The Butterfly Tree Latest Happenings
Doubling Donations 5th, 6th & 7th December
Today at 10.00 GMT we managed to raise £6,015 of the £10,000 needed to reach our target . On Thursday and Friday we have more opportunities to double donations through the Big Give Christmas Challenge for our orphan support programme. Thank you to everyone who has offered to participate and to the donors who have already pledged money.
Millions of pounds are on offer from the Big Give. This is an incredibly generous initiative and a huge opportunity for small charities like The Butterfly Tree to increase our funding.
Here again are the guidelines:
Between the 5th to 7th December we need to raise £10,000 via The Big Give – if we reach this amount during that period our donations will be doubled to £20,000 – please can you help us?
- When – 10am (GMT) prompt on the 5th, 6th and 7th December – as the donations close once an amount is reached
- If it says ‘your donation has not been matched’ please refresh and keep trying as more money may become available
- Where – to The Butterfly Tree’s ‘Orphan Support’ project by clicking on this link to the Big Give website
- How – on line using a credit or debit card on the Big Give website
If you are making your first donation through the Big Give, our simple guide is here to help. Before you begin, make sure you have the following to hand:
- Your credit/debit card
- A valid email address
- Your 3D Secure password (if your card requires 3D Secure
- More details are vbelow
Making your donation
- Click on a bauble on the homepage or search by keyword.
- Choose a project that you would like to support and click on the name of the project. In this case The Butterfly Tree Orphan Support project.
- On your chosen project’s profile, click on the “Donate Online Now” button.
- On this page, you will see whether there are currently funds available to double your donation – remember that this may have changed by the time you click ‘submit’ so this will be confirmed on the next page. If you would like to make a donation, enter the amount you wish to donate in the box provided.Remember to tick the ‘Yes’ box to claim Gift Aid if you are an eligible taxpayer. Then click ‘Submit’.
- You will now either be shown a ‘reservation’ page which tells you that funds have been reserved to match your donation, or you will be shown a page which states that your donation will not be doubled and asks you to confirm that you understand this.
- You will then be taken to the card payment page to finalise your donation. You will need your credit or debit card and must complete all boxes with a ‘*’ next to them. Please note you will be required to enter an email address.
- Once you have completed all of the necessary boxes, click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page to process your donation.
- You may now be taken to a 3D Secure site to complete your donation. Please see below for more information on 3D Secure.
- You will then arrive at our ‘thank you’ page and will be emailed a receipt of your donation.
If you require any further details please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: + 44 (0) 1926 843699
Stepping up HIV Prevention through Peer Education
Today marks World AIDS Day – the following statistics can be found on The World Health Organisation website:
35.3 million people living with HIV in 2012
2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012
9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy
One thing I have learnt in the seven years I have been running The Butterfly Tree is that no lasting change can be made unless HIV Prevention is included in our work. Zambia alone has 710,000 orphans, with Mukuni Village along with Livingstone, having the fourth highest statistics in the nation. A staggering 27% of the population are infected with HIV. Although we have made a great deal of improvement in the provision of water, education, malaria prevention and maternity care much more needs to be done to reduce new infections of HIV.
Mutsa Marau, our own HIV Prevention Coordinator, is currently in Zambia working with groups of school children. Her invaluable work through her ‘Catch me I’m a Butterfly‘ project teaches HIV prevention through Peer Education and is proving to be a great success. Gaining the trust of the children Mutsa trained her first group in 2011 who are now assisting her to ‘spread the word’.
In addition to Mukuni, Mutsa is targeting N’gandu Basic School and is delighted to have an increase in the uptake from the young people, who want to learn and know how to live healthy HIV free lives. To read more about Mutsa’s project click on this link.
Other HIV projects supported by The Butterfly Tree include orphan sponsorship, funding HIV Education workshops to invite people for voluntary testing, to reduce the stigma and counselling. We also provide help to woman and infants, fund treatment for people suffering with HIV and AIDS and provide community housing for widows and the elderly supporting orphans.
This week we have the opportunity to double donations through the Big Give Christmas Challenge for our orphan support programme. Thank you to everyone who has offered to participate- here again are the guidelines: Between the 5th to 7th December we need to raise £10,000 via The Big Give – if we reach this amount during that period our donations will be doubled to £20,000 – so we need your help.
- When – 10am or as close to 10am as possible on the 5th, 6th, 7th December – as the donations close once an amount is reached.
- Where – to The Butterfly Tree’s ‘Orphan Support’ project on the Big Give website
- How – on line using a credit or debit card on the Big Give website
If you require any further details please send an email to email@example.com or telephone: + 44 (0) 1926 843699 ‘Like’ us on Facebook and receive brief news updates!
Raising funds for orphans in Zambia
All the work of The Butterfly Tree is aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable and orphaned children. Since the charity started we have helped thousands of children in remote villages but many more are suffering as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, poverty and malaria.
During the build up to Christmas we are increasing our efforts to raise further funds and there are two ways you can help:
- Double your donation – Through the Big Give Challenge (5-7th Dec)
- Buy a charity calendar – All funds go directly to the cause.
