Stories of Impact


  • “How many of us just ‘want to’ and not think ‘action’? A 26 year old does more and beyond. Thank you Sarah, that was the most powerful speech I have ever heard.”

    Seema Kapadia, UAE
  • “You changed my life. As a father of two young daughters, I can’t even imagine how proud your parents must be. I hope my girls turn out to be half the person you are and I will be happy. You are so inspirational and from the moment I heard you speak, I knew I needed to be involved in helping you in any way I can.”

    Dan Burrows
    Fidelis Insurance
  • “An inspiration to women around the world. To have achieved so much at your age is amazing and it is thanks to you that I found the belief to follow my own passion and make a difference in my own way.”

    Rebecca Rowley
  • “Sarah’s talk to our Year 12 students had them gripped as she weaved through her own life, from childhood through to the fantastic work of Sparkle today. Her manner and tone was personable and oozed with the commitment she clearly has to her cause which left an impression on the students as many stayed to talk to her with questions about careers, travelling and how to work in partnership with Sparkle. It was wonderful to see so many of our young people touched by Sarah’s story; there was a real buzz amongst the students following her visit which has been a springboard to motivate many of our young people.”

    Zoe Fisher
    Vice Principal, Wymondham College
  • “Sarah, the way that you speak is a real gift because you have a way of portraying pictures with your words making it all more powerful. You have such a clear vision not only of where you are going but also the journey you have paved. I just feel so proud that you came into our paths because your star is very bright and as you shine on others it is contagious, you are a true inspiration.”

    Ivonne Salmon, UAE
  • Thank you to Sarah @SparkleMalawi for coming in today & inspiring the AKS students. @OldArnoldians @AKS_OAKs @AKSACTION #votesarah

  • Thank you for inspiring our pupils and showing them first hand how they can make a difference @SparkleMalawi

  • @SparkleMalawi I and the rest of the team @JustGiving are super impressed with your energy and ambition. Here’s to successful fundraising!

  • Round Square European Conference and Abbotsholme present Sparkle Malawi with a cheque. @r0undsquare @SparkleMalawi

  • @WaterExplorers Finalists @FelstedSchool raised £500 to pay for a well for @SparkleMalawi and got Bronze @CRESTAwards!

  • Sparkle Malawi is changing lives of children here in malawi!  thank you all for your donations!
    God bless!!!

  • Thanks for joining us today, your work really puts things into perspective.

  • Remember Sparkle Malawi? They’re changing lives in Africa thanks to you.

  • Just read your story in one of the magazines here in dubai & I was so touchd to see what a great achievement you have done to malawians & I support you, may the good Lord continue blessing you. keep the flag of malawi up, umodzi ndi mphamvu!!


“The Inter Community School Colour Run was born out of inspiration and admiration for Sarah. We wanted to contribute to The Sparkle Foundation since she spoke to us in February of 2015 as we were absolutely amazed at what she had accomplished and had managed to give these children. With over 100 runners and 30 volunteers, the run was a definite success! It reached the heart of the ICS community and we hope that this will become an annual event where it brings all members of our community; teachers, parents, students, staff and alumni together. We look forward to the Colour Run establishing a permanent connection between ICS and The Sparkle Foundation.”

Anna Helena Marquez 19
Natalya Siobhan Loughrin, 18

Anna Heuston, UK, Nurse

I chose to volunteer at Sparkle because I really wanted to work with children, and with the charity being quite small in comparison to other organisations, I hoped that I could make a significant difference to the people there. Malawi being known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ was also an appealing factor, and having met so many wonderful people along the way, I can confirm that the saying is entirely true!

What I liked most about the organisation was the unlimited time to spend with the kids, as well as the freedom to approach the healthcare work I was doing from whichever angle I felt most appropriate. During my time there I completed height and weight assessments for all of the children, identified any malnourishment or nutrient deficiencies, and implemented a regular food supplement which contained many of the nutrients lacking in their normal diets. Finishing this project and knowing that I had helped influence the children’s lives by assisting them to grow as any child should, meaning that they could learn, play, and build a better resilience against infection and disease, is probably the most satisfying feeling it is possible to feel and my most rewarding achievement to date.

