10 Teddies – supporting the nursery children

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Sarah’s blog 8/1/23

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 contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com 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. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thanks for your support and commitment to helping us continue Changing Lives Malawi, Sarah x

A Christmas Party for 500

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Sarah’s blog 22/12/22

First of all I must thank a very special couple who have made today possible. They support us in several ways and are also sponsors. They paid for the food for today’s Christmas Party. Food prices are rising all the time so things are very expensive so we are extremely grateful to them for £150 they donated in order that the children were able to have a nice meal today. A goat was also killed and everyone was able to have some meat. It’s a happy day today.

I cannot imagine how much these children were looking forward to their food today. Some may not have eaten at all for a couple of days. This meal is a feast for them and the most nutritious food they get. Unfortunately, there are no big charities or agencies feeding children in schools in this area in the far north of Malawi. (I have written to them several times to ask for support for almost 5,000 in the local primary schools). So all the children are malnourished to varying degrees. The intention was that approximately 200 of the most vulnerable children, most of whom are orphans. Word spread, and soon there were 500 queuing for food, with some children walking from up to 20km away. It’s another world and we don’t realise how fortunate we are. We can only afford to send enough money to feed 500 children once a week. These children need more. They deserve more.

Unfortunately, it rained for a while today whilst the children were there. However, the silver lining is that there were indoor spaces for them to play and have their food now there are two classrooms as well as Emma’s library and Sophie’s Skills Shed. Thank you to the teachers, staff and volunteers who worked hard today to ensure that all who turned up were fed and had a great time. Unfortunately, because it was so busy, Levison forgot about all the Santa hats. He has said they will make an appearance another day. The pupils at Bright Futures Secondary School insisted on looking smart in their school uniform despite the fact that the last day of term was yesterday.

Going forward, we will require more people to support the feeding programme as costs have risen. If you would like to make a one off donation or could sign up for a monthly amount then please do get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Or if you would like to help us build the next two classrooms in phase 2 of Bright Futures Secondary School you can email me or donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 . We need to build the team around these children to enable them to have a better, brighter future. We cannot do that without your support. Hopefully, from these photos and videos you will see that your donations are making a difference and changing lives. If looking at these videos and photos brings a smile to your face could you ask yourself what you could do to support them?

We need sponsors to support the most vulnerable with education and provide food, clothes and welfare visits. We need people to commit to monthly donations to support the feeding programme or free school meals at Bright Futures Secondary School. Or could your company help pay for a classroom? Would you like your name or the name of a loved one over a classroom door? Also there are activities like the rugby coaching fortnight that will be happening in the spring that we need financial help with please.

We are making a difference. We are changing lives. We need you to help us. It’s always about teamwork and we all have a part to play. Will you help? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Enjoy and thanks for reading, Sarah x

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Emily and Catherine

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Sarah’s blog 19/11/22

This is the story of Emily and Catherine, two girls who have greatly benefitted from being part of the sponsorship programme.

When students have taken their primary school leavers exams, they are placed according to their grades. The ones who have the highest grades are offered a place at Wenya Secondary School, then after that Chisenga Secondary School.

Part of the reason Bright Futures Secondary School was built, and is so important for the community, is that there are not enough places on offer at Wenya and Chisenga for all students who passed their primary school leavers exams. Those with the best grades get chosen for a secondary school place. The rest do not get a place and have to either leave school with only primary school qualifications, or resit p8 with the hope of getting better exam results the following year and being offered a place at Chisenga. All secondary school education must be paid for. If you cannot pay, even if you are offered a place, then you cannot go. Students at Bright Futures Secondary School, who are the most vulnerable, will not have to pay any fees.

Emily and Catherine both did so well in their primary school leavers exams that they were offered places at Wenya Secondary School which was an amazing achievement for them. They have been encouraged and supported and are thriving and working hard. They have just started in 3rd year at Wenya after passing their second-year exams. They made these short videos before they returned to school and are both growing in confidence which is lovely to see.

When they were originally picked to go to Wenya school, and others were picked for places at Chisenga, I had a huge shopping list of what needed to be purchased for all the students. I suggested that Levison take Emily and Catherine with him on that shopping trip to help him. He had to hire a car as there was so much to buy, and the three of them had a great day. It was the first time the girls had been to town and the first time they had eaten in a restaurant. Good experiences for them before going to their new school.

