Monday 15 February 2016

Couple of sentences summing up our week in Malawi.

My time in Malawi has been life changing, I am more than honoured to have met some inspirational people, one of many being Alice who is absolutely incredible her personality shines through her work on the community with warmth, passion and generosity. I have learnt in order to succeed you must follow your heart and continue to work to your full ability never forgetting the true aspects of life, love and family. I will never forget this experience and the people of Malawi who have forever touched my heart.  Lamara Page

Inspirational. Truly a breath taking experience that I will cherish with me for years to come. As the saying goes ‘Malawi is the heart of Africa’ and that was evident as we explored the town of Nkhata Bay. The children have so much admiration, the community are warm hearted and the town itself is beautiful. I will defiantly be taking their warm welcoming’s with me and hopefully be as kind and as generous as the people I have been fortunate enough to meet.  Jacquelyn Jenkins

My experience in Africa has been truly amazing. The people here seem so happy and welcoming. The trip has inspired me and showed me how this people live with all the things we take for granted. It has been a big impact on me to see and it shall be something that I will never  forget. – Bailey Hopton

It’s hard to put into words how inspired I have been this past week. The sense of community and happiness here is truly unbelievable and I have learnt so much from the people of Malawi because of this. ‘Beautiful’ doesn’t do this country justice; it has given me an experience that I will remember for eternity and I am truly grateful for that. A piece of my heart will be left here in Malawi, and I hope to be back to find it again soon. – Sammy Toms

I have loved every second of my experience here in Malawi it has been nothing like I expected it to be. Being here has made me realise how hard it is for these people to live and they are always appreciative for anything and this has shown me that back at home I should be more thankful for things and should think about things like am I wasting food by having extra etc. I guess could say that this gorgeous country has changed me as a person and I will never ever forget this journey for the rest of my life J - Lewis Ashburton-Dunning

I am struggling to put my experience into words. The people of Malawi are truly inspirational and I have gained so much from these beautiful people. My adventure in Africa will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life and the memories will stay in my heart for eternity. I will continue to tell my story and encourage other people to do what I have done. Now, I truly believe that simple acts of kindness can help change the world and can contribute towards improving the lives of those who need it. This trip has been extremely beneficial not only to the children I have helped, but also to myself. Despite being a place of great poverty, Africa has so much underlying beauty. – Ellie Newton

Over the past week I have witnessed some unbelievable scenes and circumstances and I am going to need a good amount of time to think over everything I have seen. This trip has made me realise how ridiculously lucky we are and how selfish we can be at times even about the smallest things like rain for example. Overall I have met some incredible and inspirational people which I have memories with that will stick with me for my life. I cannot wait till the day I return and hopefully change many more lives.   Sasha    
I will treasure the moments I have captured in Malawi although it’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling now knowing we are beginning our journey for home in the morning. My time in Africa will be something I will always have in my heart and the memories will be kept forever. From the people of Malawi to how beautiful the whole place really is. I can’t wait to be able to share my story and tell everyone how it really is like and encourage them to do something like I have done to make a difference to many people’s lives! It’s amazing how such little things to us impact on other people so massively and they are so thankful for just our presence and this really makes me think about how lucky I am for what and who I have at home and how appreciative I am for everything. I will remember many inspirational people from out here in Malawi and I truly believe a piece of my heart will be left here. – Dan H

I don’t quite know how to sum up the amazing, inspirational and eye opening week I have just experienced. I have touched many lives this week and I know that every person will remember me and what I may have taught them, just as many people have touched my life and given me memories that I will cherish forever, I feel so blessed to have had the chance to teach, meet and visit the homes of many people less fortunate than myself, I think it’s crazy how much my perspective on life has changed in just a few days and I have really realised what I take for granted. Not only will I be walking away from Malawi knowing that I have made a difference to the lives of many, but the people in Malawi have also made a difference to mine. After the most rollercoaster week, tomorrow I will start travelling home and I’m so excited to share my memories with my family and friends. I’ll never forget the people I met in Malawi this week, nor will I forget their kind hearts and I know that they too will remember me x – Raegan

