It’s just a quick post today. I am concerned about the children we are helping to support in rural Northern Malawi. There are over 500 orphans and other vulnerable children who come to be fed once a week… that’s all we can afford.
There are no big charities feeding children in schools in that area. All children are hungry, malnourished and don’t eat properly every day…some don’t eat every day.
We need your help to continue feeding these children as food prices have gone up and so many young people need our help.
If you can spare £1 per week… please, please will you help us? 100 people, each giving just £1 per week will ensure that the feeding programme can run twice a week instead of just once. We can make a difference to these hungry children.
Please will you commit to helping us help these very vulnerable young people? If we all give just £1 per week it WILL make a difference. All the money goes to our projects – there are no salaries or admin costs with our charity… every penny will go to feeding these malnourished children.
Email email@example.com if you would like to change a life with just £1 per week. As a team, we can change lives in Malawi. Thank you, Sarah x
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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;
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. email@example.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
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?
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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). email@example.com
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? firstname.lastname@example.org
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? email@example.com
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.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
I’ve had a lovely donation today from a lady who heard me talking about Malawi, and showing photos, at church one Sunday. She has been busy knitting teddies for the children in the nursery as well as a baby blanket and two quilts. We are always very grateful when people have spent time & used their talents to help us support some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi.
This week, the 75 children in the nursery will receive the gifts we have sent for them. Proper records are kept, so any children who are absent, will receive their gifts another day. This way, we know that all children have had gifts when starting nursery and again when starting at Bright Futures Secondary School.
Each child will receive; a gym bag, a blanket, 2 red t-shirts (nursery uniform), 3 pairs of pants, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap and a picture book with some words in it. These children have missed out on all the stages of pre-reading that we take for granted with our children. We would love for every home to have at least two books. So you should see a post later in the week of the pre-school children receiving all these gifts.
As this is an ongoing project, I would love to be able to send a knitted teddy or other small soft toy for each of them. This would be the first toy they would have of their own. Can you help us? It would be lovely if they each had a teddy to cuddle as they go to sleep at night. please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to support this project by knitting teddies for the 75 children we help to support who are age 4-6.
Or when you are shopping, could you buy some bars of soap on a regular basis? Or toothbrushes & toothpaste? Quite often, at this time of year, there will be packets of pants in the sales…we need age 3-6 please if you’d like to buy some. Are your children tidying out some of their books they’ve finished reading? Then we’d like pre-school ones for this nursery project and older books for the school literacy project please. The plain red t-shirts we are sending are either round neck or polo t-shirts that are ages 3 – 6 and are in the school uniform department of shops & supermarkets.
As these children are fed each time the nursery meets to try to reduce the malnutrition all the children suffer from, this obviously has an ongoing cost. Could you support helping to feed these children please? Could you commit to £5 or £10 per month towards food for the nursery? Any help you can give will make a huge difference. We need to build a team to support this project and these children to give them a better start. email@example.com Thanks for your support and commitment to helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x
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.
We couldn’t help the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children we support without the help of our wonderful supporters. We always say it’s about teamwork and we each have our own skills and ways that we can make a difference. That might be volunteering your time, your talents, sponsoring a child or making a one off or regular monitory donation. We need each and every one of you. The children need you. They now have hope and a brighter future because of you. Thank you.
We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received when fundraising to build phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School. We said that if anyone donated £500 or over towards the building of the school, they could name a classroom if they wanted to. The two classrooms have been named; Form 1 is named after a girl called Shona and Form 2 is named after Professor Derek Knottenbelt. Thank you very much for your support and help with enabling phase 1 of Bright Futures Secondary School to be built so quickly.
We currently have a new latrine block that needs sponsoring….would you like your company advertised on the wall? And the staff house needs to be named after someone or a business… as the house is split in two, there are two opportunities to have your name painted on one of the walls. If you would like to donate £500 or more, we would be very grateful, and you can let us know what name you would like to be displayed on your behalf. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading and for all your support. It really is a team effort, and we couldn’t help so many vulnerable children without you. As there are no admin costs or salaries in our charity, 100% of what you give goes to the projects we support. Therefore, despite always being on a shoestring, we make the most of what money we have. That’s why your support is vital and very much appreciated. Thanks, Sarah x
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 email@example.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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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? email@example.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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help us change these children’s lives. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x
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
These lovely blue t-shirts were sent by Julian of whose small charity is called ‘Wear a Sports Shirt Day’. Julian collects sports clothes and other clothes like school uniforms every weekend to send on to people who will make good use of them. He’s previously sent boxes of gifts to The Foundation including football strips and boots, tracksuits, hockey equipment and Christmas jumpers and hats. We are very grateful to him for all he does and to the people who donate to him.
I’m going to be doing a few posts over the weekend as there is so much going on at The Foundation! It’s exciting to see the school building progressing and the children will be adding some more kilometres to our total virtual fundraising journey over the weekend. The link to the fundraiser is https://gofund.me/44a92444
Julian thank you again and thank you to all our supporters. We couldn’t do what we do without your help. Thanks for reading and supporting. Sarah x
Didn’t someone sing a song about that? Yes… now I’ve got that tune in your heads… the answer is Willie Nelson!!
Stuart and I packed some more boxes and took 16 of them to Dundee today to The Bananabox Trust warehouse to be processed and then await the next container.
Whilst at the BBT warehouse I took some photos to show Levison the chairs that are being sent for the school and a few tables. Hopefully, we will find more secondhand tables here to prevent them going to landfill or local carpenters will make desks in Malawi.
Only a short blog today… wonder if I can add our kms to the challenge? Lol I think that answer will be ‘no’ but I’ve added a map to show you the route of the first 111km that the boxes travel. Thanks for reading, Sarah x
Running a Foundation is a huge responsibility and the rural location of The Foundation adds to the pressure that Levison is under.
There are no big agencies feeding children in schools in the far north of Malawi. The responsibility has fallen to The Foundation to feed 500+ children once a week. Children are walking from up to 20km away to have that one substantial meal each week.
This is all we can afford at the moment. There are so many calls on finances as we try our best to support a community back to self-sufficiency.
The Foundation teaches life skills to the children and young people. Growing crops is part of the skills the children learn. Unfortunately the crop of maize was affected by the flooding earlier this year and part of the crop was washed away. This year’s crop will only feed the children for two months.
The price of buying maize fluctuates throughout the year depending on availability and time of year.
The Malawian Kwacha was devalued a few months ago and all prices have gone up. However, maize is more than double the price it was this time last year.
Thank you to the few people who have given £5 per month towards the feeding programme as we have been grateful for this to top up the money we send each month to feed the children.
We know that we are asking for a lot of help but the more people who know about our charity and The Foundation, the more we can spread the help we need across more supporters. So I urge you to please share our posts and also tell your friends about us and the help we need.
All of us in the U.K. are volunteers and no money is spent on admin costs as we donate our time, petrol for transporting boxes to Dundee etc. So you can be sure if you donate money for feeding children, that’s where it will go.
Please, please can you donate £5 per month towards our feeding programme? I need 20 people to commit to £5 per month to enable the children to still be fed a substantial meal each week at The Foundation.
Please, if you can, donate £5 p/m by emailing email@example.com for bank details. The children have come to rely on that one substantial meal each week…we can’t let them down.
Please help us continue helping the children by donating £5 per month for food. firstname.lastname@example.org to help feed the 500+ vulnerable children today. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x