Gifts for the nursery children

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Sarah’s blog 10/1/23

There are 75 vulnerable pre-school children, ages 4-6, in the nursery at The Foundation. All are malnourished, some have stunted growth. We are doing what we can in order to help them have a better start in life.

Today, because of the rains, only about half of them were there to receive the gifts we had sent. The others will get their gifts another day. Proper records are kept to ensure none of them miss out.

Today is an exciting day for them…it’s the first time they have received a book of their own to keep and take home. This is part of The Literacy Project. I am an Early Years Educator and so am passionate about these children having the opportunities that our children have. When we have access to books pre-reading starts when babies are on an adult’s knee, having a story read to them. They look at the pictures and can anticipate certain points in the story because of the way the adult reads and shares this special time with them. Toddlers will bring their favourite storybook to an adult in order that they can share the story together. They can point to things in the pictures, they know that you turn the pages and they ‘pretend’ to read by tracing the words with their fingers. They know that these letter shapes are where the story comes from.

The children at The Foundation nursery have missed out on all of these experiences. We want story books to become an every day part of their lives. We want every home to have at least two books to support literacy. I had a video call with the headteacher of Bright Futures Secondary School yesterday and she was delighted that books were being given to the children in the nursery. She said they are trying to ‘play catchup’ with the students at Bright Futures Secondary School as they have missed out on having access to reading materials from a young age. Many of the students missed a lot of school to work for a pittance to buy food….it’s been so hard for them. We look forward to seeing how having books at home makes a difference to these children and their families.

Today, each child received a drawstring bag containing, a blanket, 2 red t-shirts, pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap and a picture book. As I said in a recent post, in future, we want to be able to include a knitted teddy in each bag for children starting nursery. If you are able to help support this nursery project in any way then please email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Here is the link to Sunday’s post 10 Teddies – supporting the nursery children – Changing Lives Malawi Enjoy the photos and thanks for your support, Sarah x

Christmas Fundraising & news update

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Sarah’s blog 8/12/22

There is so much going on both in Malawi and here, so I thought I would do a quick update.

  1. Our charity accounts and trustees’ report have been completed and filed with OSCR. We now have three years of completed accounts and our charity is progressing well, thanks to all the support we have received. More grants can be applied for as many organisations require three years accounts from applicants.
  2. I am continuing to try to raise funds to support the projects; education and feeding the orphans continue to be our priorities; and we must reach more people to try to get more awareness and more support to ensure that children are fed and that phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School can be built next year. If you would like to contribute to the school project the link is here https://gofund.me/44a92444 or you can email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Why not make a monthly donation to support the feeding of 500+ orphans? Or if you are in a position to gift £500 or more then you can have your name, a name or your choice or your business name above a classroom door or one of the other new buildings.
  3. Fundraising calendars – I still have some available. These make great Christmas gifts. These are only £10 plus £2 p&p. As one of our trustees paid for these to be printed, all of the £10 will go towards Bright Futures Secondary School. We have alternative gift cards available, paintings and packs of cards by Christine Cresswell one of our trustees who has donated her time and talents to raise funds for our charity. Have a look and see what you can buy for Christmas without leaving the house! The link to all the fundraising items is in a previous blog post here Christmas Cards & Gifts – Changing Lives Malawi
  4. The container is due in Ekwendeni any day now. Levison is just waiting for confirmation then he will be travelling south to collect the boxes and chairs that we sent. Thank you to everyone who donated items to be sent. There will be great excitement when the chairs and the boxes arrive.
  5. Government schools will close for the Christmas holidays on 16th December. Because Bright Futures Secondary School was a bit late opening, due to having to raise funds as we go, the teachers have kindly suggested that the school remains open for an extra few days. So, the last day of term at Bright Futures Secondary School will be 21st December and a Christmas party, for all the 500+ orphans and other vulnerable children, will be held on 22nd December which they are all very much looking forward to. We thank the generous donors who gifted money to feed the children an extra time to enable there to be a party.
  6. Desks for the classrooms are being made thanks to donations we have received. If you would like to purchase a desk for use by a student, they are £20 each.
  7. As it has been so busy, unfortunately, we have not had as many updates about sponsored children as we would have liked. I have now linked with one of the teachers who will work with me to remedy this and sponsors will be able to hear from their sponsored children a lot more regularly.
  8. If you would like me to come and talk at your club, church or school (or for any event) I’d love to hear from you. I have a laptop, projector and screen and lots of photos to show!

Thank you for reading and supporting us, Sarah x

Our fundraising calendar will make a great Christmas gift – £10 each (all of the £10 goes towards the school project) plus £2 p&p
Some of the school desks – £20 each
The front of the alternative gift card
Inside the alternative gift card – just circle or tick the gift you are wishing to purchase. A football is £10, 4 fruit tree saplings £10, soap for 100 children £40 and transportation of a box of books is £20 contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Yathu Widows Opportunity

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Sarah’s blog 08/10/22

Last year we had a very generous donation of preloved bibles from St Michael’s Parish Church, Slateford Road, Edinburgh. The congregation kindly also donated some clothes and lots of other useful items.

The bibles and other donations recently arrived on the container. Many of the bibles have been kept for the young people supported by The Foundation to help with their studies. One box was sent to a different organisation. Whilst we are not in a position to support other organisations financially, occasionally we are able to pass on donations.

Last November, I was honoured to be invited to an afternoon tea with The First Lady of Malawi at the City Chambers in Edinburgh. I was invited by Joyce Juma-Phiri who is CEO of Fair Trade Scotland and also Head of The Associations of Malawians in Scotland. It was a lovely afternoon, and I met some wonderful people. One lady, a Malawian living in Scotland, is Gertrude Kadzuwa who runs this organisation for widows in Mzuzu. As well as bibles, we put lots of bars of soap in the box. The widows have had a meeting today and Gertrude sent me this photo and a great video. I hope you enjoy the video. Thank you again to the congregation of St Michael’s Parish Church for your donations, Sarah x

Happy New Year & Happy Birthday

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Sarah’s blog 2/1/22

https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3M60EKZX9R3LQ?ref_=wl_share

Happy New Year!! I hope this year brings you all health & happiness.

Levison is busy getting young people ready for going to school this next week and I hope to bring some photos soon of them in their uniform before they set off on their big adventure, thanks to their generous sponsors who have paid for them to continue secondary education.

We still have a few young people waiting to be matched with sponsors so if you can help then please get in touch.

It’s my birthday on 4th January… when you have a birthday straight after Christmas you don’t really need any presents. I was very lucky with all the gifts I received for Christmas. So I wouldn’t usually tell people it’s my birthday but, i thought it might be a nice idea to buy something for the orphans in Malawi if you’d like to. There is an Amazon link at the top of the page or if you are at the supermarket and want to put some bars of soap or toothbrushes, toothpaste or pencils in your trolley, they would be very much appreciated. When there are approximately 800 vulnerable children and young people being supported there are never enough pencils or bars of soap!!

Many thanks and best wishes for 2022, thanks for reading, Sarah x

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