Double Your Donation
December is the time to donate to The Butterfly Tree as if you donate via The Big Give Challenge we can double your donation.
How does it work?
Between the 5th to 7th December we need to raise £10,000 via The Big Give – if we reach this amount during that period our donations will be doubled to £20,000 – so we need your help.
- When – 10am or as close to 10am as possible on the 5th, 6th, 7th December – as the donations close once an amount is reached.
- Where – to The Butterfly Tree’s ‘Orphan Support’ project on the Big Give website
- How – on line using a credit or debit card on the Big Give website
If you would like us to keep you posted re The Big Give Challenge and when to donate drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To highlight our work during the year and raise funds once again we have produced our lovely desk top calendar – on sale at just £4 plus postage.
The calendar is designed by Morphity Ltd and each page is sponsored, enabling all printing costs to be covered and all proceeds raised from buying a calendar go directly to the cause.
Big thank you to the following companies for their generous sponsorship:
- Cunninghams - Epos Cash Registers
- Morphity - Website and Systems Development
- LCR Systems - Epos and Pos Systems
- Casio UK
- Executive Futures - Recruitment Consultants
- The Fell Group
- INTL Global Currencies
- Debt Clear Assoc - Debt Recovery Specialist and Insolvency Consultant
- Black and White Accounting
- Traditional Conservatories - Conservatories, Orangeries and Bespoke Joinery
To purchase the calendar follow this link to buy online or email email@example.com
Joshua Muumba was so young when he lost his parents that he cannot remember them. Sent to Mukuni from the Western Province Joshua lives with his grandmother who struggled to pay his schools fees. For the past few years Joshua has been on the orphan sponsorship programme and is presently sitting grade nine exams for entry to Mukuni High School. Though Joshua is not highly academic he has excelled in music and leads the Mukuni Basic Choir as a skilled singer, songwriter and conductor. Providing these orphans with an education gives them hope for a better future.
Currently volunteering in Zambia to help with the orphans are Emma Kennedy and Jess Varley, who recently completed a 50 kilometres sponsored walk from Mukuni to Zwanga Village and back. This is a route that children walk daily to receive an education. Doing this challenging walk in the Zambian heat Emma and Jess have raised substantial funds for our projects.
Last week one of our main volunteers, Mutsa Marau, arrived in Zambia to continue her ‘Catch me I’m a Butterfly Tree” project which provides peer education for HIV prevention - an invaluable part of our work with orphans. In addition Mutsa will be holding sex education workshops in an attempt to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.
There are lots of ways to help The ButterflyTree and every pound donated makes a difference to the lives of those in need in Zambia.
The BigGive matched funding
Once again it’s that time of year where we are approaching Christmas and all the pressures that come with it. What should be a joyous occasion, for many it becomes a nightmare. The expense of buying gifts, the ordering of food and the increased expectations of families getting together can cause a great deal of stress. For most families in Zambia life is much different to ours, and Christmas is no different from any other time of the year – food is in short supply, gifts are unheard of and an orphan has no family to visit.
As always we hope to increase our funding during this period with a number of planned initiatives to gain further donations. Our popular desk top calendar will shortly on sale at a cost of £4, orders are now being taken. Each page is sponsored, which covers the printing costs. 100% of all copies sold will go into our grass root projects.
In December we have the opportunity to get donations matched thanks to our partner the Big Give, through their Christmas Challenge initiative. Already we have £5000 in pledges, now we need to raise a further £10,000 in donations from 5th December for a chance to get it doubled!
The Big Give Christmas Challenge details:
Where to donate – to The Butterfly Tree’s ‘Orphan Support’ project on the Big Give website
When to donate – at 10am or as close to 10am as possible on the 5th, 6th, 7th December
How to donate – on line using a credit or debit card on the Big Give website
For further details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently we have two fundraising events taking place. Emma Kennedy and Jess Varley are two volunteers working with The Butterfly Tree in Zambia for three months. Emma is engaged in helping with the orphan sponsorship programme and Jess’s work as a nurse at Mukuni Health Centre is invaluable. I am so impressed with their hard work and commitment and between then they have achieved a great deal. They have now set themselves a challenge – to walk on the 11th November from Mukuni to Zwanga Village and back, to create awareness of just how far pupils walk each way on a daily basis, with no food and temperatures soaring to 40 degrees! The walk is sponsored, more details can be found using this link. On the 9th November A Dance Workshop, organised by Sheila Attah, is taking place in London.
If you are struggling to find that special Christmas present you may like to consider one of the following:
- Sponsor an orphan – £110 ($180) per year or £10.00 ($16) per month
- Donate five malaria testing kits £5 - $8
- Donate four mosquito nets £20 - $32
- Donate a blanket £15 - $25
- Donate a bag a maize £10 – $16
- Donate a wheelchair to transport a disabled child to school for £200 – $325
- Donate a bicycle for a child living a long distance from school £75 – $120
- Donate a football, netball, volleyball with HIV/AIDS awareness logo £10 - $16
Sky News Interview
I recently returned home after another rewarding visit to Zambia. It is hard to believe the progress we have made. What started off as helping a handful of orphans has now expanded to over twenty schools, seven clinics and more than 100 villages in four Chiefdoms, throughout the Southern Province of Zambia. The distance we are covering is a radius of 200 kilometres from base and thousands more orphaned and vulnerable children are receiving a sound education, improved healthcare and drinking safe, clean water.
