The Butterfly Tree Latest Happenings
Thousands of Orphans are Educated
It is almost ten years since The Butterfly Tree started its orphan sponsorship programme in Zambia, to date around 1,000 individual orphans have received a sound basic education. Many pupils have since completed high school, others are attending college, while a number have sought employment.
In the early days it was fairly simple to get to know each individual orphan and give regular feedback to the sponsors, especially as they were all attending Mukuni Basic School. The programme has grown considerably and we now offer sponsorship to orphans in other schools, including N’gandu, Kamwi, N’dele and Mahalulu.
Within a short time we realised that it is not only education that the orphans in these remote villages need. Besides going to school they must have safe water to drink, access to better healthcare, improved housing conditions, and sanitation facilities. Consequently we created a holistic approach to the welfare of these vulnerable children by adding bore holes and latrines in schools, building clinics and providing new methods for malaria prevention, as well as workshops for HIV prevention.
As a result of this approach we have been able to reach out to several thousand children in the Mukuni, Musokotwane, Sekute and Nyawa Chiefdoms. We have built entire new schools in areas where children had never attended school. Virtually every project we do is for the benefit of the orphans.
In September 2012 when HRH The Princess Royal visited our projects at Mukuni Village, at the end of her tour she said ‘working with orphans is not easy, but you seem to have got it right.’
Now as we approach our second decade our aim is to expand into other Chiefdoms and communities that receive little help. We will continue with the orphan sponsorship programme, but due to the enormous amount of time it takes to administer the programme it is hoped that our sponsors will understand that it is not always possible to give regular updates on each individual child.
We are delighted to tell you that we have been able to sustain our ability to run the charity both in the UK and Zambia entirely by volunteers, with the addition of Frank Maiolo who helps with our orphan support programme in the USA. Most of them have been with us since 2006, and thanks to their dedication and commitment these orphans have a much better chance in life.
Water Food Health and Education Progress
2015 has been a year of considerable development for The Butterfly Tree and our rural communities in Zambia, most especially the national launch of the new malaria prevention project. Below are images showing some of this years achievements.
Thank you to everyone who has helped to make these developments possible. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!
Advancement in Healthcare
Many of you will be enjoying this magical time of the year, in many parts of the world. Christmas is a time for giving and for being with families. Please remember all the children who are not as fortunate as ours, ones who will spend Christmas feeling hungry and no doubt lonely, after losing their parents as a result of disease, such as HIV/AIDS or malaria.
This year we have been able to increase our support to help the fight against these devastating diseases. In November we started distributing the first of the new Vectorcide products in the Mukuni and Sekute Chiefdoms, providing improved protection against malaria. To date over 1,000 households have been coated with Mozzimort, a safe insecticidal paint.
In addition we are using Larvicide granules, in known breeding areas, to prevent larva developing into mosquito. Our aim is to raise funds and awareness in order to distribute these products throughout Zambia.
Other recent improvements in healthcare include a clinic at Muchambile and two women’s shelters at Kasiya and Singwamba, funded by a private donor and The Besom. Over the Christmas period we have engaged school leavers, who were sponsored by The Butterfly Tree, and having been trained as peer educators, to run HIV prevention workshops.
We are having a very productive year thanks to the support of on our going donors, volunteers and fundraisers. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has advanced some 30 schools, installed 16 bore holes and developed 10 rural clinics. Thousands of orphans and vulnerable children, throughout the Kazungula and Livingstone Districts, now have access to improved water supplies, feeding programmes, better education and healthcare.
Thank you to everyone for being part of our global following and for helping children in Zambia to have a better future. Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and good health and happiness in the New Year.
Jane Kaye-Bailey and the teams both in Zambia and the UK
Water Food Health Education
In January it will be ten years since I first stepped foot on Zambian soil. Little did I know that the country and its people would play such an important role in my life, that I would gain first hand and often heartbreaking insights into how people in remote areas cope with extreme poverty. This has enabled me to convey to you what is really happening on the ground and to continue our vital work to help these vulnerable people.
We have made tremendous progress in many areas, most especially by adding bore holes to schools, most recently to Siachabuki and Simuka. With the prolonged drought, which has caused considerable food shortages through the Southern Province, bore holes are essential, not only to provide safe drinking water, but also to enable irrigation for school gardens. This year thanks to a generous donation from Jane Keil and her family in Australia, fourteen schools are to receive seeds and fertilizers to develop sustainable feeding programmes.
