The Butterfly Tree Latest Happenings
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
New Year Brings Hope for Orphans
It is almost seven years since I first stepped foot in Mukuni Village and visited their basic school. It was there that I learnt about the plight of the orphans – almost 50% of the children had lost one or both parents. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has assisted thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children in the Mukuni Chiefdom and beyond and sponsored over 500 individual ones in education. With the start of the new school year in Zambia many children will have dropped out of rural schools due to the lack of funds. Education up to grade seven is free, though books and uniform still need to be purchased. After grade seven school fees have to be found – a hard task for families who are living below the poverty line.
With so much poverty in rural villages education is crucial for these needy children. We have provided bore holes, improved health facilities and feeding programs but far too many orphans are struggling to meet the school fees. It cost just £110 ($180) per annum to sponsor an orphan or £10 per month for UK donors. Last year twenty orphans who had completed high school were able to go onto further education thanks to a grant from the BFSS. The majority of them took hotel management or food and beverage courses. Zambia is an up and coming tourist destination and new hotels are being built in the area. More jobs will become available for these students who are now trained in this industry. Two of the first orphans we sponsored have employment as security guards at Stanley Safari Lodge.
For 2013 one challenge is for the schools we support to become more sustainable, another will be to initiate income-generating enterprises for orphans who are unable to seek employment. Our aim is to provide a mentoring scheme, which will involve local employers and businesses. If we can teach these educated orphans how to run a business not only to provide food for their families, but also to produce food for the tourist industry, they can overcome the poverty cycle. At the end of 2012 many of Zambia’s crops were destroyed be army worms. Mukuni and Kamwi villages lost most of their crops and will suffer a food shortage later this year. The Butterfly Tree has donated funds for 100 bags of seeds to help the worse effected families to replant during this peak growing season. All of these families will be supporting orphans; besides giving them an education we have to ensure that the orphans do not suffer from hunger.
If you would like to sponsor an orphan or donate a bag of seeds please contact email@example.com
Happy Christmas from the Team
I am delighted to say that The Butterfly Tree is going from strength to strength and has had another incredible year. November and December have been amazing months with donations pouring in from individuals, grant-baring organisations and corporate. I believe that our success is due to the fact that donors know virtually 100% of their funding will go directly into grass roots projects and that no administration or personal fees will be deducted. In addition none of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our UK and Zambian volunteers and the representatives in Canada and the US who have come ‘on board’ to help our cause.
Our work now reaches out to three Chiefdoms in the Southern Province of Zambia. Many vulnerable communities have advanced with the addition of bore holes, schools and improved housing, health and sanitation facilities. We have opened four new schools and been able to sponsor over 60 new orphans from Mukuni, N’gandu and Kamwi rural schools. We have also helped thousands more by providing stationery, materials, seeds and investing in malaria and HIV and AIDS prevention. A number of children have received funds to pay for operations and medical treatment, including several for eye problems. An orphanage in Livingstone has received support from us for the first time.
This season we will be distributing a vast number of mosquito nets in both the Mukuni and Sekute Chiefdoms and 2013 has some exciting projects in store. A second special education centre at Katapazi, a boarders’ shelter and 1×2 classroom at Mukuni, a clinic at Mahalululu and a health post and a women’s shelter at Mambova. Our emphasis will be on sustainability, improving reading skills and introducing a mentoring scheme for high schools pupils and school leavers. In addition we will continue to focus on HIV and AIDS prevention amongst school pupils and vulnerable communities.
Sadly it is not all good news and as I always say about working in Africa ‘for every step forward you take two back‘. Zambia has been plagued with an infestation of army worms, which started in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and is now down in the Southern Province and Mukuni has been hard hit. This is prime growing time and just when the maize is sprouting the army worms have destroyed all the crops in the area. President Sada has announced it as a national disaster and if it is not controlled in time Zambia could face a severe famine next year. With maize and fuel already in short supply we must find new ways to provide food for these needy people in the challenging year ahead.
With your support we have made a tremendous contribution to alleviating poverty in many outreach villages. Thank you on behalf of The Butterfly Tree for helping us to make this happen. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.