So, if you needed proof that being a sponsor CAN change lives and DOES make a difference, then Emily and Catherine are great examples of how you could get involved and change a child’s life. There are so many others like Emily and Catherine just waiting for someone to take a chance on them and give them the gift of education. It’s only £25 per month and you can sponsor as an individual or share the cost with a friend. It might be the most important thing anyone ever does for a very vulnerable young person in rural northern Malawi. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

Please will you sponsor me? – Changing Lives Malawi

Catherine Nyondo
Emily Mkwala
Two years ago, just before starting at Wenya Secondary School, Emily and Catherine helped Levison with the school shopping list for themselves and the other sponsored young people. It was the first time they had been in town and at a restaurant for lunch. It was a great day for them.

Please will you sponsor me?

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Sarah’s blog 14/11/22

The teenagers who have started at Bright Futures Secondary School have all had a very difficult life. Some have had an extremely hard time. They have had to miss a lot of school to work for a pittance to try to earn a few coins to contribute towards food in their homes. That’s why they are all older than you would expect. The older they are, the more school they missed and the longer they have had to work.

Some young people not yet been matched with a sponsor. Having a sponsor will help pay for their place at school. It will help towards the stationary they need, the exam fees, uniform, other clothes, a blanket, soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, a wind-up torch and a school bag. It will also help towards providing a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime.

It’s £25 per month to sponsor a child. You can do this as an individual, as a family, a business or a club or two friends can split the cost. This might be the most important thing that anyone ever does for one of these young people. As well as financial support, they will know someone cares about them. They will know they are important and that someone is willing to invest in their future. Can you be a sponsor to one of the young people please? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

We recognise that the commitment of being a sponsor is not for everyone, so we are also looking for people to commit to £5 or £10 per month to ensure that all the students receive a nutritious hot meal each lunchtime. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com These teenagers need a team around them in order that they can succeed and be the best they can be. They need to be warm and have food in their tummies to be able to concentrate on their studies. They shouldn’t be so cold at night they can’t sleep. They shouldn’t be so hungry that they can’t concentrate. They have been given the gift of education and they need to have the opportunity to succeed. Please can you be part of the team supporting these young people to be the best that they can be?

Here are some of the young people who need your help. Please do get in touch if you would like to support one of them or support our school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School. Thank you, Sarah x

School Lunches at Bright Futures Secondary School

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Sarah’s blog 10/11/22

It’s nearly the end of the first week at Bright Futures Secondary School and things are going well. We still need to raise more money for desks and also more textbooks but some of the most vulnerable young people in Ibuluma are being educated and are having lunch at school too. This is a huge achievement for Levison and his team. Most of the young people are slightly older than they would be in UK or other countries as they have had to drop out of school to help earn a pittance to feed themselves. Life has been desperate for them all. Things are now changing.

First Day of Bright Futures Secondary School 07/11/22 – Changing Lives Malawi

These young people would not normally get the chance to go to secondary school because of the costs involve and also there were not enough places in the nearest secondary schools. So, even if you had a sponsor to pay your fees and you’d passed your primary school leavers exams, if you aren’t picked for a place at secondary school then you don’t go. This happened to 11 of our sponsored children last year which was heart breaking for them. This spurred us on to fundraise for Bright Futures Secondary School.

Because it is such a huge project to build a school and because we are operating on a shoestring, we are fundraising to build Bright Futures Secondary School in phases. We could not do this without the help of our wonderful supporters. We are very grateful to you all. We always say it is about teamwork. We all have a part to play in the team around these vulnerable children. Thanks to those who have donated, these young people have a school in their village, have a chance to have a good education, be fed a school lunch every day and have the chance of a brighter future. Thank you if you have been a part of making that happen. Thank you if you have been a part of changing their lives.

We are still fundraising for desks and more textbooks and then, after that, we will start fundraising for phase 2 of the school so that more vulnerable young people have the future they deserve. If you would like to help, then please donate here https://gofund.me/44a92444 or you can email for bank details contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Can you help with buying a desk? Or buying a textbook? Can you make a donation towards phase 2 of the school? We are also looking for people to make a monthly commitment towards feeding these young people. If we have several people all donating a small amount each month of £5 or £10 then this will ensure there is enough food for school lunches every day of the week.

The photos show the young people having their lunch at school today. They are eating nsima (ground maize), beans and vegetables. Now we know these children are having a substantial and nutritious meal in school every day. Being fed in school is also an incentive to be there every day. If you are able to support school lunches at Bright Futures Secondary school and either give a one-off donation or commit to a monthly amount, please contact me for bank details contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Some of the young people arriving at school for 7am start

New Clothes & Gifts

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Sarah’s blog 20/09/22

At the weekend, some of the donated clothes were gifted to the children. There is always great excitement on these days and lots of children turn up to receive some new clothes.

Two elderly ladies, Gogo Nandege and Namasachi, regularly come to The Foundation to tell the children traditional stories. Gogo is a respectful term for Grandparent and a married woman can add ‘Na’ as a prefix to her name. They are both very poor but very generous with their time. They were delighted to receive coats, shoes and walking sticks which will help them as they walk to spend time with the children.