During my visit we hosted a wonderful group of donors from Attraction Tickets Direct. Their substantial donations have provided funds to expand Nampuyani, Singawamba and Kauwe Schools. The group brought with them vast amounts of school supplies and equipment.
One of the highlights of my trip was to distribute almost 500 football shirts, generously donated by Manchester United and organised by one of JOAC’s volunteers. Every pupil at N’gandu School received a shirt along with other items donated by JOAC. The school development at N’gandu is almost complete with the addition of a 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses and latrines. This was funded by a grant from JOAC Community Works Projects.
Other schools that recently received funding are River View, who were given desks and text books. This school was also chosen as a beneficiary for a new project with our partners ‘School in a Bag’. 100 pupils received school bags containing all their educational needs. Kasiya School has new latrines, a teacher’s house has been restored at Kamwi and a new 1×2 classroom block at N’dele funded by BFSS. We are reaching out to 29 schools in four Chiefdoms.
So much development has taken place these past few months that I am going to write a separate post on our health projects. In the meantime to raise further funds for the projects, we are once again selling charity calendars. The cost is £5 per calendar, plus postage. In addition Manchester United has donated David de Gea’s kit from the pre-season tour, which we are currently auctioning. If you would like to place a bid or buy a calendar please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Is The Key
There are 1.2 million orphans in Zambia, primarily as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. All the work done by The Butterfly Tree in Zambia revolves around the well-being of these vulnerable children. Every school we work in has orphans – Mukuni Village has the highest number with a staggering 600 children, over 50%, losing one or both parents!
In October 2010 I had to deal with one of the most heartbreaking situations I have ever encountered. Baby boys, Elvis and Vincent, were born two months premature, after their mother went into early labour. She died during childbirth with a third baby. The hospital could not help them, so when they were just two weeks old, each weighing less than 3lbs, they were sent home, to the remote village of Kamwi. The Butterfly Tree has since supported these adorable little boys. I am overjoyed to tell you that this month they celebrated their fifth birthday!
Our programme has helped hundreds of orphans, and has enabled them to stay with their friends instead of having to go into orphanages. The first orphan we ever sponsored was Peter Liyungu, who went on to complete high school and is now being sponsored by Teamworks to go to college. Peter and another sponsored orphan, called Charity, recently did their work experience at Mukuni and will shortly qualify as teachers. While Josias is volunteering at N’dele School until he is offered a permanent teaching post.
For us to reach out to more orphans we are streamlining the programme. It will remain the same for every orphan who is currently being sponsored. In future rather than sponsoring individual orphans people can donate towards school fees and uniforms, this way hundreds more children can be given a chance to complete their education.
As always education is the key to overcoming poverty and its related issues. We are very grateful to all our sponsors who donate essential funds towards this programme, the guardians who look after the orphans and the volunteers who oversee the welfare of these very special children.
Prevention Saves Lives
Next month is the start of the rainy season in Zambia and with it brings a higher risk of contracting malaria, the biggest killer of man. Though malaria is prevalent all year round, the next few months are the worst. It is essential that children have maximum protection against malaria. Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria, 75% are under five in sub-Sahara Africa, including Zambia.
Last season the Mukuni Chiefdom alone reported 488 cases of malaria. The Butterfly Tree is currently raising funds to buy Vectorcide’s safe innovative products. Vectorcide caoting is far superior to the current method of indoor residual spraying, which is harmful, less effective and lasts only for six months.
Working alongside the Ministry of Health, who fully support this new intervention, we aim to reduce the number of new cases of malaria. This initiative will not replace insecticide treated mosquito nets, instead it will add further protection to those most at risk, especially infants and pregnant women. Our first distribution is currently taking place in Mukuni villages thanks to a generous donation from Saga Charitable Trust.
November is also the time for planting. After several months without a drop of rain, the parched African terrain is desperate for water. Communities are hoping for ‘good rains’ – last year the rains were so poor, resulting in most maize crops in the Southern Province perishing.
Good nutrition is essential for early development in children, but when your family is poor there is never enough food to go round. For many families surviving on just one meal a day is the norm. Maize is the staple diet of Zambians, especially those living in rural areas, but it is totally rain dependent. Consequently we are looking at crops that need less water.
To date we have supported some twenty schools to initiate sustainable feeding programmes. Our evaluation has shown that pupils performance and attendance is much improved. When children have to walk several miles to get to school it is comforting to know that food will be available.