This week in Malawi has been unbelievable. I’ve witnessed so many things that has opened my eyes to the way in which people have to live each and every day of their lives as well as having an absolutely amazing time with the team and all the inspirational people I have met, Alice being one of the main ones for me, she is simply amazing! Malawi has been an unforgettable experience and it will never leave my heart. I hope to be back. Megan

The past week in Malawi has been the best of my life. I have learnt so much and met so many amazing people. The kids in my class and the people of Malawi have inspired me with the way they live their lives with such soul and my goodness can they dance!! I am so grateful to the people that made this opportunity possible for me. I will never forget the memories that I have made and I definitely hope to come back to this beautiful place one day. Oliver x
These past days I have spent in Malawi have been such an eye opener. Knowing I will always be remembered by the kids and I definitely won’t forget them. This trip has definitely made me appreciate everything I have and realise how lucky I am. The kids are amazing and hope to go back in the future! Chloe x

I think to sum up the whole experience in one word would be impossible. From being selected for the team to being on the coach on the way back home, it has been an incredible journey. To know that we have touched so many lives and have made memories we will never forget, I am so thankful for the opportunity. The children and families in Malawi have definitely made me think about my future personally and how I am going to share my experience with everyone back home. I have met so many amazing people over the last week, Alice being the most inspirational after she shared her journey with us, and my team have been so supportive and encouraging. I will definitely be returning the first opportunity I have. Madison

Throughout the trip, I have really had my eyes opened to how different Africa is to the UK, not just the poverty but culture. I have met some of the happiest people who have nothing, and just a simple wave, smile or hello will brighten their day. Seeing how people live in conditions that are so incredibly different to ours, however they are thankful for everything they have and work hard to provide for their families. I have been inspired but everyone here with their ability to make to best or everything and turn nothing into something. I have been especially inspired by Alice’s work and how her passion has helped her improved the lives of others. I have had such an amazing experience and I hope to go back to Butterfly space at some point in the future.  Amber-

On this trip I have had many experiences in one incredible journey. I have met so many inspirational people who have all made me realise how lucky I am to have everything I do at home. I feel like my eyes have been opened to so many new things and ways of life; seeing the contrast between the UK and Malawi is a shocking difference that I didn’t expect but again, has made me realise many new things. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I will never forget it. - Jemma x PS-hope you have a safe journey home Mum&Steve.

After a spectacular week surrounded by an almost entirely different team from Rwanda 2014 and seeing far more materially deprived areas of Africa than those of Rwanda’s capital, I can only conclude that there is still a mass of work to be done. We have had an incomparable week in Malawi, meeting some more than inspiring characters - big ups to Alice, Stef and Bob – and there is no doubting some of us will return, if at least remaining in long term contact with a number of people. Many of the scenes have been heart-breaking, and others quite literally breath-taking – big ups to Mother Nature. One paragraph is chump change when considering the sum of memories and emotions from this outstanding journey, so I will sign off and look forward to talking everyone’s ears off about it when we’re back in the early Spring of England. Thanks for the continued support. - David C

This week I have met some of the most inspirational, happy and moving people. The deprivation in Malawi is extensive from what we have seen, however, the freedom and acceptance for us to help with different projects shows us that Malawi is a kind hearted, welcoming country. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to teach such amazing children. Malawi will always have a place in my heart and I cannot wait to come back in the future. Penny P.s Happy Birthday Aunty Maria

This is my second CRED trip. The first time I went to Ethiopia and I can’t even compare the two. Although they are in the same continent their life is different in many ways. Alice is the person who owns and develops butterfly space and I can’t believe what she has already achieved and what she plans to achieve. She on her own is an inspiration and I hope one day I can be like her. The children I worked with were so appreciative of everything we did and I can’t get over how much we meant to them. I am definitely going back to Butterfly Space and will continue to contribute to Alice and also spread the word about Stefan’s project as he too is doing such and inspiring thing in Malawi. Much love to you all. Change is possible. It’s our time to change and make a difference to make everyone’s life as happy as the children I have been working with. Livvy:)

