Today, Stuart and I started packing boxes ready for the next container going to Malawi. We’ve had these amazing kids football strips from Riverside Football Club in Stirling. They were donated to Replay Sport Scotland who passed it to us for use by the vulnerable young people we help to support in rural northern Malawi.
Replay Sport Scotland have already donated sports clothes to our charity which are currently on their way to Malawi. We look forward to seeing photos of those clothes and also the Riverside Football Club kits when they arrive in Malawi.
Thank you Riverside Football Club and thank you Replay Sport Scotland. These donations will make a big difference to the young people who love playing team sports. Thanks, Sarah x
We had been offered football strips by a club in northern England who had unfortunately had to close. The next problem was how to get the kit to us in central Scotland. Various conversations happened and arrangements were made. A man travelling north for work kindly agreed to bring the kit to meet us at the motorway services at Stirling. Another volunteer who works a few minutes from there agreed to collect the kit and bring it to us. We are so grateful for the kit and the help received.
Thanks to the kindness and thoughtfulness of several people, the kit will be on it’s way to Malawi on the next container. Levison will be able to share it with local clubs as well as keeping some for the young people whom The Foundation supports.
To those involved with Wearhead United FC, we are sorry that your club has closed. Thank you though for passing on all these kits to us to help support grassroots football in rural northern Malawi. We will get photos of the new recipients who will be delighted to receive these kits. Thanks for reading, Sarah x
It’s been another busy day today. We met some new people and made some new connections which is always great. Today we were in Stirling to meet Tony at Replay Sport Scotland. They are a small charity who donate sports clothes and equipment to those in need and recycling/reusing/repairing sports equipment and sports clothes to ensure that, as much as possible, nothing ends up in landfill.
Replay Sports Scotland had a huge donation of clothing from The Queen’s Baton Relay and also from The Scottish Swimming Team. They have been able to distribute these to a variety of organisations in the Stirling area. I contacted Tony and told him about the projects we are supporting in Malawi and he was especially interested in the sports projects; football, netball and rugby.
So this morning we were given trousers from the Queens’ Baton Relay, and also t-shirts and jackets from the Scottish Swimming Team. Two boxes of these will be going to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School….and it just so happens to be the same blue as their school uniform!
Thanks so much to Tony and everyone else involved for allowing our charity to repurpose some of this kit to send to the students at Bright Futures Secondary School in rural northern Malawi. We will ensure that we receive lots of photos when this kit eventually arrives. The young people will be delighted.
Happy New Year to you all. Wishing you health & happiness in 2023.
We are looking forward to another busy and successful year. Our biggest achievement in 2022 was raising enough money for phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School to be built, providing education and a way out of extreme poverty for some of the most vulnerable teenagers in rural Northern Malawi. In 2023, we must continue our fundraising so classrooms 3 & 4 can be built by Sept 2023 in order that students can continue their education in Bright Futures Secondary School.
There are many obstacles; heavy rain (it’s the rainy season now), Cholera has closed schools in the south of Malawi (thankfully there are no cases in the far north so far), malnutrition and hunger, rising costs in Malawi, and never having enough money to do everything that needs doing or helping everyone who needs our help.
However, despite all these obstacles that are put in our way, we are changing lives. With your help, we are making a difference. We are a lifeline to hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.
We need you on our team now more than ever. As we continue to grow, we need more volunteers. Because our charity is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers, all money donated goes to the projects we support and no money is spent on admin. Here is what you can do to help us:
Can you share our posts?
Can you make a one off donation?
Will you commit to a £5 or £10 donation each month to help us continue to feed malnourished children?
Will you take part in a sponsored event for our charity?
Can you host an event within your community or business on our behalf?
Can you pay £20 for a box of books to be sent as part of The School Literacy Project?
Can you sponsor an orphan for £25 a month to give them a brighter future?
If you are in central Scotland, will you invite us to speak at your church, club or school?
Can you organise collections of stationary, preloved school uniform, shoes & books for us?
Are you good at fundraising or grant applications? or any other skills? we’d love to hear from you!
My birthday is in 2 days time and I’d love it, if anyone has any spare pennies, that they help me raise some money for a microscope and some other science equipment for Bright Futures Secondary School https://www.facebook.com/donate/465142452480110/
Be part of our team, Changing Lives (in) Malawi and making brighter futures for hundreds of vulnerable children and their community. Let’s make 2023 a wonderful year for the children of Ibuluma. Let them know that they are known and people care about each of them. Please help us continue Changing Lives Malawi.
Three quotes from the late Archbishop Desomond Tutu: ‘Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.’ ‘Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of insetimable value.’ ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ He was a very wise man.
Happy New Year from the team at Changing Lives Malawi! Thank you again. Enjoy these photos, Sarah x
This is only a short post…it’s been a hugely busy week in Malawi (and also here).
The young people are on holiday from school and Levison and team thought a football tournament between local teams would be a good idea. So that is what has been happening today and will conclude tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Levison has been busy with other things today so there is just one short video clip of a match, however I have been promised more photos tomorrow!
This is going to be an annual event and we decided that it would be nice to name it after someone who has been very good to The Foundation. Julian Chenery, whose charity is Wear a Sports Shirt Day, works tirelessly every weekend (and sometimes midweek too) going to football clubs, schools, other sports clubs etc to collect preloved sports kit that can be reused by those who need it. He supports lots of organisations. Julian has supplied the Foundation with football kit, hockey kit, tracksuits, Christmas jumpers and Santa hats over the few years we have known him.
So, this is another opportunity to say thank you to Julian for supporting us and The Foundation. More photos and videos from ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day Football Tournament’ will follow. Sarah x
Every child, no matter where they are in the world, deserves an education. Let’s build a school! We need you on our team.
Here is the link with the information you need to join in our challenge! https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 It is a huge challenge for our team to travel the 13,144 km that is one of the routes the container travels. It also includes the journey from here (Balfron, Scotland) to Dundee to the Bananabox Trust warehouse and in Malawi the distance from Ekwendeni which is the final destination of the container back to Chitipa that Levison will make. We have used Chitipa as the nearest destination on all maps to The Foundation.
So we are looking for families to join in as well as serious athletes and gentle walkers. Oh and bored teenagers who would like to keep their fitness up over the school holidays – we’d love to hear from you too! Maybe you could have an element of competition with your friends? Do you need to learn something new for your Duke of Edinburgh Award? Or do some volunteering? This challenge could be used for either of those.
The more people who help us, the quicker we can do this challenge. The more people that take part and are sponsored, the more money we raise. The more people who share our posts then the wider the audience so we aren’t always asking the same people. We would absolutely love people right across the world to take part in our challenge. This is a challenge to raise funds to build a secondary school for some of the most vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. It would be fantastic to have people from our global community taking part and raising funds to build a school and give the gift of education.
The challenge starts tomorrow, 1st July, and you can do as many or as few kms as you want. Please ask your friends to join in and please ask people to sponsor you. Together we can keep Changing Lives Malawi. Together we can build a school. Land clearing has already started and bricks are being made. Thanks so much for your continued support and let me know if you have any questions, thank you, Sarah x
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading, Sarah x
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. email@example.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