Living in a developing country also reminds you of what is really important…the poverty you see is astounding, yet the strength, kindness and hospitality of the people living in it is a heartwarming reminder of the true value of community, friendship and family.

I hope to come back to Sparkle some time in the near future, to see the kids and all the lovely people who volunteer their time to this very vital organisation to create brighter futures for hundreds of children in Malawi. A big thanks to all of them for making this such a life changing experience for me!


Patricia was selected to go on a student exchange program to Felsted School, London because of her potential, resilience and determination to make a difference. Over the last six months, Patricia has achieved incredible things in the UK. Learning to read and write, playing hockey and netball for the school and developing her conversational English to name a few.
The aim of the exchange was first to provide her with a very good experience at Felsted School. It was also to push her forward academically so she could move to senior school in Malawi, to wish to remain in education, and to prepare her to be an influencer in the next generation of young people in Africa.
The experience has raised aspirations of young people around her as well, and has provided the impetus and energy for some among a group of young people to help to pull Malawi out of the poverty trap into which it is in danger of falling. The transition back from Felsted is being carefully managed, as Patricia looks to start the next chapter of her life at a nearby boarding school.

Jess Sharples: My time in Malawi was amazing!

So glad I did it…so many stories to tell..roller coaster of emotions and experiences but each one I’m sure will shape who I am. Iv found strengths and weaknesses I didn’t know I had and met some of the most resilient people I will ever meet. Happy to share my experience with anyone who wants to listen and I want to thank Sarah for being my rock and there for me whenever I needed to be picked up. It is a lifetime lesson I’ll never forget… ❤ Sparkle Malawi is a truly fantastic project and impacts lives positively everyday.. the smiles are proof.

Volunteering from home

Who says you have to stand on a street corner and shake a money box to raise money for charity? This Felsted School Mum certainly doesn’t think so. Volunteering her time to sell other peoples second hand designer goods on eBay, Theresa Ruscoe is turning profit from unwanted items into food for our children in Malawi. What an absolute hero. Zero cost for anyone involved.

How do I sparkle?

I Sparkle because I believe in the core message of the Sparkle Foundation which is to create brighter futures for children not only in Malawi but all over this world. We live in a world where there is so much needless suffering and poverty and there is no need for it to be like this. I fully believe that Sparkle can help to reduce this needless suffering and become a global game changer in both helping children and educating people who are well off to give a little more.

Sparkle came to me rather than I went looking for it even though it was my dream to be part of a project like Sparkle. My passion for humanitarian work directed me towards a career in primary school teaching. A career I enjoyed although I always felt I had more to give. In 2008 a beautiful lady called Paschal MacMahon walked into my life. She had spent over sixty years in India and Pakistan devoting her life to the poor. She told me her story and I was inspired by her. At the time, she was looking for help to build a social and community centre with a classroom in a slum area in New Delhi. Her story led me to embark on a 56 day solo cycle from Ireland to Istanbul and from Amritsar on the India Pakistan border to New Delhi in an effort to raise funds for the centre. The journey of 5303km became a time in which I reflected a lot on the plight of others. The strenuous journey I experienced over mountains and through the heat was nothing to the suffering of a child I had seen the previous summer in India standing barely clothed in a pool of sludge. A symbol to the injustices of this world inhumanity that put her standing there. I was determined to help.

Following that cycle I decided to pursue a future in humanitarian work. I completed a MA in International Relations in Dublin and also decided to finish off my teaching career in the UAE so I could fund either a year volunteering or do an internship. That began in February 2015 and through a series of coincidences I met with Sarah Brook the CEO of Sparkle. Before I knew it my dreams of becoming part of an organisation that I believed in came through. Sarah asked me to join her team and I haven’t looked back. Having never been to Malawi or even Africa before, I knew this was my calling so I quit my teaching job in the UAE in July 2016 and moved to Sparkle in August to run the project full time. Its early days but I am so excited in the opportunity I have been presented with. I feel it’s my mission in this life to help others as much as I can so this is what I am doing. The future is bright but I am sure there will be many challenges and difficulties. But like any mountain the greater the climb the more beautiful the view is when you reach the top.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.