Merchiston Castle School – another rugby donation

Another generous rugby donation from Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh – thank you

Sarah’s blog 2/2/23

Bruce Aitchison, a housemaster at Merchiston Castle School, has been so supportive of our charity and of introducing rugby to the orphans and other vulnerable children we support in rural Northern Malawi. Bruce also runs the social media site for rugby fans ‘Happiness is Egg Shaped’.

Rugby was only played for the first time in the far north when Jack Mphande, Malawian Rugby Development Coach visited last year. We and Community Sports Leaders Africa sponsored Jack’s visit to coach the young people who absolutely loved it. The fact that someone came from the south to spend time with the orphans was a huge deal to them. They no longer feel forgotten and they know that people are investing in their futures.

Last year Stuart, my husband, travelled to Edinburgh to Merchiston Castle School, to meet with Bruce and some of the boys who are students there to receive a big donation of rugby kit, boots and rugby balls. These have all now arrived in Malawi and the young people have modelled them and are delighted with such smart rugby kit. Bruce contacted us to say that there were more boots for us to send so we were able to meet him this morning. These donations will make such a difference to the young people’s mental health as well as enjoying playing rugby for their physical health.

Jack Mphande has kindly set aside two weeks (in May/June dates to be confirmed) to head north once again to train teachers in the 14 primary schools and also coach the young people at Bright Futures Secondary School. We estimate that to facilitate this it will cost approximately £400 so any help would be much appreciated. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

All the rugby balls, kit and boots will be able to be shared amongst the different schools. A lot of students, even though they are still at primary school, are teenagers, as they have missed a lot of school to work for a pittance to try to earn money for food. These vulnerable students love playing team sports and are able to forget about the poverty they live in and the trauma they have experienced. Spending time learning new skills and playing competitively with their friends is so good for them.

Thanks so much to Bruce and Merchiston Castle School. I’ve included some links from Bright Futures Secondary School and Jack’s first rugby visit.

Hope you enjoy the photos and videos and reading my blogs and thank you everyone who has supported us to help the children in Malawi, Sarah x

Phase 2 0f Bright Futures Secondary School – classrooms 3 & 4 – Changing Lives Malawi The link to our fundraiser for phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School is https://gofund.me/ece5753a

Rugby, School & Sponsorship – Changing Lives Malawi

Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh – Rugby Kit Donation – Changing Lives Malawi (includes links to Jack Mphande’s first rugby visit)

Housemaster Bruce Aitchison who also runs the rugby social media site ‘Happiness is Egg Shaped’
Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
Today’s donation was two big bags of rugby boots – thanks to Bruce and everyone who donated their boots!
Some of the students at Bright Futures Secondary School with the generous donation of kit, boots and rugby balls from Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh

A great photo of orphans enjoying playing rugby during Jack Mphande’s first coaching visit to introduce rugby in the far north of Malawi.

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.

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

‘The time is always right to do what is right’ – Martin Luther King Jnr

Sarah’s blog 15/1/23

I absolutely love volunteering for Changing Lives Malawi and helping to support some of the most vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi. It is hard work and a huge responsibility but very worthwhile. They are in a very rural location so there are no big agencies working in that area yet. There are no big charities feeding children in primary schools that far north.

Everyone is hungry. Most are suffering from malnutrition and don’t eat properly every day. 500 children come to The Foundation each weekend to be fed at the Feeding Programme we help to support. They are given a nutritious, substantial cooked meal. Some of the 500 children walk up to 20kms for this one proper meal of the week. We can only afford to send enough money for the feeding programme to run once a week for that many children as we are also trying to address other issues for them like education, skills for life, clean water and projects that will help the community be self-sufficient.

If there were less vulnerable children needing support, it would be easier. Five hundred hungry, malnourished children of all ages is a big responsibility. We need to grow our supporters so that these children have a team of people lifting them out of dire poverty. We need you. The 500 vulnerable children need you.

So how can you help?