Lovely new design for this years calendar
The Butterfly Tree’s 2013 charity calendar is available to order. The calendar is designed to create awareness of our vital work in Zambia and to raise funds for our grass roots projects. The charity’s funds have helped thousands of children to improve their situation in life. The calendar cost £4 plus postage to purchase. Each page has been sponsored, enabling 100% of all sales to be used to buy impregnated mosquito nets, medical supplies for one of the three clinics we are operating in, or much needed stationery for one of the seventeen schools we currently support.
This year we have had a fantastic response to our 2013 calendars and they are now all sold. Thanks for everyone who made a purchase.
100% of funds raised from the sale of the calendar goes direct to people in need.
The calendar is designed to create awareness of our vital work in Zambia and to raise funds for our grass roots projects. The charity’s funds have helped thousands of children to improve their situation in life. The calendar cost £4 plus postage to purchase. Each page has been sponsored, enabling 100% of all sales to be used to buy impregnated mosquito nets, medical supplies for one of the three clinics we are operating in, or much needed stationery for one of the seventeen schools we currently support.
The calendar pictures highlight some of our projects at Mukuni and other villages and of course at the forefront are the orphan orphan sponsorship program. Everything we do is for the benefit of these vulnerable children and the rural communities they live in. Providing them with clean water, nutritional food, improved education and health facilities to help the fight against Africa malaria and HIV and AIDS in Zambia, is paramount.
I would sincerely like to thank the following for sponsoring the calendar: Executive Futures, The Fell Group, Three Counties Insurance, LCR Systems, INTL Global Currencies Ltd, Gardiff, Casio, ListersVolkswagon Group, Traditional Conservatories, Debt Clear Assoc, Cunninghams and Saga Charitable Trust. A special thanks to Miranda at Morphity for designing the calendar.
The high quality desk top calendar measures 21cm x 16cm and can be bought for £4, EUR5 or US$7 plus postage.
UK: 1 calendar £1.10, 2-4 calendars £2.2, 5-9 calendars £4.40
Europe: 1 calendar £3, 2 calendars £3.70, 3 calendars £5.30
Worldwide Airmail: 1 calendar £4, 2 calendars £5.60, 3 calendars £6.80
This year we have had a fantastic response to our 2013 calendars and they are now all sold. Thanks for everyone who made a purchase.
Getting to Zero
Every hour around 300 people die of AIDS related illnesses, between 30 to 40 of them are children. Globally there are 34 million people living with HIV and AIDS. Despite significant progress being made sadly last year there were 2.2 million new infections and 1.7 million deaths caused by AIDS related illnesses. Two thirds of those people are living in Commonwealth countries, the majority are in Southern Africa, which of course includes Zambia.
Yesterday I was invited at an event at The Commonwealth Secretariat to commemorate and to listen to panel discussions and multi-sectoral consultations for World AIDS Day. Among the panel were speakers from UNAIDS, the Tropical School of Medicine, UNESCO and various members of the Secretariat. This was an invaluable exercise and collectively everyone is focused on reaching the Millennium Development Goal of Zero New Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths, by 2015.
Education is the key for preventing the spread of HIV, particularly in developing countries such as Zambia. The Butterfly Tree funds a number of initiatives in remote villages. These include workshops to help overcome the stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS, to encourage safe sex and to partake in voluntary testing. Knowing your status is paramount. Recently we provided funds for fifteen community based volunteers to attend training courses, in addition we have funded a workshop for defaulters, people who have been receiving treatment and then stopped after feeling well. These people cause a huge threat to the community. We continue to support mothers who are HIV positive, provide care for their infants and offer support to thousands of orphans effected by the pandemic, most especially children infected with HIV.
Every child has a right to education and yet of greater importance every child should have access to basic healthcare. Health is fundamental and when you are working in one of the poorest countries on the planet adequate healthcare is not readily available. We are currently building a clinic at Mahalululu, where people walk 48 kilometres to get to Mukuni Health Centre. Our aim for 2013 is to provide further outreach health posts, to increase our funding for HIV and AIDS and to further promote peer education for HIV prevention within the schools. Zambia may not reach the Millennium Development Goal in 2015, but we are certainly doing our bit to help them.
