also looking for people who can commit £5 or £10 per month (or an amount of your choice) to help support hot, nutritious school lunches for the teenagers at the new school. Is this something you can do? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Bright Futures Secondary School – phase 1 has been completed and welcomed new students two weeks ago. We are continuing to fundraise for desks, more textbooks, and towards building classrooms 3 & 4. If anyone is able to donate £500 or over, they can have one of the classrooms named after them (or the name of a business etc). The school fundraiser is here https://gofund.me/44a92444

The School Literacy Project is ensuring that children have access to books on a daily basis. We are sending boxes of books to primary schools in rural Northern Malawi. How can children learn to read if they don’t have books to practice with?

Sports – Children and young people are playing football, netball and rugby. They can forget about their problems whilst playing with their friends. They are learning new skills and becoming more confident. Team sports are good for physical and mental health.

There are so many other ways that the lives of the hundreds of vulnerable children that we help to support are changing for the better. We want them to have choices and opportunities. We want them to be the best that they can be. We want them to have brighter futures. We want them to learn to be self-sufficient. They also want these shared goals. Please do read through the different pages on our website and my blog pages for all the things that the children are doing and getting involved with.

Sinclair House School Fulham

At the start of the year, I was offered school uniform from a preparatory in London. Sadly, the school was closing due to covid and lockdown, so there was lots of uniform that needed a new home. We were very thankful to be offered this for the very vulnerable children we support in rural northern Malawi, and we were grateful too for the donation made towards covering the cost of sending the boxes on the container.

As this was a school for younger children the uniform is obviously in smaller sizes. However, because of malnutrition and poverty, the 500 plus children that are supported through various projects, are a bit smaller than the age sizes stated on the clothes. So here are some of the first boxes of uniform from Sinclair House School that were given to children this morning. There will be more given out during the week, and some will also be given to children at a nearby primary school. As you will see, some of the teenage students at Bright Futures Secondary School were able to fit into the largest size of the sportswear and they were delighted to receive these. The girls were pleased with their trousers too… culturally girls and women only wear dresses and skirts, but teenage girls are beginning to ask to wear trousers.

I hope you enjoy the photos. One young person that I will show you photos of to show just how much having a sponsor can change a life is Laston. He lives with his grandmother. He missed so much school as he was helping a farmer with his cows and being paid approximately £1.50 per month. He was depressed and hungry and only had the clothes he was wearing. His life has changed thanks to his sponsor. Please, on International Children’s Day, consider helping to change the life of another vulnerable child who is waiting. Thank you for reading and for everyone who supports our work, Sarah x

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

l-r Maria, Margaret, Laston and Brian are delighted with their new clothes they received today

In the picture on the left, Laston only has the clothes he was wearing. His shoes have holes at the front as they are too small for him. He missed lots of school to work for a farmer, helping with his cows, for £1.50 per month. Thankfully, we were able to match him with a sponsor and he is doing well at school.
Some of the students at the new school – Bright Futures Secondary School
Margaret is delighted with her new clothes
Maria loves her new clothes and is enjoying wearing trousers!
Some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School
Thank you for their new uniform
Students looking very smart in their new uniform
Maria is looking very smart
Brian looking smart in his new uniform
Thank you for the donations Sinclair House School
Margaret in her classroom
Maria
New cardigans for these younger girls
Lots of happy children with their new clothes
Thank you for the new smart uniform
looking very smart in their blazers!
Very smart in new shirts and navy shorts
Thank you for my new blazer!

Sports at Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 16/12/22

Everyone is settling into a routine at Bright Futures Secondary School. Here are some photos from today of some of the young people. The boys have been playing football and the girls netball and football. The teachers are in the black and white stripe tops, being great role models for the teenagers and ensuring that the girls (as well as the boys) are playing team sports, keeping fit and healthy physically and mentally, learning new skills and growing in self-esteem.

