Rugby Coaching 2023


Sarah’s blog 02/10/23

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to help make it possible for Jack Mphande, Rugby Development Officer from Malawi Rugby, to visit the far north of Malawi to spend time with teachers and young people sharing his love of rugby.

Secondly, a HUGE thank you to Jack for making the 15 hour journey north from Lilongwe. We know that you are a busy man and very in demand, so we are very happy and thankful that you have agreed to visit for a second time. Jack said how much the Foundation had changed and grown since his last visit! There was no Bright Futures Secondary School then!

Today, teachers from Bright Futures Secondary School, and four local primary schools, and the District Education Sports Officer had theory lessons from 10am-2pm. After that, they were joined outside by students from Bright Futures Secondary School for practical learning. Tomorrow, Jack will start visiting local primary schools who sent teachers to the course, to work with the teachers and students there. Then on the last day there will be tournaments between the schools.

The commitment, concentration and the passion from the sports teachers was great. We did the Get Into Rugby session, basic requirements in Rugby Coaching and what to do to sustain the programme. Coaches had a learning experience with the kids and I gave them an assignment to demonstrate how they will be delivering the session starting tomorrow at their own school. They did well and the kids had fun too.

Jack Mphande, Rugby Development Officer

There will be many more photos and videos documenting Jack’s visit along with the learning journey and fun that everyone will have. I love the photos of the teachers who were also doing practical learning! Many thanks again to everyone who has helped to enable this visit to happen. Enjoy the photos and videos, Sarah x

Sports at Bright Futures Secondary School


Sarah’s blog 16/12/22

Everyone is settling into a routine at Bright Futures Secondary School. Here are some photos from today of some of the young people. The boys have been playing football and the girls netball and football. The teachers are in the black and white stripe tops, being great role models for the teenagers and ensuring that the girls (as well as the boys) are playing team sports, keeping fit and healthy physically and mentally, learning new skills and growing in self-esteem.

I am still busy trying to raise money for desks and more textbooks then onto phase 2 of the school. By building two more classrooms, more vulnerable teenagers will benefit from a free secondary education as well as a hot nutritious lunch each day at school. Thank you to all those who have supported our fundraising. If you are able to donate to help provide desks and more textbooks, then here is the link

Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Reviewing the first week of Bright Futures Secondary School


Sarah’s blog 13/11/22

Reviewing and reflecting on activities and learning is very important as it’s not all about what we think will work or what we want. It’s about improving the lives of the young people and therefore their voices need to be heard and their opinions taken into consideration when planning.

Levison asked me to speak with some of the young people this morning about their thoughts on their first week at Bright Futures Secondary School. Everyone enjoyed the school and thought the teaching was very good. They are pleased they are getting a cooked lunch at school. I was asked if there would be hostels for teens who had further to walk or who were orphaned. I was able to explain that we do want to do that eventually but next on the list is desks for the existing classrooms then we want to be able to build two more classrooms.

Later in the day Levison had a meeting with some of the parents and carers. He said they were all very supportive. He took two videos of parents saying that the amazing school project was a dream coming true and that they thanked the donors very much.

When we were planning for what resources the teachers needed, Levison was insistent that the teachers needed flip charts. I thought these would just be for making bullet points, but I now see their value. There is no printer yet to print out information from the internet, there are no colourful posters. So, the teachers have worked hard to make visuals aids for the walls of the classrooms. Not only does this provide notes for regular revision of subject matter, but it also provides proof of what lessons have been taught. Anyone visiting the school from the education department, or any other visitors will be able to see at a glance the quality of the lessons being taught.

A great first week at Bright Futures Secondary School and lots of eager teenagers are looking forward to their second week. Thanks to all who have helped make this happen, Sarah x

Parents and carers have come to talk about how they think the first week has been for their teenagers – they look serious but they have expressed how pleased they are with having the new school in the village and thanked the donors very much. They said it’s a dream come true.

VIP Visitors to Bright Futures Secondary School


Sarah’s blog 4/11/22

An amazing and very busy day at The Foundation! Lots of dignitaries were invited to see Bright Futures Secondary School prior to its opening on Monday. There were several village chiefs, head teachers from other local schools, head of the area police and church leaders as well as a few other representatives from the community. All of them were delighted with phase 1 of the school and the chiefs all spoke about how grateful they were for the donors and the work that is being done by Levison and team.

