In memory of a special lady

Sarah’s blog 14/11/21

It would have been my lovely mother-in-law’s birthday today. After she passed away, we sent money to Levison for him to buy fruit tree saplings in memory of her. Levison has kindly taken photos of some of the saplings for me to add to this post and we are sending more money to mark her birthday and to buy some more tree saplings.

As you know, it’s so important for the planet to plant more trees and we are hoping that people will join this initiative and support us. With COP26 having just finished and there still being a huge amount of work to do, it’s so important to plant hundreds of tree saplings to protect the environment and planet.

As wood has been the only source of fuel for cooking and warmth, previously lots of wood has been needed. However, Levison and team are going to look at making briquettes from agricultural waste and the eco-stove project is continuing so much less wood will be used in future. The eco-stoves use far less fuel and are enclosed so they are much safer to cook on.

Although these fruit tree saplings are small, Levison assures me they will grow fast during the rains which will be coming within the next few weeks. There should be fruit in the next couple of years. This project benefits the planet and the people. The most vulnerable people. The William Stewart Foundation supports over 800 orphans and other vulnerable young people and there are no agencies feeding children in schools in that area. Approximately 500 malnourished children are fed a nutritious meal once a week at the Foundation. That is their one substantial meal of the week. Imagine being able to add fruit to their diet too? A huge orchard of fruit trees will mean a healthier community. It will also create employment and any surplus fruit will be able to be sold as a source of income for the Foundation, helping them on the road to self-sufficiency.

Four fruit tree saplings are £10. I am buying 8 today in memory of Isa Black, my lovely mother-in-law. We would love your help to support this project to plant a sustainable future in rural northern Malawi. I can change the wording on e-gifts for any occasion and personalise them. You could also have a sign in the orchard in memory of a loved one. Just let me know and I can help. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com . Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Fruit Tree Saplings – planting a sustainable future

Sarah’s blog 12/11/21

Imagine a community without enough to eat. Not much energy to work as they haven’t eaten enough, not much work to go around as everyone is after the same jobs doing piecework. Children missing school to walk long distances to the nearest maize mill carrying heavy burdens. No water to drink, no food to eat.

Thankfully, things are improving in Ibuluma where The William Stewart Foundation is. However, the situation was so bad that there is a lot still to do. The task is daunting but we know we have people supporting us to raise the money needed to fund the projects. We are very grateful for the group of people who contribute funds, goods, their time and effort. However, we need to do more. How can we reach more people? How can we increase our regular income? Who could donate or fundraise? Please have a think about these questions as just maybe you might have the answer.

These are some of the ways that lives have improved so far for the hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children supported by The Foundation. Remember, there are no big charities in the far north of Malawi feeding children in schools….The William Stewart Foundation is all these extremely vulnerable children have. We need to ensure more food for their future.

  1. The Feeding Programme – at least 600 children are fed once every week, maize and vegetables from The Foundations crops are used where possible.
  2. The Foundation Nursery – 50 preschool children meet 3 times a week to play and are fed porridge or other food at each session. The nursery children have all been given a blanket each and a uniform. There are waterproof jackets for them that will be given out once the rains start.
  3. The Mother & Baby project – thanks to donations of baby clothes & blankets and beautiful knitting that has been donated, Levison was able to visit the maternity ward at the local health centre. Babies will be warm and, if health professionals tell the mums that they can return for more clothes for their babies in a few weeks, that gives the health experts another chance to interact with the mums and babies and have another chance for a check up.
  4. Thanks to lots of donations of preloved school uniform, other clothes and shoes, all children and young people have had new clothes to wear and their self-esteem is improving.
  5. Thanks to several sports clubs and generous people who have donated for The Foundation, children now feel like proper football or netball teams and have a sense of identity and belonging with their friends. They can forget their problems whilst learning about and playing football, netball & other sports.
  6. 70 of the most vulnerable children and young people now have been matched with sponsors, enabling them to have a monthly food parcel and their secondary school education paid for them…an opportunity which would not have been open to them without support from their sponsors.
  7. Several orphans have been helped to find homes with foster families following bereavement. These kind families have also received support to accommodate an extra mouth to feed.
  8. 20 plus teenagers are on the apprenticeship scheme, learning agricultural skills as well as bricklaying, making eco-stoves and animal husbandry etc.
  9. Children and young people are learning life skills like gardening and growing crops, animal husbandry, sewing, knitting and carving.
  10. Period Poverty Project; each girl who needs one is gifted a drawstring bag with 3 pairs of pants (donated by charity Smalls for All) 5 reusable sanitary towels, soap and a health information sheet. They now no longer have to miss one week of school each month. They have dignity and do not need to hide in shame. There are a group of girls using the hand turn sewing machines to make these as well as masks for everyone for protection during the pandemic.
  11. School Literacy Project; local schools are being gifted boxes of books to help children practice and improve their literacy levels.
  12. Emma’s Rainbow Library has been built, giving children access to a variety of books and we are adding more as time goes on.
  13. Most importantly; The Foundation has a clean water supply making a huge difference to this community. The shower block has recently been completed as the second part of the WASH project.
  14. Fruit trees are being planted, helping the planet but also providing food for the people…planting a sustainable future…we need support with this as we are just at the start of this project.

I’m sure there are lots of other things I haven’t mentioned, and as soon as I’ve finished typing I will probably think ‘oh I forgot to say that’….but as you can see there have been many changes and improvements but lots more work to do. We’d love more people to support us….it’s all about playing a small part of a team and together we can continue #changinglivesmalawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Appeal – Planting a Sustainable Future

Sarah’s blog 3/11/21

As the world is highlighting changes that we all need to make to protect our planet at COP26 in Glasgow, we are doing our bit too. We would love you to help us support The William Stewart Foundation by expanding their Eco Stove Project. Levison would also like the apprentices to start making briquettes from agricultural waste, saving trees and also planting a large number of fruit tree saplings, bringing food for the future and planting for the planet. Please join us by buying fruit tree saplings as alternative, sustainable gifts. We can presonalise messages, and send either by email or by post with a card. Contact us via the website or facebook or by emailing contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com and we will help you purchase your gifts to plant a sustainable future in Northern Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x