Bore holes have been installed at Kauwe and Muchimbala schools with a third one about to be completed at Kanimbwa. Not only do the pupils have access to safe drinking water, but the bore holes will be used to irrigate crops for much needed feeding programmes. I was horrified to learn that some of the food, provided by the World Food Programme, is rotten by the time it reaches the schools.
One Head teacher reported that this year the food provision had been delivered for term one, the second term the maize was stale and the beans were mouldy. When the Head complained he was told by the distributors ‘beggars cannot be choosers – they can eat it!’ Nothing was received for term three. It is heartbreaking, knowing that young school children have no food during the day. Many of them leaving home as early as 4am to return twelve hours later, on any empty stomach. Next month we will increase the number of donated seeds to support this project.
As the rainy season approaches so does the increased risk of contracting malaria. Though prevalent all year, malaria cases increase between November and March. I spent two days distributing mosquito nets to outreach communities. Due to the remoteness of these villages the government do not spray the mud huts putting the people at great risk. Our malaria prevention programmed is vital. Thanks to Saga’s generous funding and most recently Health Express we have been able to cover much of the Mukuni Chiefdom and beyond. Since January no new cases of malaria have been reported in under fives and zero deaths caused by malaria.
While I was in Zambia I was invited by Sky News to give a ‘live’ interview on the much anticipated malaria vaccination, which could be available as soon as 2015. Glaxo,SmithKline has developed the first ever vaccine and I was asked to comment on how effective this could be for our malaria prevention programme.
Malaria remains the biggest killer of man. Every year around 660,000 people, mostly children under the age of five in sub-Sahara Africa, die from this mosquito-borne parasitic disease.
On another serious matter sadly the HIV and AIDS statistics remain far too high, at 27%, in the Mukuni and Livingstone areas. We are continuing our support for children with HIV, increasing our funding for workshops, specifically targeting school children. Mutsa Marau, our HIV prevention coordinator, will return to Zambia next month to offer peer education for HIV prevention. As always I was presented with a long list of orphans who need help. Our sponsor an orphan programme has supported hundreds of individual children in education.
Now it is back to raising funds for mosquito nets, classrooms, bore holes and orphan sponsorship through a number of planned initiatives. Our popular desk top calendar will shortly be available to order. In December we have the opportunity to get donations matched thanks through our partner the Big Give, through their Christmas Challenge initiative. Already we have £5000 in pledges, now we need to raise a further £10,000 in donations from 5th December. If we are successful, the £15,000 will be turned into a massive £30,000. Anyone who would like to help us reach our goal please contact email@example.com
Progress for Water, Health and Education Projects
I am currently in Zambia visiting The Butterfly Tree projects. The temperature is 38 degrees and rising as the rainy season approaches. Not a drop of rain has fallen for almost six months and the earth is parched, the rivers are low and the streams have run dry. Earlier in the week, accompanied by Mupotola, the secretary to The Butterfly Tree in Zambia, I drove to the Nyawa Chiefdom. The village we were aiming for was Muchimbale, 100 kilometers to Zimba then a further 36 kilometers into the bush.
Muchimbale has a small community school where children previously had to walk 5 kilometers every day to fetch water, which took 3 hours out of their time table. Thanks to a generous donor the school now has its own bore hole and it certainly was a joyful sight to see the children pumping and drinking safe clean water. In addition this donor has funded two double latrines for the pupils. In the same Chiefdom we have installed a bore hole at Kauwe Basic School through Just a Drop’s donor Epsom College. A third bore hole has been donated by Attraction Tickets Direct. Unfortunately, as yet, we have not been able to source water at Kanimbwa School. Such are the challenges when working in these remote communities.
Heading towards the Botswana border I drove with Martin, our ground operation’s manager, to Mambova to check on the women’s shelter we have constructed at the clinic. This is for women who live in outreach villages to come and stay at the clinic prior to labour, ensuring a much safer place to deliver infants. After donating some bandages and dressing, which I gave to the resident nurse, I drove to River View Basic School where we recently completed a special education unit, kindly donated by the employees at ENRC Marketing AG, Zurich. This will open at the start of the new school year in January when thirty children, who had previously never attended school, can be taught by trained government teachers. In the meantime mainstream pupils are using it to prepare for examinations as their existing classroom is a tent.
With only one week left before I fly back to the UK much has still to be done. The official opening of the new clinic at Mahalulu, the orphan sponsorship to update, mosquito nets to distribute thanks to Saga’s support to our malaria prevention programme and text books to buy. Most schools lack text books with some classes having only one to share among 60 pupils. At times the need is so overwhelming, but the progress we are making in the Kazungula District is considerable. During a recent survey on the Mukuni Chiefdom made possible by USAID and Share, The Butterfly Tree came out on top as the best contributor! Our work has now spread to the Chiefdoms of Musokotwane, Nyawa and Sikute.
