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, but sadly 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 has concentrated most of our work. However we are now ‘spreading our wings’ and are doing projects in four Chiefdoms in the Southern Province, covering a distance of 250 kilometres from the town of Livingstone and our base at Mukuni Village.
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 three Chiefdoms within the Kazungula and Livingstone Districts of Southern Province, developing 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.
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. The charity has an excellent relationship with Chief Mukuni and works closely with the local Ministry of Education and District Health authorities. Eash 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 inot our grassroots 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.
We are now 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 distributed over 2000 mosquito nets to the four clinics in this Chiefdom. In 2013 we are to build a women’s shelter for the women to stay prior to giving birth and a Special Education unit at River View School, where there are 30 children unable to attend school due to having special needs.
Kazungula Border Clinic – Sikute Chiefdom
Reaching further into remote areas we are currently installing a bore hole in the Nyawe Chiefdom and aim to provide further support for malaria prevention and education.