One chief, who hadn’t been to secondary school, said he wished the school had been there 20 years ago so he could have studied there. He asked Levison if he could visit the students at the school to talk to them and tell them how fortunate they are and to study hard. Another chief asked if adults could go to the school. Unfortunately, there isn’t room for them at the same time as the children, however Levison was able to tell them about the plans for adult literacy and numeracy classes.

The head chief said that he was going to ensure all the families of students knew that they had a responsibility to ensure their child behaved well and studied hard. The police chief said that he would ensure the protection of the teachers, staff and the work going on at The Foundation and, with the chiefs, would ensure all the villagers know who the new teachers are and that they must be respected.

On entering the classrooms, one of the men started crying. He couldn’t believe what had been achieved when, not so very long ago, there was nothing there. Now hundreds of the most vulnerable children over the next few years will have the gift of education. They will be given a way out of poverty and the chance of a brighter future. The VIPs listened to Levison and also asked lots of questions and wanted the donors to know how grateful they are for what is being done for the children in their community. So, on behalf of everyone in Ibuluma, if you have donated towards the school project – THANK YOU. We couldn’t help the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children without you.

The teachers have arrived and will be working some of this weekend with Levison to plan a timetable and plan their lessons for Monday. Of course, the children who come to The Foundation at the weekend will be interested to meet the new teachers! If you would like to contribute to help us to send money for desks, then here is the link

Busy times but thankful and grateful for all that has been achieved and for the people who are on this journey with us to provide a brighter future an continue Changing Lives Malawi. Enjoy the photos, Sarah x

A busy & successful day


Sarah’s blog 30/10/22

At the start of last week, Levison carried out telephone interviews for staff for the school. The ones that were called for second interviews came to The Foundation this morning to have a look round and be interviewed. So now Bright Futures Secondary School has teachers and teaching assistants! Another huge step forward. Many thanks to Ndongolera Mwangupili from the Department of Education for his help with the interview process.

All being well, the teaching staff will arrive back at the weekend ready to start school next Monday 7/11/22. It’s very exciting to see it all coming together but there is still a lot to organise before then. If you are able to donate to help us buy more textbooks and build desks, then we would be very grateful

So that is the news from Malawi today. At Strathblane, the Ranger Guides were holding a Halloween themed bake sale. They were raising money for their unit and also making a donation to Changing Lives Malawi. We popped along and the cakes we bought were delicious. Julie, one of the leaders messaged me later to say that they’d nearly sold out and had raised the target they’d set themselves. They have donated £100 of it to our charity. Girls we are extremely grateful for your support and that you have been helping others as well as raising money for your unit. Thanks so much!

At Balfron Church this morning, I was able to talk about the projects we are supporting in Malawi and show photos too. I took some of our cards and calendars and made a few sales and someone committed to sponsor a child through secondary school. So, it’s been a busy and successful day! Hope you enjoy the photos, Sarah x

preparing for the interviews

The teachers relaxing after their interviews

There was a great turn out for the bake sale despite the rain!

Lots of lovely treats

Lots of smiles despite the rain

Thank you girls for raising money for Changing Lives Malawi

Our fundraising calendars for sale at £10 plus £2 p&p

Bright Futures Secondary School – Let’s build this school


Sarah’s blog 30/08/22

It’s time for an exciting update on Bright Futures Secondary School. Lot’s of hard work has been going on here and, of course, in Malawi to try to make this a reality for some of the most vulnerable young people in rural northern Malawi who would otherwise miss out on secondary education.

It’s so difficult when trying to manage everything on a shoestring and costs are rising. However, where there is a will there is a way. This school is desperately needed and, therefore, it will happen.

Because of the rural location, accommodation is needed for teachers. The first block of teachers accommodation is almost complete and the work on the foundations for the first two classrooms of Bright Futures Secondary School is about to be begin. This is just the start….we have so much more to do. We need you on our team to help these vulnerable young people out of poverty and to a brighter future.

All the bricks that have been made have been dried and stacked into kilns and the first of the kilns was fired. It was covered in mud and a fire lit in each gap. One person was responsible for each fire, ensuring their fire burned brightly all through the night. The kiln will now be left for over a week to cool down again, the mud will be removed and the bricks will be ready to use.

We really do need your help to ensure that education is available to all these vulnerable young people. Education is their way out of poverty. To make a donation here is the link Let’s give the gift of education…it might be one of the most important gifts you every give a vulnerable child. To get in touch Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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