  1. 500+ children are fed once a week at the feeding programme. Can you make a one off payment to support this? or can you commit to a monthly amount of £5 or £10 each month? Can your business sponsor the feeding programme one day for a donation of £100. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  2. The nursery – for 75 vulnerable preschool children, They are fed every time they meet. Can you commit to a monthly payment of £5 or £10 to support nursery feeding? Or can you help by buying a bag of gifts for a child for £12 (each child receives a gym bag containing a blanket, 3 pairs of pants, 2 red t-shirts, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book). contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  3. Bright Futures Secondary School – Phase 1 recently opened and the students are being given a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime which is probably their only meal of the day. Can you commit to £5 or £10 per month towards continuing to provide free school meals at the secondary school? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  4. School Literacy Project – we are sending boxes of preloved books to the primary schools that are nearest The Foundation. Please could you sponsor the cost of sending a box of books for £20? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  5. Could you sponsor a vulnerable child to help provide them with more food and help towards their education? It’s £25 p/m and you can share the cost with a friend. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com
  6. Bright Futures Secondary School – through very generous support, we raised enough money to build phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School (two classrooms and staff accommodation). We now need your help to raise funds for classrooms 3 and 4. https://gofund.me/44a92444
  7. Chickens & Eggs – now we have the incubator connected to solar power, it’s ready to be used to hatch chicken eggs. It can hold approximately 500 eggs and a tray of fertilized eggs costs £10. If you’d like to buy a tray of eggs then please do get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com The incubator was bought with a generous donation from Lochlie Construction Ltd.

We all have the ability to do our little bit to help. We all have the ability to help others and do what is right. Each of us has different skills we can use. Even if you are unable to donate financially, could you keep sharing our posts with your friends? Thanks so much for reading and supporting us to continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

Some of the pre-school children having received their bags of gifts. You can provide a bag of gifts for a child starting nursery in September for £12

Each preschool child received a bag containing; a blanket, 2 red t-shirts, pants, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste and a book. Can you help us continue to provide these gifts for £12 per child? These children also receive preloved clothes at least twice a year.
Secondary students at Bright Futures Secondary School enjoying lunch at their Christmas Party – paid for by two generous supporters.
More of the 500 children who all received a nutritious meal at the Christmas Party.
Some boys enjoying their meal. This will be the most food they will have in a week. We wish we could run the feeding programme more often than once a week.
Phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School has opened, providing free education for the most vulnerable. We now need your help to build classrooms 3 & 4.
You can’t help but smile when you see that these vulnerable children are happy and relaxed and having fun with their friends. At The Foundation they can forget their worries for a while.
This was when the incubator was first bought with a donation from Lochlie Construction Ltd, before the power supply got even worse. Thankfully now that it is running on solar power there will soon be more eggs and chicks for the nursery children to look at.

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.

International Children’s Day

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!

Emily and Catherine

Sarah’s blog 19/11/22

This is the story of Emily and Catherine, two girls who have greatly benefitted from being part of the sponsorship programme.

When students have taken their primary school leavers exams, they are placed according to their grades. The ones who have the highest grades are offered a place at Wenya Secondary School, then after that Chisenga Secondary School.

Part of the reason Bright Futures Secondary School was built, and is so important for the community, is that there are not enough places on offer at Wenya and Chisenga for all students who passed their primary school leavers exams. Those with the best grades get chosen for a secondary school place. The rest do not get a place and have to either leave school with only primary school qualifications, or resit p8 with the hope of getting better exam results the following year and being offered a place at Chisenga. All secondary school education must be paid for. If you cannot pay, even if you are offered a place, then you cannot go. Students at Bright Futures Secondary School, who are the most vulnerable, will not have to pay any fees.

Emily and Catherine both did so well in their primary school leavers exams that they were offered places at Wenya Secondary School which was an amazing achievement for them. They have been encouraged and supported and are thriving and working hard. They have just started in 3rd year at Wenya after passing their second-year exams. They made these short videos before they returned to school and are both growing in confidence which is lovely to see.

When they were originally picked to go to Wenya school, and others were picked for places at Chisenga, I had a huge shopping list of what needed to be purchased for all the students. I suggested that Levison take Emily and Catherine with him on that shopping trip to help him. He had to hire a car as there was so much to buy, and the three of them had a great day. It was the first time the girls had been to town and the first time they had eaten in a restaurant. Good experiences for them before going to their new school.

