Rugby Friends – Thank you for the amazing donations!

Sarah’s blog 30/5/22

A few months ago, the young people in Northern Malawi had never heard of rugby let alone played it. A charity and friend of ours, Community Sports Leaders Africa arranged for Jack Mphande, Malawian International Rugby Coach, to travel north to introduce rubgy in the Chitipa District.

Jack spent a few days with sports leaders teaching them about touch rugby. Levison picked Jack up and took him to The Foundation where Jack spent a couple of days with some of the young people. Jack introduced them to touch rugby, teaching some coaching skills and playing a few games. The time Jack spent at The Foundation, including food for all the children involved, was paid for by generous donations from three of our supporters. Again we thank them for facilitating this.

I don’t think we can comprehend what a visit like Jack’s has meant to the orphans and other vulnerable children. And also to Levison and his team. The hundreds of children supported by The Foundation had no hope. They had no help. Malnourished, and in rags, and having experienced the trauma of family members dying, life was unbearable.

Fast forward a few short years and they have new clothes, are being supported through various projects including The Feeding Programme. They are being nurtured. They know The Foundation is their safe place; a time to be with friends, a time to learn and a time to relax and forget about their troubles. For an important person like Jack Mphande, a Malawian rugby coach, to visit them was amazing. For him to take an interest in them. For him to learn their names. For him to spend time with them. For him to teach them new skills. For him to laugh with them and praise them. For the orphans and other vulnerable children that must mean so much. Self-confidence and self-esteem are growing all the time.

These children now have hope of a better future. They know that people care about them. They know they are important. There is still so much to do but so much has been accomplished already. I keep saying that we cannot do this alone, it’s always about teamwork. So to everyone who has already helped us and supported us to help the vulnerable children – thank you. If you are reading this and think you’d like to get involved, you will be very welcome contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Strathendrick RFC, our local club, have already made some donations of kit and rugby balls which came in very handy for Jack’s visit. Now we have generous donations from Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh and Annan Rugby to collect from Edinburgh soon. We are so grateful to the network of people who have enabled these donations. They will make such a difference to ensuring that rugby in the Chitipa District of Malawi, in the far north, continues to grow and thrive. Many, many thanks to you all. These donations will be packed up to go on the next container which takes about three months to arrive. There will be photos of the donations once they arrive but, in the meantime, here are just a few of the photos and videos from the first Rugby Camp for you to enjoy.

If you’d like to get in touch to donate money to our school fundraiser, or to support the feeding programme, or sponsor a child or anything else then please contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for reading, Sarah x

A few people to thank

Sarah’s blog 29/04/22

We are always very grateful for the kind and generous people who support us. Whether it’s donating pencils, or shoes, driving boxes to Dundee, sharing posts, helping with fundraisers or sponsoring children….we thank you as we couldn’t help the hundreds of vulnerable children in Northern Malawi without you.

I want to thank four lots of people today who have helped us recently;

  1. Aquamarine.media in Devon have been helping us with our website and using their expertise to help us reach more people. We are very grateful for their input. Thank you Alona and Geoff.
  2. Strathendrick FC 2003/2 sections had been running in Balfron for 12 years. Now that the players have all left school and are no longer playing, the leftover funds have been shared with some local charities and UNICEF. We were delighted to be one of these charities and the money donated will help us a great deal. Thank you very much.
  3. Another Strathendrick but this time Strathendrick RFC have supported us again with more rugby kit to send to the children who have just started playing. This time they have donated a big bag of rugby balls, a box of cones and some water bottles. Once again, your support is very much appreciated. Thank you.
  4. Dumbarton FC Walking Football Club have donated a big bag of training kit and waterproofs which will be very valuable to the children in Malawi. Thank you so much for donating this. It’s very kind of you.

Rugby day 1 – “It amazed me because it was like they have been playing the game for sometime” – Jack Mphande

Sarah’s blog 24/03/22

First of all I’d like to thank Jack for spending time at The Foundation. Also Andy from Community Sports Leaders Africa for organising and paying for Jack to travel north to Chitipa. Thank you to Strathendrick Rugby Club for donating rugby balls and to the people who donated money to make this possible…thank you so much.

Jack Mphande who is a Malawian rugby player and coach is at The Foundation to introduce and teach some of the young people to play rugby.

Jack and Levison have been sending me photos and I’m going to share some of the things Jack has said about the children.

“There were a good number of players….very intelligent”

“We managed to introduce the game and make some basic drills and played some games”

“It amazed me because it was like they have been playing the game for some time”

“Good handling and passing”

“They really enjoyed it and everyone is looking forward to the afternoon session”

During the morning session they were able to play on a local football pitch but that was being used in the afternoon so they were at The Foundation grounds after lunch. Eventually the clouds became darker and darker and then the rain started so everyone headed inside for a talk about rugby skills.