In the 21st century no child should go hungry, and yet according to the World Food Programme Organisation there are 795 million hungry people, of which 75% are in rural areas of Africa and Asia. Funds for malaria prevention and for feeding programmes are needed for this season. We are very grateful for any support you can offer, please use this link to make a donation.
Advancements in Malaria and HIV Prevention and Maternity Care
The Butterfly Tree is making great strides advancing health facilities in rural Zambia. In addition to the Health Centre we opened at Mahalulu last year, we have built a clinic at Muchambila and two more women’s shelters at Singwamba and Kasiya thanks to generous donations from The Besom and a private donor. This enables women to have a safe place to stay prior to the onset on labour.
With high prevalences of HIV, TB and Malaria there are not enough rural clinics in Zambia. Many people have to walk 30 miles to seek medical attention, which is no mean feat if you are heavily pregnant, have a high temperature or some disability, especially when the temperature soars to 40 degrees Celsius. Mukuni Health Centre has a catchment in access of 8,000 people, this number could be reduced if there were more health posts in outreach areas.
Our new malaria prevention programme, using Vectorcide products aims to reduce the number of cases of malaria, especially in the under fives. 75% of deaths caused by malaria are this age category in sub-Sahara Africa. Our aim is to replace harmful indoor residual spraying with Mozzimort coating. Mosquito nets are still vital and will work in conjunction with the new products to give maximum protection.
Last year saw an alarming increase of malaria in the Southern Province of Zambia. The rainy season starts in November, therefore we urgently need funds to buy more products and mosquito nets in order to avoid a further increase in malaria. With drug resistance growing, prevention is essential. The first villages to be targeted are Chuunga and Kamwi, in the Mukuni Chiefdom, thanks to generous funding by Saga Charitable Trust.
We continue to provide workshops for HIV prevention, using Meet Mutsa’s successful method of training peer educators, to spread the word amongst school pupils. With the extensive presence of HIV, teenage pregnancies and alcohol problems it is imperative that children learn about the dangers of HIV and AIDS at an early age. Our aim, as always, is to promote good health to give these orphaned and vulnerable children a better chance in life.
Improved Water and Education Facilities
This past few months has seen further development in a number of schools in the Mukuni, Nyawa and Sekute Chiefdoms. New classrooms, teacher’s houses, latrines, a bore hole and school shop have all been constructed thanks to generous funding from a variety of donors.
N’dele Primary School has a new 1×2 classroom block and latrines thanks to generous grant aid from the British and Foreign School Society. World Challenge volunteers from Tring School recently camped at Kamwi School where they helped to construct a school shop, painted classrooms and gave further donations to restore a teacher’s house and build a feeding programme shelter.
Group of volunteers from JOAC Community Works Project are currently working at N’gandu School where a 1×3 classroom block, two teacher’s houses and latrines are being built. Their substantial grant has brought much needed development to N’gandu School, which was built in 1947. N’dele, Kamwi and N’gandu Schools are all in the Mukuni Chiefdom.
Further funding from ATD has paid for the construction of a 1×2 classroom block and latrines at Singwamba, their donation also includes latrines for Kauwe School. These schools are both in the Nyawa Chiefdom where we have also advanced Muchambile and Nampuyani Schools. A bore hole donated by Cayman Island’s Sunrise Rotary Club, Churches of Abbots Leigh and Abbots Wood, Nick Bousliman and other donors has given Bunsunga school children a chance to taste fresh water for the first time.
River View School, in the Sekute Chiefdom, has received support to complete their pre-school. With over 1,000 pupils, the school is continues to enrol more children due to the recently developed town of Kazungula. Donations from St.Paul’s School, Wigan and individuals have been used to buy the new syllabus text books for this school as well as Muchambile and Kamwi. Inner Wheel Club District 6 knitted beautiful blankets, jumpers and hats for the pupils.
Zambia has some of the highest poverty levels in the world. It is essential for these orphaned and vulnerable children to receive a sound education.
Launch of Malaria Prevention Project
I have just returned from a very productive visit to Zambia with the highlight being the launch of our new innovative malaria prevention project. This took place at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort on July 29th and was attended by the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Government Health and Education officials, District Commissioners, Leading Members of the Communities, the Tourism Sector and the Chamber of Commerce. We are very grateful to Avani for donating the use of a conference room.