So, if you needed proof that being a sponsor CAN change lives and DOES make a difference, then Emily and Catherine are great examples of how you could get involved and change a child’s life. There are so many others like Emily and Catherine just waiting for someone to take a chance on them and give them the gift of education. It’s only £25 per month and you can sponsor as an individual or share the cost with a friend. It might be the most important thing anyone ever does for a very vulnerable young person in rural northern Malawi. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Please will you sponsor me? – Changing Lives Malawi

Catherine Nyondo
Emily Mkwala
Two years ago, just before starting at Wenya Secondary School, Emily and Catherine helped Levison with the school shopping list for themselves and the other sponsored young people. It was the first time they had been in town and at a restaurant for lunch. It was a great day for them.

Please will you sponsor me?

Sarah’s blog 14/11/22

The teenagers who have started at Bright Futures Secondary School have all had a very difficult life. Some have had an extremely hard time. They have had to miss a lot of school to work for a pittance to try to earn a few coins to contribute towards food in their homes. That’s why they are all older than you would expect. The older they are, the more school they missed and the longer they have had to work.

Some young people not yet been matched with a sponsor. Having a sponsor will help pay for their place at school. It will help towards the stationary they need, the exam fees, uniform, other clothes, a blanket, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, a wind-up torch and a school bag. It will also help towards providing a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime.

It’s £25 per month to sponsor a child. You can do this as an individual, as a family, a business or a club or two friends can split the cost. This might be the most important thing that anyone ever does for one of these young people. As well as financial support, they will know someone cares about them. They will know they are important and that someone is willing to invest in their future. Can you be a sponsor to one of the young people please? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

We recognise that the commitment of being a sponsor is not for everyone, so we are also looking for people to commit to £5 or £10 per month to ensure that all the students receive a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com These teenagers need a team around them in order that they can succeed and be the best they can be. They need to be warm and have food in their tummies to be able to concentrate on their studies. They shouldn’t be so cold at night they can’t sleep. They shouldn’t be so hungry that they can’t concentrate. They have been given the gift of education and they need to have the opportunity to succeed. Please can you be part of the team supporting these young people to be the best that they can be?

Here are some of the young people who need your help. Please do get in touch if you would like to support one of them or support our school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School. Thank you, Sarah x

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

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 new S1 class at Bright Futures Secondary School

Sarah’s blog 2/11/22

Levison and I have been making more lists today. Here is the list of the young people who are being invited to start at Bright Futures Secondary School when it opens on Monday 7th November.

These young people are all having the chance of secondary education and a brighter future thanks to everyone who has been supporting us to ensure the first phase of Bright Futures Secondary School was built. None of these young people’s families would have had the funds to send them to the nearest secondary schools. As they are quite far away, the children would have had to board making it even more expensive. Also, there are not enough places for everyone and if you don’t get picked to go to secondary school then you don’t go.

There are fourteen young people who are sponsored, the rest need sponsors. They are all vulnerable and attend The Feeding Programme each weekend and benefit from having new clothes from The Foundation. You are helping us change these children’s lives. Education is a way out of poverty and a brighter future. These children do not have enough to eat. Some do not eat every day. How can they learn properly if they are hungry? We want to be able to feed all the children at Bright Futures Secondary School with lunch every day.

I am asking for more people to join our team to support Bright Futures Secondary School and its students. By sponsoring a vulnerable young person, you are helping to pay for their education and the things they need for school, clothes, a blanket, welfare checks and food. This costs £25 p/m and you can sponsor a child as a single person, a family, a club or business or two friends sharing the cost. Or, for £5 or £10 per month, you can support school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School. Please email me to let me know how you would like to help contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Or you could contribute to desks and school supplies here https://gofund.me/44a92444 We always say it’s about teamwork. We need you on our team. The children need you on their team to support them to succeed at Bright Futures Secondary School. Even £5 or £10 commitment a month, with enough people, will make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of these very vulnerable children. We need to do our best to ensure they can be the best they can be, which is what we want for any of our children.