There are some great action shots in the photos, especially of a girl called Mphatso. Just look at the joy and concentration on her face. She’s having such a good time and it’s wonderful that the children, who until a few years ago have been used to being excluded and forgotten, are now having amazing opportunities to learn new skills. I’m so pleased it’s been a successful day and that it’s been such an enjoyable time for the children. Enjoy these photos …I’m sure they won’t be the last! Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Rugby Coaching with Jack Mphande, Malawian Rugby International

Sarah’s blog 23/3/22

There are a few small charities, supporting the most vulnerable in Northern Malawi, who work together when we can and also learn from each other as some are more experienced in certain areas than others.

We helped Andrew Bottomer, of Community Sports Leaders Africa, to get boxes of sports equipment to the people he works with in Malawi, not far from The Foundation. Andrew lives in the north of England so we met him in Edinburgh and took his boxes with ours to The Bananabox Trust in Dundee to await the container. Then Levison collected and delivered Andrew’s boxes to where they needed to be. Amongst those boxes were lots of rugby balls.

Community Sports Leaders Africa has paid Jack Mphande’s expenses to Chitipa for him to be able to teach rugby there for the first time. He’s been busy teaching adult coaches who have loved learning about and playing rugby and Jack’s enthusiasm for the game has been infectious. Jack plays rugby at international level so we are delighted that he is going to spend time with 25 young people teaching them basic rugby training which they can then teach their peers and younger children.

You’ll notice from the ages of the young people that they are all older than you’d expect for the class that they are in. All of these vulnerable young people have missed school, some more than others, to try to work for a pittance to make enough money to buy some food. One boy, who is thankfully now sponsored and doing well, worked for a farmer with his cattle for the equivalent of £1.50 per month…which hardly buys anything. Thankfully, more children are attending school now that they are fed by the weekly feeding programme. Unfortunately, young people in their last year at primary school are busy studying…hopefully they will be able to attend a future course.

The young people who have been picked to attend this first rugby coaching course are; Brian Sichamba, 16 (S1), Chancy Chisale, (S1), Moses Ng’ambi, (S1), Titus Ng’ambi, 14 (S1), Makayiko Simkonda, 13 (p5), Chimango Nyondo, 13 (p6), Chigomezyo Nyondo, 12 (p5), Hopeson Nyondo, 14 (p7), Fumbani Sichamba, 15 (S1), Elisha Sichamba, 15 (S1), Walusungu Nyondo, 12 (p5), Lameck Kanyika, 16 ( ), Manase Nyirenda, ( ), Chancy Kaonga, ( ), Chickumbutso Mtambo, 14 (p6), Pemphero Mbyghi, 13 (p7), Victoria Kayange, 16 (S1), Maria Chizumila, 16 (S1), Elizabeth Nyondo, 13 (p6), Tyness Sichamba, 15 (p6), Mitren Nyondo, 12 (p6), Tryness Sichamba, 16 (S1), Esther Nyondo, 16 (F1), Tamandan Nyondo, 15 ( ), Granda Nyondo, 13 (p7). (Lameck, Manase & Chancy K are the team making the eco stoves so not at school). We are very glad that 14 out of the 25 young people have been matched with sponsors…. if anyone would like to sponsor one of the other 11 taking part in the rugby, or any of the other children you’ve seen on our posts, then please do get in touch. It’s only £25 p/m to change a child’s life.

We are looking forward to bringing you lots of photos and we want to thank Jack for his time and sharing his talents with the children at The Foundation. To meet someone famous will be a new experience for them… someone they might be able to watch on tv. Opportunities like this to learn new sports and have organised events during the school holidays is still very new and exciting for them. They are orphans and very vulnerable children… why should people do things for them? Thankfully they are starting to realise that each of them is important to us. Thankfully they are starting to realise that people do care about them and are trying to improve their lives little by little. With your help we continue to be able to support The Foundation by Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Jack Mphande

Rugby Camp – w/c 21/3/22

Last week we found out that Malawi International Rugly player, Jack Mphande, is heading north to introduce rugby to the young people. Thanks to Sports Leaders Africa for sponsoring his trip.

The children start two weeks school holiday tomorrow. There is a four day course starting on 21/3/22 to which 6 young people from The Foundation can attend. On the Friday, Jack is spending a day at The Foundation supporting the 6 young sports leaders to put their new skills into practice with some of the younger children. Strathendrick RFC donated rugby balls for which we are very thankful. A plan is coming together!

We have had 3 generous donations to fund 3 young people to attend this course. We would love 3 more rugby fans to sponsor a child each to attend the course. Their total expenses will be £40. So if you are a rugby fan and would like to encourage future rugby fans in the far north of Malawi we’d love for you to support a future sports leader to attend the course. If you can gift £40 that would be amazing or even £10 would be a great help if a few people donated. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Victoria and Elisha are two of the young people who have already been selected. Hopefully, another 4 will be going with them. Thank you rugby fans, Sarah x

%d bloggers like this: