Getting ready for school

Sarah’s blog 26/7/22

As you know, we are trying our best to raise money to build the first block of a secondary school. Bright Futures Secondary School will be a community school for the orphans and other vulnerable young people to attend.

Education should be available for everyone. There are currently not enough places at local secondary schools. If you don’t get picked for a place, even if you have passed your primary leavers exams and can afford the school fees.

This is what happened to eleven of our sponsored young people this year. They are resitting their last year of primary school, hoping for better grades, hoping to be picked for a place.

As the local secondary school is a distance away the young people, who are sponsored and do get a place at school, have to board at school. This adds to costs and also means they aren’t available to help their families with chores.

A secondary school in the village would make such a difference to so many people. Education is their way out of dire poverty – their way to a better future for themselves and their families.

Bricks are being made…about 40,000 so far, and kilns are going to be built soon to fire the bricks.

There are people working hard in Malawi and here to try our best to help these vulnerable children. As well as education, a school will help prevent teenage pregnancies and girls being married off too soon. Already, The Foundation has proved that if the young people are kept busy and given opportunities then there will be far less teenage pregnancies. The young people’s self-esteem has increased as they learn new skills, play team sports with their peers and read in the library. They know people care about them. They have hope for a better future. We need to continue supporting the projects that support them. This is absolutely vital to protect these vulnerable young people.

Here, we are trying to raise funds and awareness. It’s really hard as we know that some people have less available cash. We need to reach a wider group of people and if we all give a little, that will add up to a lot!

Also, we are trying to source supplies to provide for the young people when the school is built. We need to plan ahead as the container takes approximately 3 months for its journey.

There are over 100 chairs at The Bananabox Trust warehouse that we are sending for the first phase of the school. Someone donated boxes of new laptop bags. We are sending 80 of these for the young people to use as school bags. Pencil cases and pens are in boxes too as well as some secondary school uniform.

Stuart, my husband, delivered some boxes and 72 rugby balls to Dundee today and took a photo of all the chairs to show Levison.

I also received a photo from one of our supporters today who put a shout out on her village Facebook page asking for preloved secondary school uniform. People have been very generous as she’s collected a great amount which will kit out some of the pupils who will attend Bright Futures Secondary School.

There’s still so much to do and so much money to raise but we WILL do this. The children are relying on us. So if you can spare a few £££ we would be so grateful. Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Donate here: https://GoFund.me/44a92444 or get in touch contact_us@changibglivesmalawi.com

The donations that Stuart took to Dundee today including 72 rugby balls from Annan rugby club and Merchiston Castle School. You can see that the warehouse is getting full.
The chairs that we are sending for Bright Futures Secondary School
We are grateful for this huge pile of secondary school uniform donations that we will send for the pupils when they start school

Traci’s reached 200km

Sarah’s blog 18/7/22

Traci has just logged her second 100km… you are amazingly dedicated Traci, even in this hot weather! Very well done and thank you for supporting us.

Now we need people to show support for Traci’s effort to help raise funds to build a much needed school in rural Northern Malawi. Please read what Traci says:

“I’ve just logged my latest 101.64km for Changing Lives Malawi, walked over the last 8 days, bringing my total for the first 18 days of July to 229.21km – so I’m well on schedule to smashing my 500km by the end of August. I’d like to proudly boast that 4 of those km were done in high heels on Wednesday in Dundee! The rest were done locally in East Dunbartonshire in sensible walking shoes, but todays 11.5km were particularly challenging in Sahara-like conditions!
If you’d like to show your encouragement, and more importantly help build a school in Northern Malawi, please make a small donation at https://gofund.me/44a92444
It would also be great if you could support the cause by logging your own km – it can be a one-off walk, run, cycle, swim, row etc – we really need more people to get involved to reach the target of 13,144 km to Malawi. You can log your km at https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9
Thank you!”

Please donate here: https://gofund.me/44a92444

And to read more info and take part in the km challenge: https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9%20

Thanks for reading and supporting and thanks Traci for your dedication, Sarah x

Traci on her walks in sensible shoes and her lovely high heels that walked 4km!

Merchiston Castle School – Rugby Donation

Sarah’s blog 18/06/22

Last week, Stuart had been to Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh to collect donations of rugby balls and kit from Annan Rugby Club which Bruce Aitchison had collected for us. Bruce is House Master for Rogerson House at Merchiston Castle School and also founder of the social media site all about rugby

https://www.happinessiseggshaped.org

https://facebook.com@happinessiseggshaped.org

Bruce and some of his rugby friends have been very supportive of our charity and how we are trying to support some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. So Stuart visited the school again yesterday and met up with Bruce to collect the balls and kit from Merchiston Castle School.

Rugby has only very recently been introduced to the Chitipa District in the far north of Malawi when Jack Mphande, Malawi International Rugby Player and Rugby Development Officer, ran two rugby coaching camps. He is going to visit again to start coaching in schools in that area. Jack was very impressed with how the young people he was working with picked up the sport so quickly and his enthusiasm for the game was picked up by the children. The rugby donations we have been given are going to make a big difference to these young people. They will also know that people they have never met care about them.

All of these children are either orphans or living in dire poverty. All are very vulnerable. Until quite recently they had no hope. For them to have a visit from a top coach like Jack Mphande was so special for them. Someone important visiting them, working with them, teaching new skills, spending time with them, chatting with them, encouraging them and calling them by name. That experience is priceless. These children are more confident and their self-esteem has improved and they enjoy playing team sports with their friends whilst they forget about the problems and difficulties in their lives. An holistic approach is being taken, it’s so much more than just feeding hungry, malnourished children.

My blog from earlier this week International Day of the African Child – some of the projects which are helping the most vulnerable children – Changing Lives Malawi highlights some of the ways the children’s lives are changing for the better and shares some great photos and videos. Each of these projects requires funding to enable us to keep helping this community towards their goal of self-sufficiency. If you would like to donate to help the children please email me contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com .

Children also benefit from being matched with a sponsor to help provide more food, a blanket, clothes, welfare checks and pay for secondary education. If you would like to sponsor a vulnerable child it’s only £25 per month and you can sponsor as an individual or share the cost with a friend or family. A business or club could sponsor a child too. Ninety of the most vulnerable children have been matched with sponsors but there are many more waiting for a helping hand. Can you sponsor a child today? Or donate to one of the projects? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com .

Thank you so much to Bruce and all at Rogerson House, Merchiston Castle School for your generosity. Here are some photos and videos of some of the children you will be supporting. These were taken on their first day so they did brilliantly! If you want to keep up to date with our latest news you can follow us on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/changinglivesmalawi/ We are also on twitter and instagram and you can sign up to follow my blogs so you don’t miss anything! Thanks so much again, Sarah x

An update on my 31 Days in May Challenge – Let’s build a school!

Sarah’s blog 14/6/22

It seems ages ago that I was eating rice and vegetables to represent how little to eat the children in Malawi have. I was also cycling on my exercise bike to represent how far the children have to walk to school each day. Because of your generosity, we have already sent £1,400 to Malawi for them to begin making the bricks for the new school. We obviously need more money than this but it is a very good start. My fundraiser is still open if anyone else would still like to donate then here is the link https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Let’s build a school!

There are currently not enough spaces in the local secondary school. If you don’t get picked to go to secondary school then you don’t go. That’s not fair. Life is very hard for these children. Lots of the children are orphans, others are also very vulnerable. All have experienced loss and trauma. The Foundation is taking an holistic approach to try to give these children a better future. To try to change their lives. Let’s build a school!

We also hope to bring news of a team event soon that everyone can join in if they want and be sponsored! Let’s build a school!!

130 chairs are going on the container to Malawi this time, as well as boxes and a few tables. If anyone knows of any adult size school tables that are being updated and no longer needed then please let me know. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Let’s build a school!

We were very fortunate to receive a grant last week from The Souter Charitable Trust for 10 full sets of text books for each of the 4 years of secondary school. These will make a big difference to the young people to have a higher ratio of books per student during lessons and for homework and studying. The cheque was for £3,250 so we are very, very grateful. Let’s build this school and improve the lives of vulnerable young people. Education is their way out of poverty. Every child deserves an education. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 . Thanks for reading and helping us to help The Foundation support hundreds of very vulnerable children, Sarah x Let’s build a school!

Photos of children who have sponsors (primary & nursery)

Photos of primary and nursery children who are sponsored. Thank you so much to their sponsors for changing their lives.

Sarah’s blog 11/6/22

**There are just a few children missing from this…once Levison gets their photos this week I will add them here ** Also, a few children’s ages were out slightly…it’s much harder to keep proper records there and occasionally children have got their ages wrong…these details have all been taken from school records. For example little Brighton who was helped last weekend said he was 7. He’s not quite 7 yet…so hopefully that explains any discrepancies. Any information I post is in good faith but I apologise if I get anything incorrect. Anyway….enjoy these photos and I’ll add the others very soon.

The schools are on holiday for two weeks so we thought it was a good opportunity to take photos of those who haven’t had their photos taken for a while. Unfortunately, Levison’s motorbike broke down yesterday (only a small part that needs fixing) but that took him away from his plans to get the rest of the children’s photos.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every sponsor who is making a difference to these children’s lives. All of the photos are of sponsored children at primary or nursery….apart from Rodrick. He was there when his big sisters were getting their photos taken and he wanted his photo taken too! So if anyone does want to sponsor a child…Rodrick hasn’t got a sponsor and there are also children in a post from earlier this week whom I highlighted. Sponsorship is only 85p per day….£25 per month. Two friends could split the cost between them and sponsor a child together. It makes a HUGE difference to these children who know that someone really cares about what happens to them. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Hope you enjoy the photos, Sarah x

It’s a great day for Brighton!

Sarah’s blog 7/6/22

I’m so pleased to be able to share the news that little Brighton Ng’ambi has a sponsor. I have been emailing with a lady today who has kindly offered to be the helping hand that Brighton needs. Thank you so much! We appreciate all our sponsors…it’s not easy for some to set aside £25 every month to commit to sponsoring a child. But it might be the most important thing anyone has ever done for them. We understand it is a big commitment which is why we say that two friends can sponsor a child together if they would like.

Brighton, an orphan, now has the helping hand he needs. He will receive clothes, a blanket, welfare checks and a monthly food parcel as well as being encouraged to access the weekly feeding programme. The gift of sponsoring a child is priceless. More food means better concentration and growth. A blanket means a better sleep. New clothes means more confidence and self-esteem. All of these together add up to better school attendance and learning and a happier healthier child.

As well as the Feeding Programme, children have access to the library with lots of lovely books to read and are being taught how to use computers (although there is no internet yet as that is an extra cost we cannot afford at the moment). They are encouraged to learn life skills like growing crops, cooking, sewing and knitting, basket making, mat weaving and brick making. They also learn to care for the chickens and goats. Children are cared about holistically and love to play team sports when they are at The Foundation; football, netball, rugby and also hockey.

So on behalf of Brighton, and all the other sponsored children, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are making a difference. You are helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi. There are lots of other children waiting for a sponsor so please get in touch if you would like to be part of our team of sponsors contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com You can change a life today. We will update you about Brighton when we can. Thank you for reading and your support, Sarah x

Yay! Good news for Brighton. He has a sponsor! Thank you!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Sarah’s blog 24/12/21

From the small team of volunteers at Changing Lives Malawi and Levison and his team in Malawi, we all wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas. Thank you to those of you who have supported us and helped us through the last year.

With your help, we’ve continued support The Foundation to feed over 500 children every week, provided clothes and shoes, books for the library and the local school, provided a monthly donation for the nursery to run, provided money for a shower block, matched more children with sponsors, have more young people attending secondary school, provided clothes and blankets for the babies at the local maternity ward at the health centre. And that’s just a few of the things that have been happening. None of it can happen without you being part of the team and we very much appreciate the role everyone plays.

We still need to get 5 young people matched with sponsors to pay their secondary school fees….if you can help with this then please get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com With very best wishes and thanks, Sarah x

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