This week for me has been life changing! It’s defiantly an experience I will never forget. I have met so many people who have barely anything but are the happiest and friendliest people I have ever met. It just goes to show money isn’t everything. I have also met some really inspirational people too, Alice being one. She is the owner of Butterfly Space and the work she does is incredible! She has helped so many people; I hope one day I can do something as amazing as she has done. In the future I hope to someday come back to Malawi and Butterfly Space. Words cannot describe what this trip has done for me and I really think in order to understand it truly you need to have experienced it. When I am at home I think I will be making a few positive changes to my life! Abby Xx

Over the past week I believe that I definitely grown as a person in multiple ways. This has been my first ever trip to Africa (more specifically, Malawi) and everything thing that I have experienced honestly changed my outlook on life. I will never forget the friendliness, kindess, and welcomes I received from the locals of Lilongwe, Nkhata bay, and other volunteers staying at the Butterfly space. Hearing Alice’s speech and story was very inspiring as it really just makes us all remember that she is just an ordinary woman who followed her heart. Meeting all the children and seeing how much they wanted to learn, as well as seeing a fragment of their home life made me realise that we really shouldn’t take everyday things for granted such as education, water, and food. This was truly an amazing experience, not even all the words in the world can describe how this trip has not only affected me, but the children I have met in this short space of time. Maddie C xoxo

This week has been one I will never forget! Getting to know my team, Alice and the students we have been teaching has been truly inspirational. Getting to see the work of Alice has made me realise how much a single person can do. I have seen so many things that will stay with me forever and met so many people who have impacted me in such a big way. Being a leader has showed me a how far people can come in such a short space of time. Butterfly Space was beautiful, it was a positive place full of positive people who want to help and make a difference. After 5 trips I can’t say its gets easier leaving, if anything it’s even harder. The final days have been full of mixed emotions from the whole team- tears, happiness and even the odd strop… but one thing we will all leave with, is the memories we have made not only over the past week, but from just over a year ago when our adventure began. Mollie xxx

Breath taking. Quite literally, I cannot put into words how I feel right now. I am already beginning to see how I am and will continue to be changing for the better, and this will all be thanks to my fellow team members, team leaders and friends. Friends that I hope to continue being a part of my life when we return back to the UK. Everywhere I have been, everything that I have seen has literally been yet again, breath taking. I’ve become a part of something which I am not yet ready to finish, say no more. Beca.

Malawi has been nothing short of amazing! So happy I got the chance to be part of the incredible team that made this trip what it has been since day one of all there planning. From the beginning of the week when stress was running high, to the end of the week when joy, tears and emotion where even higher! See you soon Malawi! Iona

What a wonderful journey the team have been on. I feel very blessed to have been a part of such a remarkably talented group of individuals that all pulled together to give our partners in Malawi an incredible experience. It was great being able to visit your lessons and see how much you grew in confidence throughout your teaching week. You all should be very proud of yourselves, you did such an awesome job and the trip will be a lasting memory for all involved. Ryan 

Awe inspiring and beautiful, ten days that will stay in my heart forever along with the amazing team I shared it with. In the words of Alice of Butterfly, Malawi will hold onto your heart for life! Rebekah

And finally – a bit from Helen
A wonderful team – very talented all in their own ways, each one of them bringing something special and crucial to the make up of the team and definitely a true example of the whole being so much greater than the sum of its parts.
An inspiring project in a beautiful location, that has won us all over, changed us all, and impacted our views, perspectives and thoughts about the world and our places in it.
As the team journeys home, I just want to thank you all for allowing them to come on this trip – they have each played an invaluable part in the success of it, and on the positive impact that it has had on those we have served. At the same time, I do warn you that we are all changed – a little or a lot, and some will be more willing than others to chat about the trip. Don’t worry if not all the stories come out in one rush – I know it can be frustrating when you want to hear everything but your young person isn’t quite ready to share, but be patient – there’s a lot of processing going on, and the words will come when the time is right.
Be proud of them, they have achieved a lot in a short time, and done you all proud in showing them to be strong, resilient, thoughtful and selfless citizens of the world. Thank you for entrusting them to my leadership, and happy reunions! Helen


Darren Toms Coaching said...