I am still busy trying to raise money for desks and more textbooks then onto phase 2 of the school. By building two more classrooms, more vulnerable teenagers will benefit from a free secondary education as well as a hot nutritious lunch each day at school. Thank you to all those who have supported our fundraising. If you are able to donate to help provide desks and more textbooks, then here is the link https://gofund.me/44a92444

Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Reviewing the first week of Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 13/11/22

Reviewing and reflecting on activities and learning is very important as it’s not all about what we think will work or what we want. It’s about improving the lives of the young people and therefore their voices need to be heard and their opinions taken into consideration when planning.

Levison asked me to speak with some of the young people this morning about their thoughts on their first week at Bright Futures Secondary School. Everyone enjoyed the school and thought the teaching was very good. They are pleased they are getting a cooked lunch at school. I was asked if there would be hostels for teens who had further to walk or who were orphaned. I was able to explain that we do want to do that eventually but next on the list is desks for the existing classrooms then we want to be able to build two more classrooms.

Later in the day Levison had a meeting with some of the parents and carers. He said they were all very supportive. He took two videos of parents saying that the amazing school project was a dream coming true and that they thanked the donors very much.

When we were planning for what resources the teachers needed, Levison was insistent that the teachers needed flip charts. I thought these would just be for making bullet points, but I now see their value. There is no printer yet to print out information from the internet, there are no colourful posters. So, the teachers have worked hard to make visuals aids for the walls of the classrooms. Not only does this provide notes for regular revision of subject matter, but it also provides proof of what lessons have been taught. Anyone visiting the school from the education department, or any other visitors will be able to see at a glance the quality of the lessons being taught.

A great first week at Bright Futures Secondary School and lots of eager teenagers are looking forward to their second week. Thanks to all who have helped make this happen, Sarah x

Parents and carers have come to talk about how they think the first week has been for their teenagers – they look serious but they have expressed how pleased they are with having the new school in the village and thanked the donors very much. They said it’s a dream come true.

Gifts for the students at Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 11/11/22

Today is the end of the first week at Bright Futures Secondary School. It has been a great success and the teachers have worked hard. Teenagers who are orphans or from families in extreme poverty, are attending this new secondary school in their community. They have chances and choices that they wouldn’t otherwise have. They all have the chance of a brighter future. Thanks to all the supporters who have helped to change the lives of these young people.

In addition to free secondary education, they are having a nutritious meal at school each day. Today each student received; some A4 paper, pens, a document wallet, a bag, a water bottle, a wind-up torch, toothbrush & toothpaste and soap. All of this costs approximately £15 per student. They were delighted with their gifts.

If you would like to support a student with a SCHOOL STARTER PACK for £15 then please do get in touch. We were able to provide for these students but will need to find funds to provide these gifts for the next intake of students. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or you could make a purchase from our amazon wish list Amazon.co.uk or, if you are local to me, we would be very grateful if you could add toothpaste, bars of soap or pens and pencils to your trolley when you go shopping. Thanks for supporting and reading, Sarah x

School Lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 10/11/22

It’s nearly the end of the first week at Bright Futures Secondary School and things are going well. We still need to raise more money for desks and also more textbooks but some of the most vulnerable young people in Ibuluma are being educated and are having lunch at school too. This is a huge achievement for Levison and his team. Most of the young people are slightly older than they would be in UK or other countries as they have had to drop out of school to help earn a pittance to feed themselves. Life has been desperate for them all. Things are now changing.

First Day of Bright Futures Secondary School 07/11/22 – Changing Lives Malawi

These young people would not normally get the chance to go to secondary school because of the costs involve and also there were not enough places in the nearest secondary schools. So, even if you had a sponsor to pay your fees and you’d passed your primary school leavers exams, if you aren’t picked for a place at secondary school then you don’t go. This happened to 11 of our sponsored children last year which was heart breaking for them. This spurred us on to fundraise for Bright Futures Secondary School.

Because it is such a huge project to build a school and because we are operating on a shoestring, we are fundraising to build Bright Futures Secondary School in phases. We could not do this without the help of our wonderful supporters. We are very grateful to you all. We always say it is about teamwork. We all have a part to play in the team around these vulnerable children. Thanks to those who have donated, these young people have a school in their village, have a chance to have a good education, be fed a school lunch every day and have the chance of a brighter future. Thank you if you have been a part of making that happen. Thank you if you have been a part of changing their lives.