Here is the list of new S1 students at Bright Futures Secondary School;

Mervice Chellah, Chipiliro Chirambo (S), Brenda Kanyika, Monica Kanyika, Eunice Kaonga (S), Emmie Mfungwe, Emmah Mgala, Lyness Mnyenyembe, Lilian Mtambo, Carren Ng’ambi, Mercy Ng’ambi (S), Mirriam Nyirongo (S), Agness Nyondo, Mary Nyondo (S), Astridah Nyondo, Lughano Sibale, Margaret Sibale (S), Efrida Silungwe, Rosemary Silungwe, Alvert Chizumira, Timothy Kaonga (S), Wongani Kaonga, Laston Mbambala (S), Iveen Mbughi, Brian Mnyenyembe (S), Gift Mnyenyembe (S), Mastano Munthali, Julius Ng’ambi, Lameck Ng’ambi, McPherson Ng’ambi, Philimon Ng’ambi, George Nyirenda, Brave Nyondo, Pilirani Nyondo, Lama Sibale (S), Junior Sichamba, Moses Sichilindi, Amos Simphosya (S), Aaron Sinyinza, Mercy Mbale (S), Elisha Ng’ambi (S).

Can you find it in your heart to sponsor one of these vulnerable young people please? Or can you make a monthly commitment to school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School? I look forward to hearing from you and I’m very grateful for all the support we receive. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Laston a few months ago asking for a secondary school to be built…. his wish has come true!

Help please for these children

Sarah’s blog 24/10/22

As I’d said in my post yesterday, I am looking for some help and support for a family whose dad had died suddenly on Saturday. There are three children and their mum, but they’ve lost their main breadwinner. They were living in poverty anyway, but now they are desperate.

It was the burial today and Levison attended with some others from The Foundation. He took cabbages, maize and some small fish for the family and they were very grateful.

There are three children, and I am just as concerned about the eldest boy who is 19 as I am about the younger two children. Vincent never got the chance to finish primary school as he was working to help bring in a pittance to help feed the family. So, he doesn’t even have primary school qualifications and hasn’t had much schooling. He doesn’t have a job and I am worried about his self-esteem, especially now he is the head of the household. Vincent needs a job to keep him busy and to give him self-confidence as well as bringing some money into the home. Hopefully, Levison will be able to talk more with Vincent next time he visits on his way to town.

The younger two are at primary school and really do need sponsors. Mitinala is 14 and must have missed some school too as she’s only in p7. If the family don’t find some help, then Mitinala is at real risk of being married off too soon as her mother won’t be able to feed her. Despite child marriages being illegal, unfortunately, they do still happen. For lots of the girls whom we have already managed to match with sponsors, child marriage was a real risk. By giving them a monthly food parcel at home and keeping them in school, these girls are now safe.

Canani is 9 and in p4. He needs a sponsor to ensue some food goes into their home each month and therefore he will be more likely to stay in school and not have to work. These children need food in their tummies every day so they can concentrate at school. Please will you help them?

I’m looking to get a little team round this family, whether it’s someone sponsoring one of the children or several people giving £5 or £10 a month to give this family a monthly food parcel. What can you do to help today? To sponsor a child, it is £25 per month. They get a monthly food parcel, clothes, soap and stationery, a blanket and welfare visits. You can sponsor as an individual, a family or as two friends splitting the cost. I really hope that these children touch your heart, and you are able to help them even if it’s just a few ££ per month. Please email contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com if you can help us change these children’s lives. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Help needed!

Sarah’s blog 23/10/22

We have some sad news and are hoping that some of our lovely supporters might help us.

The team of builders who have been working hard on Bright Futures Secondary School had the weekend off and went home. Levison heard late yesterday that one of the builders had died suddenly which, of course, has been a big shock. This man had a wife and children, although I don’t have details of the children yet. They are poor people and live in a village on the way to Chitipa town.

The funeral is tomorrow and Levison and a few others will attend. Levison will take some maize for the widow and her children. Although he wasn’t an employee of The Foundation, this family have lost their husband and dad. They no longer have his financial support. We would like to be able to help them like we try to help other families who are in need.

Would anyone be willing to help this family either by sponsoring one of the children when I have more information or by committing to a monthly amount towards a food parcel? You can email me if you can help and, hopefully, we can get a little support team around this family. Thank you, Sarah x

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