Education Essential to Alleviate Poverty
It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the decimation caused by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zambia. With a population of barely more than 14 million the nation has over 700,000 orphans, primarily as a result of HIV and AIDS. Virtually all of the Butterfly Tree’s work revolves around the orphans and we strive to give them hope for a better future. Our aim is to provide a sound, basic education for as many rural children as funds permit. It is not possible for every child to be accepted on our orphan sponsorship program as there are so many, but we can help in other ways by improving the education facilities in these remote schools and helping them to generate sustainability.
Creating global awareness is paramount – the poverty levels are extreme. Under normal circumstances Zambian families can support themselves by living a simple lifestyle, but when they have the addition of several orphans to feed and educate they are pushed below the poverty line. Two thirds of the entire nation lives on less than £1 ($1.5) per day. Our aim is to develop sustainability in rural schools and communities so that every orphan has a chance to be educated.
We have many people helping us to achieve this through fundraising, sponsorship and volunteering. Last month we welcomed Thomas Mills High School, whose pupils raised funds to build a sustainable school shop for Mukuni Basic School. Camping out in the classrooms, two groups totalling thirty pupils from Suffolk, set about building the facility, which will be used to make and sell uniforms as well as school supplies. Students assisted in the classrooms and participated in creative activities and on the sports ground. Furthermore in July we had Kayleigh Blake and Vicky Higgs, two UK volunteers, assisting at Mukuni Basic School, as well as Saga Volunteer Travellers Gill Waterton and Richard Reid, who have also just completed a month’s volunteering. Their support and generosity was invaluable to grades seven and nine who will be sitting exams later in the year.
While it is essential for these vulnerable children to complete their education it is not always possible to seek employment once they leave school. Mukuni Village is close to the mighty Victoria Falls, a major tourist destination, but there are not enough jobs for everyone and unemployment is high. To take advantage of the surroundings and the abundance of visitors to the area we are initiating an Ecotourism project. In July I visited Zambia with Jonathan Sedo, an Ecotourism consultant from Costa Rica, who is submitting a project plan to The Butterfly Tree. Volunteer, Emma Kennedy, an International Development student will assist with the initial stages of the project. This is a great opportunity for Mukuni orphans and school leavers to be involved in an income-generating enterprise.
The orphan sponsorship program has been running since 2006, many of the children have now reached high school, some have already completed school whilst others are just starting. We have extended the program to help children in the following schools: Mukuni, N’gandu, Kamwi, Siamasimbi and Ndele and many more need help. If you would like to sponsor an orphan please click on the link.
Featuring HRH The Princess Royal's Visit to Mukuni
As always it is a pleasure to report on the progress The Butterfly Tree is making amongst the rural communities in the Southern Province of Zambia. I am delighted to say that our fundraising efforts topped the one million pound mark during this financial year. In addition we have donated thousands of pounds worth of medical supplies, equipment, educational material, books, sports apparatus, clothing and blankets to areas of most need.
Please follow the link to view the full Annual Report and Accounts including photos of the Royal Visit: Annual Report 2012-13
In June 2012 we were contacted by the British High Commission in Lusaka, informing us that we were to receive a visit from The Princess Royal. HRH was to represent her Majesty the Queen during a tour of Zambia, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It was such a boost for our small charity to hear this tremendous news. All the hard work of our volunteers, both in the UK and Zambia, had been acknowledged. The team and the Mukuni people spent weeks tirelessly preparing for the occasion. We funded the restoration of the schools and health centre, adorned the buildings with flags and beautiful murals painted by a local artist and school pupils provided the entertainment.
Jane with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal
When the morning finally arrived I waited at the school to welcome Her Royal Highness. I was so moved by the site of more than 1000 children lining the track as the Royal party approached the entrance. All our work revolves around orphaned and vulnerable children and I felt a huge sense of pride as I related the story of The Butterfly Tree to HRH. I highlighted the orphan sponsorship program, the special education class and the maternity clinic, all of which the Princess had chosen to see. It was a truly memorable day for everyone concerned. At the end of the visit I received a wonderful compliment when HRH turned to me and said ‘Working with orphans is difficult, but you seem to have got it right.’
Special Education project - HRH The Princess Royal pays a visit
After all the excitement it was back to work as usual. During the year we opened a fifth school and started construction of a new health centre. This was thanks to the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, our major donor, who has helped us to advance the health and education for literally hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in outreach villages. We are also grateful to donors who offer sponsor an orphan, this eases the burden for families who are living below the poverty line. It also prevents the children from having to leave their friends and go into an orphanage. For the first time we offered some assistance to Lubasi Orphanage in Livingstone.
We continue to seek schools that are in desperate need of support. Two of main priorities are to ensure that they each school has a supply of safe, clean water and seeds to enable them to provide sustainable feeding programs. At Mukuni Village over 400 pupils are fed daily At Mukuni Village over 400 pupils are fed daily and over 500 are being individually sponsored. There are now two boarding shelters housing almost forty pupils – before these facilities were added most of them were walking up to ten miles each way to get to school. We have funding in place for two further special education units for children with special needs who cannot attend school as there are no facilities.