From 10am on the 6th to the 8th December all donations to The Butterfly Tree can be doubled through the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
Buy a charity calendar for just £4 – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Install Give as You Live to raise funds for HIV and AIDS Prevention while shopping on line, at no extra cost to you!
Christmas Challenges to create more funds
Thanks to two large grants from the British and Foreign School Society and Saga Charitable Trust we have just topped the £1,000,000 ($1,600,000) mark in our fundraising efforts for Zambia! None of this could have been achieved without the generosity of our major donors and all the volunteers and fundraisers who have dedicated their free time to helping our cause. This is even more significant knowing that virtually 100% of all money raised goes directly into grass roots projects. Six years on and we still do not deduct administration or personal fees, nor rent office space; relying solely on volunteers both in the UK and Zambia.
More Funds Needed This Christmas
The average British family spends between £530 and £682 on Christmas. Two thirds of Zambians live on less than one pound a day and the only way they celebrate Christmas is by attending church.
On the run up to Christmas you can help raise further funds for orphans and vulnerable children, in remote villages, who are ravished by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, malaria and poverty.
Very few families are able to buy a chicken, eggs or milk; for most their meal will consist of ground maize and vegetables. We are running a number of initiatives over the next few weeks to raise vital funds, which can provide food, mosquito nets, orphan sponsorship or a blanket for people less fortunate than we are.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge
Again we are taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge in December, this gives us the opportunity to double donations, through matched funding. Last year we raised £9000 which was doubled to £18,000.
To qualify for matched funding we need to raise £6000 between 6th – 9th December, so we need your help.
For our American donors a similar opportunity is available through Global Giving who have a 501 (c) 3 status. Our orphan support project on their site has already raised £10,000 ($15,000).
Give As You Shop This Christmas
Help us to boost our funds during the Christmas season through on line shopping. Everyclick has recently launched ‘Give as you Live‘, a simple method of raising funds while shopping at your favourite on line stores. All you have to do is download an application, which simply takes seconds, then every time you shop it will activate and give you the option to raise funds for The Butterfly Tree at absolutely no cost to you. Tescos donate up to to 5%, Ocado up to 4%, Boots 3% and many more stores have this worthwhile offer. With your help we could soon be on our way to raising a second million!
2013 Charity Calendar
Once again our popular charity calendar is available to purchase for just £4 ($7) plus postage. This high quality desk-top calendar shows images of the happy children we support and our many achievements. Each page is sponsored, which covers all the printing costs. They are designed by Miranda, our trustee who owns Morphity, using our own images. We incur no cost in producing the calendars. So when you are making your Christmas list and struggling to know what to choose please consider the following: A mosquito net for just £5 that could save a child’s life; a bag of maize, which could feed a family for two weeks for just £10; a blanket for those cold winter nights costs £15 or a calendar to adorn your desk. A special thanks to all the calendar sponsors: INTL Global Currencies, Cunninghams, Executive Futures, Stratford Audi, Casio UK, Saga, DCA, Accountax, LCR, Traditional Conservatories, The Fell Group and Gardiff. Details of how to buy the calendar will be available shortly.
For further details of how you can help to boost our funds during the Christmas period or to pre order your 2013 charity calendar contact: email@example.com
New bore holes and classrooms for schools
After the huge success and excitement of the visit by HRH The Princess Royal it was back to reality and out into the bush. Of all the projects run by The Butterfly Tree nothing is more important than providing safe, clean water. When I first heard that children have to walk several miles to fetch water I found it hard to comprehend, so when I recently visited Sibbulo I clocked the mileage and can now confirm that children from this area had been walking 11 kilometres – almost seven miles!
A new school for these children of Sibbulo, a remote community some 100 kilometres from Livingstone and 30 kilometres from the main road, is almost complete. The project funded by JOAC, which includes a 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses, latrines and a bore hole, proved to be challenging for our experienced builder and drillers. Building work is usually done in the dry season because of accessibility. However this community depended on swamp water for drinking, washing and everything else and the swamps were dry. Therefore building work was delayed as there was literally no water in the area. The drillers made several attempts before water was found some 60 meters below ground.