After my opening address the Deputy Permanent Secretary gave a speech followed by a presentation of the malaria prevention products by Stain Musungaila, The Butterfly Tree member who manages the project in Zambia. This was gratefully received by the Ministries and Heads of the Communities, and was subsequently reported in the national press.
The product details can be found using this link: Presentation – Vectorcide 2015
Malaria remains the number one killer of man. 75% of all deaths occur in children under the age of five in sub-Sahara Africa. Every 60 second a child dies from malaria. With a vaccine yet to be approved by the WHO malaria prevention is essential. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine these advanced products, supplied by Vectorcide UK and manufactured in a cutting edge laboratory in Poland, are far superior to anything else currently available on the global market.
Thanks to Saga Charitable Trust the first shipment has arrived in Zambia and is being distributed in villages in the Mukuni Chiefdom where there is a high prevalence of malaria. Chuunga, Kamwi and Syaflwebafweba reported almost four hundred cases of malaria last year. It is imperative that we get these villages covered with Mozzimort before the onset of the rainy season.
Other donations have come from individuals and Inner Wheel District 6, after The Butterfly Tree was chosen as their international charity of the year for two consecutive years 2013-15. Zambia is a vast country with many areas becoming inaccessible during the rains.
The Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Control Centre, the Zambian Scientific Research Centre and the Environmental Agencies have been instrumental in helping us to get these products into Zambia. It is now hoped that both the Provincial health departments and the private sector will purchase these products to help prevent more loss of life.
We need further funds to reach out to rural communities – donations can be made using our secure on line facility: DONATE
Follow our malaria prevention progress on Facebook
30% Increase in Donations and Grant Aid
2014–15 has been an extremely successful year for The Butterfly Tree, with donations and grant aid increasing by 30%. We gained many new donors and have reached out to several new schools and communities. I am astounded by the continued support from our loyal donors, volunteers and fundraisers, who have generously donated money and free time to help us continue this vital work. The grass root projects, which include education advancements, bore holes and improved healthcare, have also continued to grow. Our exciting new malaria prevention project is shortly to be launched.
Please follow the link to view the full Annual Report, Photos and Accounts: Annual Report 14-15
For the past twelve months we have been working with Vectorcide (a UK company), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Zambian Malaria Control Centre and the Ministry of Health, to introduce two innovative malaria prevention methods that are perceived to be the most superior products currently available globally. This is a huge opportunity for us and most humbling to know that we have the potential to help save thousands of lives. The first distribution will be going to the Mukuni Chiefdom in July. In addition we received a donation of repellent t-shirts that offer a further form of protection.
Over the years we have gained a sound reputation for transparency and for getting the job done! When in Zambia I drive to all the villages we are supporting. Sometimes it can be hazardous, but this way I am able to report first hand the remakable difference The Butterfly Tree is making. Earlier this year we received a substantial grant to develop N’gandu School, which dates back to 1947, and is in dire need of expansion. Further grant aid enabled us to expand N’dele School, a substantial donation paid for extensive development at Nampuyani School and one for restoration at Manyemuyemu.
We continue to sponsor the education of orphans in several schools. We are extremely grateful for the on going support from our many sponsors, some joining us way back in 2006. Personally I believe one of our greatest achievements is to see former sponsored pupils attending teacher’s training college and other further education establishments. Three of them have returned to Mukuni to do work experience at the school. Others are studying agriculture and engineering, some are volunteering in schools and clinics, while others have sought employment.
Another special education unit has been added to Simango school, making this our fourth one in rural schools. Earlier this year we handed over The Butterfly Tree’s pre-school in Mukuni Village to the mainstream school. The government has finally incorporated pre-schools into their curriculum. In sport, Mukuni football teams, received football kits from York City Football Club.
Health and water issues continue to dominate our work. Besides the prevelance of malaria, which has sadly been on the increase due to the escalation in drug-resistance, we must continue to address HIV, particularly amongst youths. We provide funds for HIV prevention through peer eudcation workshops using ‘Meet Mutsa’s’ successful method. These young peer educators are making substantial progress by spreading awareness of the dangers of HIV and AIDS. Furthermore the CEF goat project, funded by US donors, provides goat’s milk for vulnerable infants and children at risk from malnutrition.
Sometimes I am overcome with emotion when I visit these communities and see the improvements, most recently at the new clinic at Muchambile funded by private donors who have ‘adopted’ the school and village. The health centre at Mahalulu is now fully operational, complete with maternity clinic, women’s shelter, staff houses, bore hole and latrines. The school bore holes are invaluable and have helped to reduce the number of diarrhoeal diseases in children as well as providing irrigation for sustainable school vegetable gardens.