Water project – new bore hole for Chuunga Community School
In the health sector The Butterfly Tree received increased funding for malaria prevention and distributed vast quantities of mosquito nets in the Mukuni and Sikute Chiefdoms. We continue to provide on going support for HIV problems, which persistently ravage the communities. This is done through the funding of workshops, particularly amongst the school children. What I find so distressing is dealing with infants who are HIV positive and sick children who are unable to seek medical attention because of the costs involved. We assist as many as possible and no doubt having the new clinic at Mahalulu will help a great deal.
Health project – medical staff houses at Mahalulu Rural Health Centre
The amount of need can be overwhelming at times, but what is encouraging is the tremendous global support we are now receiving. Thanks to Miranda’s amazing optimization skills and the images and stories portrayed on our website, the charity has attracted people from all over the planet. I meet many visitors in Zambia and take them to see our projects at Mukuni whenever the opportunity arises. This has great results and encourages people to donate – some have funded bore holes while others offer to support orphans. We have extensively promoted travel philanthropy and volunteering to attract more visitors. The charity was short listed for the best Responsible Tourism website for the Travel Mole 2012 web awards. The website has attracted donors from the US, Canada, Australia, Asia and Europe as well as the UK. What appeals most to donors is the fact that we have no administration costs and that all members both here and in Zambia are volunteers.
Community housing project – new home for Kamwi widow and her children
I am amazed and extremely grateful that I have had the same team working with me since 2006. I would like to thank David and Miranda, my fellow trustees, Ann, Mary, Mutsa, Wendy, and Oscar for giving up their spare time to help the charity. I cannot thank enough my wonderful team in Zambia – working alongside them I have seen each member’s commitment in helping their people to have a better future. Some of the areas we support are incredibly remote with limited access and prove at times to be exceptionally challenging. This does not deter Mupotola, Presley and Martin who never give up! Rosemary, Sweso, Stain, Jacob, the ten women who oversee the orphan sponsorship program, teachers and four cooks who daily feed over 400 children each does a remarkable job. Without their dedication The Butterfly Tree would not have been able to achieve so much. I would also like to thank Chief Mukuni for his counsel and the local tour operators, hotels and lodges, namely Sun International who supports our work in Zambia.
Sponsor an Orphan program – beneficaries at Mukuni High School
We now have so many donors around the world that it is impossible to list them all. However I wish to express my gratitude to our major sponsor, the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, who for four years gave us the opportunity to build entire new schools and clinics in these outreach areas. Our other major donors Saga Charitable Trust, Just a Drop, the British and Foreign School Society and The Besom have also given us substantial funds over several years. Through grant aid their support has funded bore holes, malaria prevention, classrooms, vocational courses and health facilities. Corporate sponsors Cunninghams, Brady Italia, ENRC Marketing AG and Black and White Accounting continue to generously support our cause. A special thanks to the BigGive, who doubled our donations through their Christmas Challenge. We are grateful to all the schools, clubs, churches and individuals who donate ongoing funds and the abundance of fundraisers who have climbed Mt Blanc, cycled round Brands Hatch and ran around Premier League rugby pitches! We very much appreciate your trust and incredible generosity that has helped to provide vital funds for our water, food, health and education projects in Zambia.
After a somewhat challenging year I am pleased to report on the completion of several projects that will benefit the orphans and rural communities. All of them are hugely beneficial, but none more so than those providing improved water and health facilities. Two new bore holes have been added at Kauwe and Muchambila schools in the Nyawe Chiefdom. A generous donation was received from Epsom College for the Kauwe bore hole as well as two latrines and a sluice for Mukuni Health Centre. Attraction Tickets Direct has donated a bore hole at Kaminbwa school and two double latrines at Kamwi school. These were initiated through Just a Drop, one of our partner organisations.
Charity Newsletter - new latrines for Mukuni Health Centre
The new health centre at Mahalulu in the Mukuni Chiefdom is now complete. The government had taken three years to construct a clinic building in this outreach area – in just over a year we have added a maternity clinic, a women’s shelter, three medical staff houses and latrines in addition to a bore hole. This was achieved through a significant grant from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. The facility will cater for people who previously had to walk over thirty kilometres to reach the nearest health centre. A further women’s shelter has been added to Mambova Clinic in the Sikute Chiefdom using generous funding from The Besom.
Three staff houses for Mahalulu Health Centre
Patients come to the clinics with numerous illnesses including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases besides burns, snake bites and anti-natal and post natal clinics. In addition to skilled staff local people are trained to assist with childbirth and home care. The HIV and AIDS statistics in the area are the highest in the nation, with as many as 30% of the population being infected with the HIV virus. Livingstone is a border town and the capital of tourism. I was horrified to learn that one of my team had overheard some European female students saying that they only come to Africa for sex! Using funding from Brady Italia we are increasing the number of educational workshops on HIV and AIDS prevention and teenage pregnancies, but it appears the visitors also need to be educated!