Another community, greatly benefiting from the installation of a bore hole, is Chuunga. Previously the people had to draw water from bacteria-infected streams causing serious health risks, particularly in infants. Thanks to Grant and Marilee Gibson this school now has its own bore hole. Again the school is simply a mud hut construction; 150 children are taught by an untrained teacher in two daily sessions. It has been agreed that we will help to develop this school. The Gibsons have also raised a considerable amount of funds for mosquito nets, which we distributed in the Sekute Chiefdom. This area, adjacent to the Zambezi River, is a breeding ground for mosquito causing an increase in malaria cases when the water is stagnant.
During my travels I came across a young boy called Jordan with a serious eye problem and immediately referred him to Mukuni Health Centre. Aged just 16 months he had a growth under his eyelid that had become infected. After posting this story on Facebook, John McGhee, one of our donors, kindly offered to pay for Jordan’s stay in hospital. The growth has now been removed, Jordan has been discharged and his parents await the pathology report, which can take up to six months! Five other children received funds for various medical conditions, thanks to support from Brady Italia.
For the first time we have taken on a project in town at Lubasi Orphanage, which is being funded by the Gottlieb family. Each of the 45 children was given trainers, clothing and stationery and extra funds were used to provide much needed food and supplies. A new home for a widow looking after orphans was provided by LCR Rotary Club and many orphans received assistance with their school and exam fees. Aside from the Royal visit the most joyous part of the trip was to catch up with Vincent and Elvis, the Kamwi twins who were two years old this month. We have provided all their needs since they lost their mother in childbirth.
It was wonderful to see the development in the outreach villages but as always more needs to be done. I would like to say special thanks to all my amazing volunteers in Zambia, without their assistance nothing could have been achieved. More funds need to be raised to enable The Butterfly Tree to continue its vital work.
The Butterfly Tree Honoured by Royal Visit
Over 1000 children, waving a mixture of British and Zambian flags, lined the road leading to Mukuni Basic School to welcome HRH Princess Royal. The excitement reached fever pitch as the cavalcade of cars pulled into the school grounds. The 4×4, bearing the Royal Standard, stopped at the edge of the red carpet, on loan to us from the Ministry. When the Princess stepped out of the vehicle I felt an overwhelming sense of joy as I welcomed her to The Butterfly Tree. Standing close by The Butterfly Tree volunteers were eagerly waiting to meet The Princess, the women looking resplendent in their colourful chitangys; all of them wearing polo shirts adorned with our striking logo.
I presented the twenty Zambian volunteers to The Princess along with Emma Soames, a trustee of Saga’s Charitable Trust, who is one of our major donors and Stain Musungaila, from Sun International. After the introductions I escorted The Princess Royal into a mud hut where I was able to tell her about the charity’s work in Zambia. I was so impressed with her knowledge and her interest, The Princess Royal is renowned for her work with Save the Children and many other charitable causes. After the briefing we proceeded to the Special Education Unit, where The Princess Royal was introduced to sixteen children who are now receiving an education for the first time. This is the only one of its kind in a Zambian village, thanks to funding from The Besom. ‘Good morning, Ma’am’ greeted The Princess Royal after she left the unit and entered a grade nine classroom during a Maths lesson.
Before being seated under a tented area, The Princess Royal was to receive gifts from Esnat, Angela and Cynthia, the three young girls who inspired the founding of the charity. Next the rich voices of the Mukuni High School choir followed by the traditional dancers and the beating of the drums entertained The Princess, after which a former recipient of The Butterfly Tree’s orphan sponsorship programme, Mudenda Hazyendo, told a moving story about how the charity had supported him. He had passed to go to university to study law; funds were not available so he had accepted the opportunity to go to teacher’s training college, thanks to funding from one of our donor’s, the BFSS. The Province’s Permanent Secretary also heard this story and Mundenda is to be offered a place a Lusaka University.