Lovely to read these comments. Sammy, I knew you'd love it and get an experience that will live a life time with you.

We hope you travel well back home to the cold and wet UK. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

See you soon

Dad, Elena, Julia, Lewis and Ness.

Unknown said...

Words nearly fail me Ellie , brilliant summing up from all of you. Sounds like a very humbling experience and a story we all want to hear about , whenever you are ready to tell it. I will have your last 2 sentences framed and put up in our house to remind us of how fortunate we are "Despite being a place of great poverty , Africa has so much underlying beauty".
Safe journey home and proud always.
Love ya loads
Dad xxxx

Unknown said...

Very proud xxx

Unknown said...

Reading these thoughts from you all about your week made me quite emotional. I just want to say again a massive thankyou to Bex and Helen for making it happen and ofcourse to Alice for allowing you all to be a part of her everyday life for a short time but what an impact it will have on you all x safe travels home today and waiting to give you a massive squeeze tomorrow sasha xxxxx

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

David Lem
It sounds as though the trip has more than lived up to everyone's expectations, which is fantastic.
Once in a lifetime is amazing but you have worked so hard and committed yourself to go back a second time. I know how much this has meant to you. Well done to you and the team I know you have made a difference. See you soon.
Dad xxx

Michelle said...

Great to read all your thoughts from your time away today, I really do hope you keep the experience and the things you have learnt with you when you get home.
Safe journey home and can't wait to see you in the morning Jemma make sure you have something warm for the journey when you get to Heathrow, everyone has been telling us it's cold at home.
We are just about to head off to the airport too love you loads see you in the morning Mum and Steve xxxxxxxxx

Sara said...

To Abby , I'm so pleased you've enjoyed this experience & ive enjoyed reading all your thoughts & what it's all ment to you & what you all have gained out of such a wonderful experience. Safe travels to you all & Abby I'm counting the hours till I can give you a Big Squeeze. I've really missed my Big Girl ( we've all missed you )
See you tomorrow . Love you Mum Xx

Sara said...

To Abby , I'm so pleased you've enjoyed this experience & ive enjoyed reading all your thoughts & what it's all ment to you & what you all have gained out of such a wonderful experience. Safe travels to you all & Abby I'm counting the hours till I can give you a Big Squeeze. I've really missed my Big Girl ( we've all missed you )
See you tomorrow . Love you Mum Xx

Unknown said...

Hi Sammy - I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face having read not only yours, but everyone else's comments. I am so pleased that this experience has had this effect on you. I can't wait to hear all about it and would love to think that one day I might get to share the experience with you.
A massive thanks once again to all those who made this trip possible. Safe journey xx

Unknown said...

Our hearts have missed you so much over the last two weeks but following your heart is what led you to Africa and I am so very glad it did. We had our reservations when you first asked to go as I expect many of the parents did but how could we let our children miss such an important experience in their lives'. Your heart has always been huge but now, I expect, it is alot more worldly and knowledgable about our beautiful planet and its civilisations. We would like to say a big thank you to Helen and everyone who made this trip possible, everyone who took care of our son and made him safe while he was far from home, we are eternally grateful. See you very soon Lewis but still not soon enough!! Love always, Mum, Dad and Max xxxxxxxxx

Unknown said...


Well done baby girl. So happy that you have learnt lots whilst you have been away. You should be very proud of yourself as we are. I. hope you carry what you have learnt and these memories forever. like some others it makes me emotional but I think it's because I'm bursting with pride.
Thank you to the team for looking after her and giving her an opportunity she will never forget.

Safe journey home and can't wait to see you

All my love
Mum. Xx

mandy said...

Hi megan

Sat here reading all the comments, has made me very tearful. I'm so glad you enjoyed your whole experience. You make me so proud darling.
Can't wait to see you tomorrow xxxx

mandy said...

Hi megan

Sat here reading all the comments, has made me very tearful. I'm so glad you enjoyed your whole experience. You make me so proud darling.
Can't wait to see you tomorrow xxxx