Nine community houses were constructed for widows looking after orphans, some built by UK volunteers. Each year we attract a considerable number of volunteers from all walks of life. This past year we received volunteers and visitors from the UK, Norway, France, New Zealand, Australia, USA and South Africa. Mukuni Village has become a global gathering!
Besides volunteers we attract travel philanthropists and tourists. Our base at Mukuni Village is just seven kilometres from Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site, where visitors can come and see how just a small donation can make a huge difference.
2006 was when it all began by sponsoring a few orphans and raising funds for a high school. Since then our work has expanded to four Chiefdoms, offering improved water, as well as health and education facilities to thousands of orphans and vulnerable children. This has happened because of the commitment and dedication of our teams of volunteers both in the UK and Zambia. I wish to express my gratitude to fellow Trustees David and Miranda for all their help and advice, and welcome to the board of Trustees, Wendy Callaway, a long-term donor and volunteer of the charity. A special thanks to Ann Sutton for her extensive contribution in administering the charity accounts, to Carolyn for efficiently organising the volunteer programme, to Oscar for his asssitance, and to Emma for helping with the orphan sponsorship and her volunteer work in Zambia. Also my sincere thanks to Frank Maiolo, our US representative, who has promoted and supported the charity since 2008.
I receive some wonderful comments and unnecessary applause for what we have achieved in these rural villages. However, none of it could have been accomplished without the devotion and effort of our amazing team in Zambia: Mupotola Siloka (Secretary & Project Manager), Presley Mulenga (Head of Education), Martin Mushabati (Ground Operations Manager), Rosemany Siloka (Treasurer), Stain Musungaila (Malaria Prevention) and Sibeso Maseke (Environmetal Officer). A special thanks to Chief Mukuni for his counsel, and the local tour operators and hoteliers who support our work.
We will continue to work at grass root level, reaching out to remote areas of need, and with the support of the Ministry of Health we aim is to extend the malaria prevention programme to national level to reduce the number of lives lost and days of absenteeism due to sickness.
My sincere thanks to everyone who has helped to make The Butterfly Tree an established and globally recognised charity. I would personally like to thank every single donor from around the world and apologise for not being able to name everyone. A special thanks to our major donors – the Jersey Oversees Aid Commission, the British and Foreign School Society, Saga Charitable Trust, Just a Drop, ENRC Marketing AG, The Besom, Cunninghams, Attraction Tickets Direct, Black and White Accounting and the Mukuni Village Fund (Australia), not forgetting the Inner Wheel Clubs District 6, who selected The Butterfly Tree, for the past two years, as their International Charity of the Year!
Providing Educational and Medical Support
For the past few years the number of volunteers we receive in Zambia has increased considerably. During the next eight weeks some fifty people will be volunteering at Mukuni, N’gandu and Kamwi Schools in the Mukuni Chiefdom. Recently Chris and Kiara, two HandsUpHoliday clients, staying at The Royal Livingstone Hotel, have funded and built a community house for a widow with orphans.
This month will see four schools groups partaking in volunteering. Tring School, through World Challenge, has generously donated funds to build a school shop and restore the old classrooms at Kamwi. While Outlook Expeditions are sending school groups from Gyfum Emlyn and Longbridge in Wales, to build four community houses at Mukuni, they will also assist in the classrooms.
In August we welcome the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission Community Works volunteers. A Grant has been given by the commission to expand N’gandu School, which will benefit greatly fwith the addition of a 1×3 classroom block, two teacher’s house and latrines. The groups will be staying for three weeks and will camp at the school. Also in August Muze Trust will send two volunteers to offer music workshops for young people in Mukuni.
We also have a number of fundraisers who are currently supporting our cause – Alison Adams, a Scottish teacher, is raising funds for a much needed special education unit at Kauwe School. On August 1st Alison will be undertaking the National Three Peakes Challenge. Faris Alwan and Rebecca Hodgson aim to raise a substantial amount of funds for housing projects. Claudia Emmanuel is raising funds on her birthday for a community house. Errina Foley-Fisher is raising money for a bore hole and will volunteer later in the year. Several medical students will be helping at the clinics and once again we welcome Sydney University students at the end of the year.