We are still fundraising for desks and more textbooks and then, after that, we will start fundraising for phase 2 of the school so that more vulnerable young people have the future they deserve. If you would like to help, then please donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 or you can email for bank details contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Can you help with buying a desk? Or buying a textbook? Can you make a donation towards phase 2 of the school? We are also looking for people to make a monthly commitment towards feeding these young people. If we have several people all donating a small amount each month of £5 or £10 then this will ensure there is enough food for school lunches every day of the week.

The photos show the young people having their lunch at school today. They are eating nsima (ground maize), beans and vegetables. Now we know these children are having a substantial and nutritious meal in school every day. Being fed in school is also an incentive to be there every day. If you are able to support school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary school and either give a one-off donation or commit to a monthly amount, please contact me for bank details contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Some of the young people arriving at school for 7am start

First Day of Bright Futures Secondary School 07/11/22

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Sarah’s blog 07/11/22

What an exciting, historic day for Ibuluma! The first day of secondary school in the village at Bright Futures Secondary School. It is for orphans and other vulnerable children. It is giving them an opportunity for an education and a brighter future that they would not normally have had. Secondary school needs to be paid for in Malawi and none of these children or their families would be able to afford to pay.

We are expecting more students to turn up this week as word spreads that the school is now open for lessons. Some young people will have been doing manual work to bring in a small amount of money at home whilst they were waiting for school to start. All of the young people who have been offered places this year are known to the Foundation and receive support via the feeding programme and other projects. In future, when more classrooms have been built, students from other primary schools other than Chambo primary school will be able to attend.

As you will see, there were enough chairs today which have been ‘borrowed’ from the library. Any more students coming later in the week will have to sit on mats on the floor. There are 130 chairs on the container that should be arriving in the next three or four weeks. Desks are something we are still fundraising for and more textbooks so if you are able to support the young people with this then we (and they) would be very grateful. https://gofund.me/44a92444 Enjoy the videos and photos, Sarah x

The Day Before School Starts

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Sarah’s blog 6/11/22

It’s been a very busy weekend! Levison had the local dignitaries visit Bright Futures Secondary School on Friday prior to opening. The teachers arrived on Friday afternoon and have been settling in. You can read the full story from Friday here: VIP Visitors to Bright Futures Secondary School – Changing Lives Malawi

Boxes of supplies that we sent were opened yesterday containing: blankets, soap, toothbrushes & toothpaste, towels, pads of paper, calculators, dictionaries, filled pencil cases and bags. There is some preloved school uniform too, although not enough. We get lots of donations of primary school uniform but not high school ones. So, if anyone has preloved secondary school uniform they no longer require then please do email me. Also, school shoes for teen boys and girls are needed too. email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Today, the teachers have met to discuss the timetable and make plans before the children arrive tomorrow. It may take a few days for news to reach absolutely everyone that the school has opened so, hopefully, most children will turn up tomorrow or Tuesday. Also, it’s a difficult situation because so many teenagers are coming every day to ask for a place at Bright Futures Secondary School. Everyone is desperate for an education and a way to a brighter future.

Unfortunately, Levison is having to turn most of them away. As we are a small organisation, and building a school is a huge undertaking, we are having to build the school in phases. We are also keeping class sizes smaller than some schools, so that children have a better chance at a good education and to achieve. Eventually, we hope to have two classes in each of the four years of secondary school, with 45 children as the maximum in each class. However, this year we will have one class of S1, one class of S2 and a smaller class of S3 students, giving them all plenty of attention from the teaching staff.

Thank you so very much to all of you who have helped to fund the building of phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. We really could not have achieved what we have without you. You will see from the video that the staff accommodation is nearest, and the school is in the far left as it pans round. I keep saying it’s all about teamwork and each of us have a part to play in the team that is supporting these orphans and other vulnerable children. Thank you.