Mother and infant receiving post-natal care at Mukuni Health Centre
A new Special Education unit at River View School has just been completed thanks to substantial funding from ENRC Marketing employees in Zurich. A further unit, funded by Saga, is currently being constructed at Katapazi Basic School. The BFSS 1×2 classroom block is in full use and a school shop will shortly be built with the assistance of students from Thomas Mills High School in Suffolk who have paid for the building materials. Some of these projects are two hundred kilometres from our base at Mukuni and up to sixty kilometres off road. All kind of problems arose, including poor access, vehicles getting stuck, dry bore holes and increase in fuel costs. Mupotola, Martin and Presley, three of The Butterfly Tree volunteers in Zambia, deserve most of the credit for their hard work, sheer determination and dedication in helping these vulnerable communities.
Mupotola driving through the bush to reach Sibbulo Village
As always it was great to meet up with the orphans. Many of them participated in the Kazungula District schools’ events, with Mukuni hosting it at the new Music Centre, donated by MUSIC EARTH RISE. Mukuni won the best choir, poetry and traditional dancing competitions and went on to compete in the Southern Province finals where they came runners up in all categories. I managed to catch up with the Kamwi twins who lost their mother in childbirth, both are happy and healthy and will be three years old in October. Sadly more children have been orphaned and need our support. Today I was delighted to hear that the Mukuni Village Fund in Australia has agreed to sponsor fifty orphans for a further year. Many thanks to all our donors, most especially to Midge Steuber, Thore Larsgard and Black and White Accounting – each of them are supporting ten orphans.
Jane with Vincent and Elvis, the Kamwi twins
If you would like to sponsor an orphan please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and for daily updates you can follow us on Facebook. Without your support none of these developments could have been achieved.
Education is the Key
Mukuni Village is close to Livingstone, the tourist capital of Zambia and it is here where The Butterfly Tree is based. Since 2006 we have helped to advance the education in Mukuni, which has made it quite possibly the best and most certainly one of the biggest rural schools in Zambia. Much of this success has not only been due to our input, but also to Reverend Presley Mulenga, Head Teacher of Mukuni Basic School and the members of The Butterfly Tree in Zambia.
Mukuni Schools range from pre-school to high school
Rural schools face many challenges – lack of classrooms, insufficient teachers, shortage of materials and stationery and most especially lacks of funds to educate the many children left orphaned as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. At Mukuni alone the charity has funded two 1×3 classroom blocks, five teachers’ houses, numerous latrines and a bore hole. In 2007 here we opened the first high school in the Kazungula District. A pre-school commenced in 2008, which is totally funded by the charity and attended by over 200 youngsters. A 1×2 classroom block has recently been completed thanks to a generous donation from the British and Foreign School Society, who has also provided several grants to help improve and advance the education at Mukuni.
Mukuni Basic School – new 1 x2 classroom block
Education is the key, but many of these children have to walk long distances to get to school – some leave at 4am, covering a distance of 15 kilometres to start lessons at 7am. Hunger is another major challenge, which can affect both the performance and attendance of school children. A daily feeding programme, kindly sponsored by Cunninghams, provides a nutritional meal for over 400 orphaned and vulnerable children, including ones from outreach villages. We have recently constructed two boarding shelters for older children who live far away, thanks to Saga who offer ongoing support to both our health and education programmes.
Daily feeding programme for over 400 vulnerable children
We have sponsored over 500 individual orphans and helped hundreds more with school and exam fees. In total there are over 1500 children attending the schools in Mukuni Village. This is just one of the twelve schools in the Mukuni Chiefdom that we have reached out to. Our work has now expanded to three further Chiefdoms – Musokotwane, Sikute and Nyawa. If you would like to help us with our education programmes we are currently seeking donations to purchase desks, at a cost of £45 each, for the new classroom block at Mukuni and as always we need more of people to sponsor an orphan.
Charity funds treatment and operations
One of the most difficult decisions I have to make when I am in Zambia is to prioritise when it comes to funding treatment for sick children. Such is the demand that it is impossible to help every one of them. Over the years the charity has assisted as many children as possible, some through the under fives’ feeding program, other more serious cases with operations and medical treatment. The number of beneficiaries has increased in the past two years thanks to regular donations from Brady Italia.
Healthcare for children: Under-fives’ feeding program, Mukuni Village
The rural Health Centres we support at Mukuni, Katapazi and Nsongwe deal with general practice. The clinical workers examine patients suffering from common colds to full blown diseases such malaria, TB and HIV and AIDS. Most households cannot afford to keep a paracetamol or bandage at hand. The clinical staff are well trained but facilities and medical supplies are basic. The Butterfly Tree supports a number of health projects at Mukuni, which include helping sick and under-nourished children. It is heartbreaking to learn that children have been waiting several years to have a spleen or bladder operation or in need of physiotherapy. In addition we provide support for orphaned babies and an under-fives’ feeding program.