All of the children who I have named are very vulnerable and looking for a sponsor. So, if you are able to help one of them, please do get in touch contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com It’s £25 per month to sponsor a child. They receive a monthly food parcel at home to supplement what their family has. They also are gifted clothes, a blanket, soap and school supplies. They get regular welfare checks and are given medicine if they need it. You can sponsor a child as an individual, a family, a business or two friends can share the cost. It might be the most important thing you ever do for one of these children. Please help if you can.

We’ve always said that girls and women don’t wear trousers for cultural reasons. They do in the cities and towns but in the rural areas it is more traditional. However, some of the teenage girls asked if they could try on trousers. Some of them were far too big for the girls but it’s an indication that some of the girls would like to start wearing trousers. From now on we will gratefully accept women’s trousers too.

I hope you enjoy the photos and please do get in touch if you can help by sponsoring a child, supporting the feeding programme with a monthly donation, or paying for a box to go on the container. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com or to donate to our school fundraiser the link is https://gofund.me/44a92444 Thank for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Lots of vulnerable children waiting patiently to receive some new clothes
some of the nursery children receive new clothes

Do you recognise any of these clothes? Thank you again to those who have donated preloved clothes, shoes and money to pay for transport.

nursery children receiving new clothes
A group of children receiving new clothes. All are very vulnerable.
More needy children having received some new clothes.
Teenage girls asking to try on trousers…we will include trousers for them next time as some of these are far too big!
Times are changing as culturally girls and women in rural locations have always been more traditional only wearing skirts or dresses. However, these teenage girls were keen to try on trousers!
These two elderly ladies are very poor but very generous with their time. They come to tell the children traditional stories.
Levison with the two elderly story tellers after they have been gifted coats, walking sticks and shoes. The walking sticks and shoes will make their journey to The Foundation to spend time with the children far easier.
Two little girls from the nursery who will benefit from having a sponsor
Could you sponsor one of these nursery children please?
Shalom would love to have a sponsor. Could you help her?
Fred is needing a helping hand. Please could you sponsor him?
Could you sponsor Rashid? He has missed a lot of school to try to earn some money.

Traci has completed her challenge!

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Sarah’s blog 1/9/22

I can’t believe it is the first of September already! That means Traci’s challenge has finished. She emailed her results last night so here are the results.

Traci had set herself a challenge to walk 500km during July and August. However, she realised that she could do some more and changed her target to walk 700km during July and August. She has been sending regular updates and some great photos and I am in awe of how determined she has been to reach her goal. In fact, she has exceeded her goal by 10km. You are amazing Traci! Very well done!

All Traci’s kilometres have been added to the total that Jackie is keeping for us. As of today, 3,625.615km have been completed in UK plus 320km that the kids in Malawi clocked up in their run gives a total of 3,945.615km. This means we have travelled 30% of our journey now! Well done everyone!

We need more people to ‘donate’ their kilometres from their walks, runs or cycles to add them to our total. Whether you are just taking the dog for a walk or doing the shopping…every little helps…so please do tell us and we will add your kilometres to our total. It’s all about teamwork and we need you on our team.

We are covering the equivalent kilometres of one of the routes that the boxes take that we send from Scotland to Malawi. The aim of this challenge is to raise money and awareness to build a desperately needed secondary school in rural northern Malawi. Please donate if you can to help us give the gift of education to some of the most vulnerable young people in northern Malawi.

Here is the link to donate https://gofund.me/44a92444 to show your support for Traci’s brilliant achievement and to give the gift of education. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Traci says “Well, thank goodness I was well ahead of the game before succumbing to Covid – I have been totally floored by it for the last 6 days and barely managed a lap of the garden. But I’m pleased to say I have still exceeded by target of walking 700km by the end of August. If you are able, donations for the wonderful work of Changing Lives Malawi to build a school would be most gratefully appreciated via https://gofund.me/44a92444

Very well done Traci! Amazing achievement!

This year’s p8 students

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Sarah’s blog 21/08/22

These young people have been really busy and have recently taken their primary school leavers exams. We have our fingers and toes crossed for them that they all pass and have good enough grades to continue onto secondary school.

They have all written letters to their sponsors. They aren’t confident at writing letters as they don’t have many opportunities so this is good practice for them.

Hope you enjoy the photos and reading what they have written. Thank you to all their sponsors for changing their lives and giving them new opportunities. Sarah x

How many kilometres now?

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Sarah’s blog 31/7/22

Wow, how did we get to the end of July already? It’s certainly been a busy month!

