‘Empowering children of today, for a better tomorrow’ is the motto of The Sparkle Foundation, a UK charity making strides to provide education, nutrition, and medical support through small-scale sustainable projects for communities in Malawi, Africa.
Malawi is an underdeveloped and largely agricultural country, weakened by hardships such as HIV, Aids, and corruption. The country is one of the poorest in the world, with half the population living below the poverty line.
The Sparkle Foundation was founded by Sarah Brook in the town of Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, North West England, after she travelled there during her gap year. It was at the young age of eighteen that she embarked upon her mission to trigger change in Malawi, initially starting in a small village called Sogoja, with aspirations to help communities worldwide. Sarah has since spoken across the globe in schools, universities, and various companies, as well as being featured on television, radio, and newspapers. In 2016, she gained the title of United Arab Emirates Woman of the Month.
Ted Talk by Sarah Brook, CEO of The Sparkle Foundation
Sparkle Malawi has a vision for long-term sustainable impact and aims to do this in four ways. Firstly, through achieving sustainability. Two-year time limits are set on initiatives aiming to help communities utilise the ‘Malawi model’, which implements methods using natural resources to encourage self-sufficiency.
The foundation has its own health and nutrition program which early this year introduced health evaluations of all children involved. The program provides them with meals and safe drinking water, a huge majority of which comes from the locally grown ingredients in the communities.
Education is a third priority. The charity is currently devising a curriculum for children aged two up to the age of eighteen. For younger participants there is an early childhood program, providing a fun and educational nursery for those up to the age of six. Older children attend local schools in the morning, and then in the afternoon, classes are in place to help them develop skills to assist in securing job pathways by the time they reach eighteen.
The foundation has also partnered with the Malawian health department to provide medical support to the communities. A nurse ensures check-ups and any necessary vaccinations are provided on a monthly basis. Local team members are trained in first aid, there is a medical clinic on site, and advice can be provided for a variety of medical ailments.
The success of these initiatives has come from the great work of volunteers both in Malawi and those in the United Kingdom.
Sparkle Malawi turns on the first electrically pumped borehole in Zomba district
How can you get involved?
The Sparkle Foundation hosts a range of events to fundraise for these projects. This year the Sparkle Sevens Rugby Tournament was a storming success, raising close to £10,000 and attracting more than 700 supporters. The foundation also challenges supporters to complete the iconic Brighton Marathon in April, and this year won a golden ballot spot for the London Marathon.
School mum Theresa Ruscoe is raising money from selling second-hand goods on eBay, and creating change from her home at no cost at all. Alternatively, you can make a difference simply by donating or sponsoring either a meal or a child, and there are also volunteering opportunities.
To find out more go to: sparklemalawi.org/volunteer or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Development in Action.
Have an opinion on this or another topic? Why not write for our blog? Click here to find out more and get in touch.