If anyone would still like to contribute, we still need money for desks for the children https://gofund.me/44a92444. Thank you all, Sarah x

Just some of the resources we sent to support the children’s learning

The Foundation with the new staff accommodation front right and Bright Futures Secondary School far left.

VIP Visitors to Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 4/11/22

An amazing and very busy day at The Foundation! Lots of dignitaries were invited to see Bright Futures Secondary School prior to its opening on Monday. There were several village chiefs, head teachers from other local schools, head of the area police and church leaders as well as a few other representatives from the community. All of them were delighted with phase 1 of the school and the chiefs all spoke about how grateful they were for the donors and the work that is being done by Levison and team.

One chief, who hadn’t been to secondary school, said he wished the school had been there 20 years ago so he could have studied there. He asked Levison if he could visit the students at the school to talk to them and tell them how fortunate they are and to study hard. Another chief asked if adults could go to the school. Unfortunately, there isn’t room for them at the same time as the children, however Levison was able to tell them about the plans for adult literacy and numeracy classes.

The head chief said that he was going to ensure all the families of students knew that they had a responsibility to ensure their child behaved well and studied hard. The police chief said that he would ensure the protection of the teachers, staff and the work going on at The Foundation and, with the chiefs, would ensure all the villagers know who the new teachers are and that they must be respected.

On entering the classrooms, one of the men started crying. He couldn’t believe what had been achieved when, not so very long ago, there was nothing there. Now hundreds of the most vulnerable children over the next few years will have the gift of education. They will be given a way out of poverty and the chance of a brighter future. The VIPs listened to Levison and also asked lots of questions and wanted the donors to know how grateful they are for what is being done for the children in their community. So, on behalf of everyone in Ibuluma, if you have donated towards the school project – THANK YOU. We couldn’t help the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children without you.

The teachers have arrived and will be working some of this weekend with Levison to plan a timetable and plan their lessons for Monday. Of course, the children who come to The Foundation at the weekend will be interested to meet the new teachers! If you would like to contribute to help us to send money for desks, then here is the link https://gofund.me/44a92444

Busy times but thankful and grateful for all that has been achieved and for the people who are on this journey with us to provide a brighter future an continue Changing Lives Malawi. Enjoy the photos, Sarah x

Textbooks, notepads & desks

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Sarah’s blog 1/11/22

It’s so exciting that phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School has been completed. Levison says that people are walking from all around coming to see the new school that has been built. They are amazed that in a short period of time the first classrooms have been built. It really has been a team effort and we are so very grateful to those of you who have been supporting us to help the children.

Teachers are arriving at the weekend. The school will be accepting the first students on Monday (7 Nov). Levison and I have been making lists of children who will be attending the school and lots of other lists. I have got a shopping list longer than my arm in order to prepare for the children arriving!

Please help me? We need more textbooks (£10), notepads (£10 per 10) buckets with taps for handwashing (£10) buckets with taps for drinking water (£10) as well as lots of other smaller things. Plus, we still need to find money for desks. The carpenter will make these basic tables for three students. We will get there! But need your help which is, as always, very much appreciated. https://gofund.me/44a92444

These are some of the most vulnerable children in the far north of Malawi. They are being given an incredible opportunity to have a good secondary education in their village, free of charge, with small class sizes. Secondary education is fee paying in Malawi and there are not enough places in the other secondary schools which is why we have been fundraising to build a secondary school – Bright Futures Secondary School. Because of your help and support, these children will have opportunities, they will have brighter futures. Education is their way out of poverty. They are desperate to go to school.

If you are able to donate to buy a textbook, some notepads, a bucket for handwashing or for clean drinking water at the school then here is the link https://gofund.me/44a92444

Also, we are selling our fundraising calendars are £10 each + £2 p&p. If we can sell lots of calendars, then I can send money to purchase some of the things from my shopping list. Can you help please? The calendars make great Christmas gifts, and I can post them to you or the recipient. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Let’s give the gift of education and continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thank you, Sarah x

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