Orphaned baby cared for by a community member & supported by the charity
The nearest hospital to these clinics is Livingstone, some 16 kilometres from Mukuni Village, which has a new paediatric ward. The surgical ward in the general hospital is where I have taken a number of young children to seek further examinations. One such case was a little boy who had a swelling on his eye, thought to be a tumour. The doctor told me that he would have to perform a biopsy. I was horrified to learn that the results can take between three to six months as there is only one pathology laboratory in the entire nation with a population of 13 million. Fortunately for Jordan his eye swelling was caused by a piece of wire embedded in his eyelid and not a tumour as first thought.
Jordan in Livingstone General Hospital
Most families have no money for transport to get to hospital, the charity provides these funds whenever possible. Even more challenging is when a patient is referred to Lusaka Hospital, which is over 500 kilometres from Livingstone. Currently we are funding five children for on going treatment and seven infants who are orphaned or under weight. Global Partners for Health has generously supported this program. In addition we provide funds for malaria and HIV and AIDS prevention. To further assist these vulnerable children the Inner Wheel Club of Solihull knits beautiful blankets and babies clothes.
Donations needed for mosquito nets
‘Despite recent progress, about half the world’s population still lives in malaria risk areas and malaria remains a leading cause of death amongst young children‘.
- Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria
- Globally malaria is the biggest killer of man
- 86% of people who die from malaria are children under 5 mostly in sub-Sahara Africa
- 660 000 estimated malaria deaths globally
- 219 million malaria cases worldwide
Malaria disease caused by P.falciparum may result in death within hours or a few days of infection. Most at risk are those with a low immunity such as children, pregnant women, people with HIV and AIDS and travelers with little or no malaria protection. It can also result in the miscarriage of pregnant women, low birth-weight infants, developmental disabilities and other complications. Until there is a cure, malaria prevention is the only way to save lives. In developing countries like Zambia using impregnated mosquito nets is essential. Sadly there are insufficient government supplies to reach everyone.
This net found in Kamwi Village was full of holes and shared between four children
The Butterfly Tree’s malaria prevention program provides mosquito nets, malaria testing kits and educational workshops. One of our major donors Saga Charitable Trust, has donated enough funds for every household in the Mukuni Chiefdom to each have three nets. The result is that there are no new cases of malaria where nets are being used. This year we have also distributed nets to four clinics in the Sekute Chiefdom, many of the villages are close to the Zambezi River, a breeding ground for mosquito. These were generously donated by Grant and Marilee Gibson of Canada. Though malaria can easily be treated far too often people have to walk over 30 kilometres to seek treatment due to the lack of rural clinics.
Jacob (left) delivers nets to Mandea Rural Health Centre in the Sikute Chiefdom
I have just returned from a rewarding yet very challenging trip to Zambia. After three weeks enjoying temperatures reaching over thirty degrees, it was a shock to come back to the UK to snow and below zero temperatures. As always there are many projects to check on and new ones to initiate.
Education is foremost in making progress, but more importantly health concerns have to be dealt with. A number of children had to be referred to hospital suffering with various conditions ranging from Cerebral Palsy to stomach ulcers; some had waited for many weeks due to not having transport money to reach Livingstone. In addition there were several babies who needed support.
During my first week in Mukuni a woman had walked for three hours from Ndele to ask for my help. Last year a fifteen year old school girl had fallen pregnant in her village. During the girl’s pregnancy her mother, who she lived with, sadly passed away. Some months later the girl herself tragically died in childbirth. For the past two months the guardian had to beg for contributions from the community, so that she could buy the costly formula and care for this helpless infant. It was heartbreaking to see this beautiful baby orphaned at such a delicate age and it was agreed that the charity would support her.
March 2013 Newsletter: Baby Mary, aged 2 months from Ndele Village
The rainy season in Zambia ends in March. Unfortunately the rains, which started in October, have been intermittent – either too heavy or insufficient. This means that the crops will yield only around 30 – 40% of what is normally expected. This will result in a great deal of hunger, if not famine, amongst the rural communities that depend on maize as their staple food. I came across many hungry children living on just one meal a day, some of them walking for three hours to get to school.
Thanks to donations from an existing supporter and some generous tourists I met during my stay, we were able to distribute bags of ‘mealie meal’ (ground maize) to vulnerable families in both Mukuni and Kamwi Villages.
One of our volunteers delivering mealie meal to a vulnerable family
World Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8th March and as always I hosted a function for the rural women. Over 100 women from neighbouring Kamwi, Nsongwe and Machenje Villages, marched through Mukuni to reach the Palace for a workshop followed by lunch. This year’s theme ‘The Gender Agenda’ – ‘Time to end violence against women’ was discussed along with issues concerning HIV prevention in women and teenage pregnancies.
Mukalya, the Chief’s wife, was invited to speak and Mutsa Marau and Tope Medupin, two of our volunteers from London who spoke about their topic on HIV Prevention through Peer Education. As a result of this event Mutsa and Tops also held a workshop for both boys and girls on problems concerning teenage pregnancies.