The performances ended with a powerful poem about orphans, written by Jane Kaye-Bailey and recited by Natasha Mufaya:
Spread Your Wings
I am a butterfly who has emerged from a tree
My wings are developing so I can be free
I am learning and yearning to break the poverty cycle
In order to help those in need like me
As time passes by The Butterfly Tree
Will nurture many more orphans like me
My life is enriched with the education I receive
Soon I can explore what the world can offer me
Once the performances were over, The Princess RoyaI unveiled a plaque before I escorted her down the sandy track to the Mukuni Health Centre. Here seated on the verandah were several young children who had successfully undergone operations and treatment, funded by the charity. I explained the programme and how we had paid for the restoration of the clinic and provided a huge amount of medical supplies and equipment as well as malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. Finally we proceeded to The Butterfly Tree maternity clinic and women’s shelter, both invaluable additions to a clinic that serves some 7000 people.
The time passed far too quickly and as I thanked HRH for visiting the charity her parting words still echo in my ears ‘Working with orphans is difficult but you seem to have got it right‘ – a compliment indeed!
HRH Princess Royal to visit The Butterfly Tree
I am delighted to announce that The Butterfly Tree is to receive a visit by HRH The Princess Royal, during her forthcoming visit to Zambia, as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This is a great honour for both the charity and Mukuni Village. Working closely with the British High Commissioner and The Princess’s secretary the arrangements have been finalised and everyone is looking forward to this auspicious occasion. Today I will be travelling to Zambia to make the final preparations for the visit for this exciting event. Accompanying me will be Emma Soames, a trustee of Saga Charitable Trust; Saga is one of the charity’s major donors.
After a welcome from Chief Mukuni, HRH will arrive at the school where she will be greeted by some 1500 school children. The programme will include seeing a classroom in action, our special education unit and the orphan sponsorship programme. The choir and traditional dancers will perform and orphans will recite a poem and explain how our sponsorship has helped gain a place at high school and subsequently teacher’s training college. The Princess will unveil a plaque before proceeding to Mukuni Health Centre to learn about our health projects, which include a maternity clinic and women’s shelter, malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes and treatment for sick children.
This will complete an incredible month for The Butterfly Tree. We had great success at Cylcothon UK when Mike Kaye, Nigel Birch, James Blackburn and Richard Harrison spent 12 gruelling hours cycling round the Brands Hatch Circuit. Prana Zambia held an event for Yoga Aid, a global initiative to raise funds for grass roots projects. Our Canadian representatives have a new concept to raise funds to purchase mosquito nets, as a result we are now able to distribute nets in the Sekute Chiefdom. By the end of the year, with Saga’s funding, every household in the Mukuni Chiefdom with have three mosquito nets.
This week will also see the announcement of the UK Travel Mole Web Awards 2012. We have been short listed for the Best Responsible Tourism site and Miranda de Freston of Morphity, our trustee and web designer will attend the event in London. We will be posting a report and photos of the Royal visit later this month.
The Butterfly Tree website has been shortlisted
We are excited to announce that The Butterfly Tree website has been shortlisted in the UK TravelMole Web Awards of 2012. This is the ninth year of the UK TravelMole Web Awards and our site was selected from a record-setting number of entries.
TravelMole.com and TravelMole.TV publishes 15 eNewsletters and broadcasts hundreds of videos to over 450,000 travel & tourism industry professional registered members and subscribers, as well as 30 million consumers in 132 countries. This includes the highly acclaimed VISION on Sustainable Tourism publication.
The awards presentation to the winning websites will be held on September 26th at the Doubletree by Hilton London.
Best Responsible Tourism Site
This was our application:
The volunteer opportunities described on the website have attracted people from all walks of life coming from North America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Every month doctors, nurses, teachers and students provide additional ‘hands on’ assistance at the schools and clinics supported by The Butterfly Tree.
The entire website has been designed, developed and donated by Miranda de Freston of Morphity Ltd, who is a trustee of the charity. Alongside Miranda, Jane Kaye-Bailey, the founder, manages the ongoing content for the website to ensure regular updates for readers and subscribers on the extensive charity’s activities.
Through our website we actively promote philanthropic travel and offer volunteering opportunities on a range of projects. This promotion and extensive optimisation of the website has attracted hundreds of groups, corporate and individuals from around the world.
The website has been instrumental in drawing worldwide donors, generally exposing The Butterfly Tree charity and is one of the main reasons people initially become inspired to get involved.