Just thought I’d do a quick post with an update as to how many kilometres have been travelled so far on our journey to help build a secondary school for some of the most vulnerable children in rural northern Malawi. We are following one of the routes that the boxes of aid travel between my house and until they arrive at their destination. That’s over 13,000km!

We have several people working hard and adding their kilometres from walking, cycling and running…however, we need more people taking part…we need you! Do you walk round the supermarket? Do you walk the dog? Or take your children or grandchildren to the park? All of those kilometres count! Can you attach a pedometer to the children whilst they are doing football training or playing with their friends? Every kilometre will help us help the children. Please get involved.

Jackie has just updated the total and has completed a bike ride with her son, Ben, this afternoon…well done both of you!

So the UK kilometres are 1,652.655 and the Malawi kilometres are 320 so the total so far is 1,972.655 = 15.01%

This is brilliant but the more people we have taking part then the quicker the journey. Please take part. Please add your kilometres. Every kilometre counts.

The whole point of this journey is to raise funds to build a desperately needed secondary school which is going to be named Bright Futures Secondary School. Currently, there are not enough places in secondary schools in that area so if you don’t get chosen for a place then you don’t go. We want all children to have access to education. The children know that education is their way out of poverty…their way to a brighter future.

Here is the link to donate to help build Bright Futures Secondary School https://gofund.me/44a92444 and give the gift of education.

This is the link for all the information you need to take part in the challenge https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 We’d love you to join us! This is a huge challenge and we need your help. Thanks for reading and supporting, Sarah x

Thank you Ben and Jackie… you can put your feet up this evening!

Please will you sponsor me?

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Sarah’s blog 8/6/22

After the wonderful response to the appeal for a sponsor for Brighton and also finding sponsors for Temwa and Ketti, I thought I would highlight some other children who are most in need of sponsorship. These are very vulnerable children who need a helping hand to change their lives. They need someone to take a chance on them, to give them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. They will know that someone cares about them…someone cares about their future.

There are 11 children who I am highlighting on this post. They are all in need of a helping hand. They are all living in dire poverty. Thankfully, they have been given clothes from the generous donations we have collected. Please consider sponsoring one of these children to change their lives. You can sponsor as an individual, as a family, two friends can share the cost of only 85p per day, or a club or business could sponsor a child. Can you make a difference today? Will you commit to one of these vulnerable children today? Please? contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com Thank you for reading, Sarah x

We were glad to be able to send money to Levison to pay for Judith to go to the health centre and get medicine for her eye infection. Levison was able to give her clothes and shoes from the generous donations we sent.
Fortune is looking like he’s going to be a promising rugby player…are there any rugby fans who could sponsor him please?
Flary is a real cutie and enjoys attending the nursery. She would benefit from having a sponsor.
Chimango enjoyed the rugby coaching camp. He would love a sponsor to help him continue having new opportunities.
Hopeson also enjoyed the rugby training. You can see from his legs and arms that he’d benefit from having a monthly food parcel once he’s matched with a sponsor.
Elizabeth was one of the girls on the rugby training camp. Are there any rugby fans who could sponsor her please?
Patricia is very pleased with her new clothes and shoes. She would be very pleased to be matched with a sponsor too.
Josephine would benefit from having a sponsor. She is the girl in the photo drinking water from the new water tap.
What a lovely smile Junior has. He would love you to sponsor him.
Ramsay looks like he’s loving his new clothes and shoes! Can you sponsor Ramsey?
Chawanangwa borrowed his sister’s clothes so he had something to wear to go to The Foundation. He was given clothes and shoes. His growth has been affected by malnutrition. Chawanangwa would really benefit from having a sponsor. Can you help him? He’s wearing uniform form Riverside Primary in Stirling.

Each child deserves a chance

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Sarah’s blog 6/4/22

These amazing children need a helping hand to reach their potential. To be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? Each of these children suffers from malnutrition. They need more food, clothes, education. Can you be a helping hand for one of these children? It’s only £25 p/m to sponsor a child. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com please look at each photo and help a child today. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Changing Lives Malawi for less than £1 a day

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Sarah’s blog 13/03/22

There are almost 90 vulnerable children and young people who have already been matched with kind sponsors who are changing their lives. It’s only £25 per month to sponsor a child and give them the security of food and education. There are no wages or admin fees with our charity as we are run by volunteers. You can sponsor a child as an individual, a family, two friends sharing the cost, or a business or club. Each of these children is malnourished and has experienced loss and trauma. We need you. The children need you. We always say it’s teamwork and we need to be the team around these children to give them the opportunities they deserve. The food they need. The education they should have. contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com to sponsor a child. Thanks for reading and for your support, Sarah x

These children are waiting to be matched with a sponsor…. which child can you help today?
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