World Women’s Day – Mukuni Village
Despite all the hardships it was great to see all the progress. A boarder’s shelter, along with over 1000 mosquito nets, in the Mukuni Chiefdom has been donated by Saga. A further 1300 nets, as a result of Marilee and Grant’s fundraising efforts in Canada, were distributed amongst four rural clinics in the Sekute Chiefdom.
Five new community houses have been completed, two of them to house young widows each with several children. Sibbulo Village has an entire new school and bore hole.
A clinic, which comprises of a maternity unit, women’s shelter, three staff houses, latrines and a bore hole will be opening in May. This will help people who are currently walking over thirty kilometres to seek healthcare and treatment. Both these projects have been generously funded by grant aid from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission.
New bore hole and Indian hand pump for the Mahalulu Health Centre
As always there are many more orphans seeking sponsorship. Some children are returned to the villages from townships when their parents pass away. It is really tough for these children and also for their grandparents who become their sole guardians. I met one elderly man whose daughter and son-in-law had died as a result of AIDS related illnesses. His grandchildren had been brought to him from Sesheke, some two hundred kilometres from Mukuni. A neighbour had kindly offered him his mud hut as the old man did not have suitable accommodation. We will soon provide a house for this family along with support for the children.
Young children from Sesheke brought back to Mukuni
These are the really vulnerable people who desperately need funding. Working at grass root level, we can identify the real need and ensure that all donations go directly to the cause, without deducting costly administration and personal fees.
We have had tremendous support from our donors, fundraisers and volunteers. Please continue to help us to reach out to more vulnerable children in these remote villages of Zambia.
Advancement in Education for Zambian Schools
For the past seven years we have been working in a number of remote villages in the Mukuni Chiefdom. Now we are able to ‘spread our wings’ and reach out to vulnerable children in the Musokotwane and Sekute Chiefdoms, using many of the projects we have developed at Mukuni, as models. Our current projects include an additional 1×2 classroom block at Mukuni Basic School, generously funded by grant aid from The British and Foreign School Society. We have added a boarders’ shelter for girls to match the one built last year for boys, both courtesy of Saga’s Fundraising Challenge. This has made a huge difference to older pupils who were walking up to ten miles each way to be educated.
Education For All: Kamwi children receive a full education
As always our focus is on orphaned and vulnerable children. The Special Education unit at Mukuni Basic School is a great success – the first of its kind in a Zambian rural village. With ongoing support from Fountaindale School, many children with varying disabilities are now receiving a sound education. We aim to use this model to build additional units at other basic schools. In one area of the Sekute Chiefdom we have identified over thirty children who have never received an education due to having no facilities. Now thanks to a generous donation for ENRC Marketing we can add a special education unit to River View School.
The Princess Royal visited the Special Education in September 2012
No real advancement will be made unless we continue to tackle the HIV and AIDS pandemic, which has ravaged the entire nation. We will be funding additional workshops and voluntary testing but our main objective will be to target the school children. This weekend I will be returning to Zambia with Mutsa Marau, who initiated her own project in 2011, entitled ‘Catch Me I’m a Butterfly’. Mutsa teaches Peer Education for HIV Prevention in rural schools. She will be assisted by Tope Medupin; both are funding their own trip and have raised substantial funds for the project.
Mukuni Village HIV/AIDS support group funded by The Butterfly Tree
As always we are committed to providing education in all areas for these vulnerable children. If you would like to sponsor an orphan or fund one of our education programmes please contact email@example.com
Get Involved and help us to make a difference
This is the time of year when people are seeking travel options and looking for warmer climates to escape the long British winter. As always we have received a number of volunteer requests to assist our projects in Zambia. Most recently from The TeamWorks who are raising funds to build community houses in Mukuni. Not everyone can spare the time to participate in volunteering, a much easier and less time consuming option is to be a travel philanthroper. This means adding a couple of hours to your itinerary to visit a charity project in the area of your travels.
Where we work is close to the mighty Victoria Falls and Botswana’s Chobe National Park. There is an abundance of things to do in the region with a good selection of hotels, including Sun International’s The Royal Livingstone and the Zambezi Sun, as well as accommodation for backpackers like JollyBoys in Livingstone. Many tourists have visited our projects in Mukuni Village and said it was the highlight of their entire trip. Zambia is rapidly developing in tourism, which we hope will benefit the rural communities and most especially the orphans seeking employment on completion of school or college. We aim to involve these young people in sustainable Ecotourism so that they can protect their environment as well as earn an income to support their families.
We have generated a vast amount of income through our travel philanthropy program, most especially through Saga Travel. Others have sponsored an orphan, donated money or funded a bore hole after visiting our projects. Business incentive groups have offered ongoing support, most mentionable is Brady Italia and Cunninghams. We engage our donors and give regular feedback, showing that the money has gone directly into grass roots projects with no administration costs being deducted. We have a number of options, whereby individuals, groups or businesses can sponsor a specific project, these include constructing houses, building classrooms or funding school feeding programs and of course visiting our work in Zambia.
Thank you to many of our existing donors who have offered to sponsor another orphan or increase their funding after reading my last post on this website.