The Butterfly Tree works only in Zambia, one of the poorest countries in the world. Decimated by the HIV and AIDS pandemic and the constant fight against malignant malaria, Zambia relies heavily on international aid. There are a number of global NGO’s providing immunisation, research, medical supplies and mosquito nets, unfortunately there is never enough to go round. The areas that seem to be neglected are the remote villages, so this is where The Butterfly Tree concentrates most of its work. Safe water, health and education facilities are sadly lacking in these rural communities. Since 2006 we have ‘spread our wings’ and initiated projects in four Chiefdoms in the Southern Province of Zambia, covering a distance of 250 kilometres from the town of Livingstone and our base at Mukuni Village, just seven kilometres from the Victoria Falls.
Two thirds of Zambia’s population live on less than fifty pence (one dollar) a day and yet it is one of the most expensive countries in Southern Africa, with inflation rates soaring every year. From the onset we concluded that the only way to make a real difference was to concentrate in one area at a time, tackling poverty from all angles. We are now working in four Chiefdoms within the Kazungula and Livingstone Districts of Southern Province, developing and improving the health and education facilities. A great deal of improvements can be seen with the addition of news schools, clinics and access to safe, clean water. Once these communities have the essentials in place it is vital to introduce income-generating activities in order to create sustainability. One of our main aims is to help the fight against malaria.
Mukuni is in the Kazungula District of the Southern Province of Zambia close to the Victoria Falls. There are over one hundred villages, twelve schools and three clinics with a fourth one, currently being built by The Butterfly Tree, to be opened in 2012, this is where most of our projects have been initiated. Our sponsor an orphan program has enabled hundreds of children in the Chiefdom to be educated.The charity has an excellent relationship with Chief Mukuni and works closely with the local Ministry of Education and District Health authorities. Each school has been given substantial funding to improve their facilities and education standards. All three clinics rely on our aid; due to the lack of government funding these clinics would be closed down if it were not for the support of The Butterfly Tree. All of the funds raised go directly into our grass roots projects.
2011 saw our work expand to the Musokotwane Chiefdom with the building of two new schools at Matengu and Silelo, both opened in January 2012. In addition January 2012 saw the opening of Matengu and Silelo schools as well a new school in the village of Mandandi in the Mukuni Chiefdom, many of these children had never attended school. Another school has been completed at Malima and opened in May 2012 and one at Sibbulo in the Sikute Chiefdom, which opened in January 2013. Reaching further out to these remote communities has enabled hundreds more vulnerable children to receive a sound education.
We ensure that each school has safe, drinking water besides adequate classrooms, teacher’s houses and latrines. Seeds are distributed to provide a sustainable feeding program and some have income-generating uniform making projects. Educational DVDS, produced by TME , have been given to a number of schools, medical centres, government offices and businesses throughout the nation. Among the topics include HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, unless these issues are tackled no progress can be made.
In 2012 we started working in a third Chiefdom at Sibbulo Village in the Sikute Chiefdom. It lies some 120 kilometres from Livingstone and is inaccessible during the rainy season. Many of the communities in this Chiefdom do not have access to safe clean water and basic health facilities. A bore hole has also been installed for the school and mosquito nets have been distributed in Sibbulo and Mambova villages. Mambova is near to the Zambezi River, a breeding ground for mosquito. We have also distributed over 2000 mosquito nets to the four clinics in this Chiefdom. In July 2013 we completed a women’s shelter for expectant mothers to stay prior to giving birth and a Special Education unit at River View School, where we found 30 children who were unable to attend school due to having special needs.
Moving into the Nyawe Chiefdom in 2013 we installed a bore hole and latrines as well as a feeding programme at Muchimbale Community School, a teacher’s house will be completed in March 2014. At Kauwe Village The Butterfly Tree installed a bore hole at the Basic School and provided hundreds of mosquito nets for malaria prevention at Kauwe Health Centre.
Muchimbale Community School – Nyawe Chiefdom
2014 – Reaching further into remote areas we are currently working in the Mukuni, Musokotwane and Nyawe Chiefdoms. Classroom improvements have taken place at Chuunga, a new special education unit at Simango and further improvements in education for Muchambile and Nampuyani Schools. Our aim is to widen our support for malaria prevention and education in these remote areas.