The Butterfly Tree teams both in the UK and Zambia are made up entirely by volunteers, having these extra volunteers not only offers financial support but expertise as well. We are so grateful to all these generous people, who give up their free time to offer invaluable support to both The Butterfly Tree and the local Zambian communities. In return this can be a life-changing experience for all participants. If you would like to volunteer, fundraise or donate to one of our causes click on this link or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer work.
Reaching Out To New Communities
With continual news on the launch of The Butterfly Tree’s malaria prevention project in Zambia I would like to reassure our donors and supporters that we have not neglected our grass root projects. These are so vital to the development of any community whether it be for health or education.
The most essential of all our projects is to provide safe clean water. This year the Southern areas of Zambia have experienced a poor rainy season. Reports are coming in of streams and rivers that would normally be full having very little water, and maize crops have perished. Adding a bore hole to a school or community helps to reduce diarrhoeal diseases and provides water to irrigate vegetables – one is shortly to be installed at Bunsanga, thanks to joint funding from the Cayman Islands Rotary Club, the Parishes of Abbots Wood and Leigh Woods and Nick Bousliman.
Several educational advancements are being made – a 1×2 classroom block and latrines is almost complete at N’dele Primary School using further grant aid from the British and Foreign School Society. N’gandu School is undergoing extensive expansion through JOAC’s Community Works Projects. Muchambile is to receive a boost from private donors who have ‘adopted’ the school and village, adding a much needed clinic. Kasiya Community School has new latrines thanks to Robert & Cindy Orr.
On health matters funding is now in place to build a women’s shelter for the Singwamba community. Currently women are sleeping in the open when they come to the clinic prior to delivery. The Besom has once again supported our work, along with Hannah Leon who took part in the Tough Mudder competition, and Ursula Reinheimer who raised money making cards and jewellery.
Malaria Prevention - Saving Lives
The theme for World Malaria Day 2015 is ‘Many Voices, a single Theme‘. All over the world governments and organizations are helping the fight against malaria. Half the world’s population (3.2 billion) are at risk of contracting malaria,most especially in poor countries such as Zambia.
Malaria is the biggest killer of man. 198 million cases and a staggering 584,000 deaths were recorded in 2013.
The Butterfly Tree is about to launch our most ambitious project to date. A new innovative malaria prevention method will shortly be available in Zambia and beyond, which will initiated by our organisation.
Working alongside Vectorcide, the UK corporate who has funded the development of the products, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Vectorcide products are reputed to be superior products for malaria prevention. These products have now been approved in Zambia by the Ministry of Health, the Zambian Malaria Control Centre and the Environmental Management Agency.
We have been granted the Licence to import the products into Zambia. Our aim is to distribute these interventions into remote communities and also make them available to the tourism, agriculture, mining and other industries to prevent absenteeism from work as well as saving lives. One of our major donors, Saga Charitable Trust, is supporting this project.
Mosquito nets will continue to be used as an effective method for malaria prevention. The new products will provide further protection, Mozzimort being an alternative to Indoor Residual Spraying.
Please support our fight against malaria – your donation could help to save a child’s life. Click donate.
Crops Fail Due to Lack of Rain
March sees the start of The Butterfly Tree’s tenth year working to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. We have made significant strides in education and healthcare in the Kazungula and Livingstone Districts adding new schools and clinics in remote communities. Thousands of children are receiving a sound education and healthcare facilities have improved considerably.
Our aim is to continue this vital work, but first we have to address two fundamental projects, Water and Food, to avoid a major crisis currently threatening the lives and livelihoods of numerous people living in these districts.
The rainy season in Zambia starts in November and ends in April. Some parts of Zambia have recorded good rains, sadly this is not the case in the Southern Province, where very little rain has fallen. Now the peak growing season is coming to an end and for many villages and schools there is no maize. Crops have failed to grow, resulting in a shortage of food, hunger is already apparent which will get worse over the coming months.
Water, so essential for all forms of life, is in short supply. Rivers and streams, normally flowing at this time of year, are dry. Many remote communities still have no access to safe water and have to rely on streams. We need to identify these areas and raise funds to provide additional bore holes. Fortunately all the schools we work in now have bore holes to provide safe drinking water.
If the crisis continues it is hoped that the Zambian government will send maize from the north of Zambia to the affected southern region. In the meantime The Butterfly Tree will provide further seeds and fertilizer for school feeding programmes, to enable them to grow beans, rape and cabbages using bore whole water for irrigation.
Our educational development projects with continue as normal. A 1×2 classroom block and latrines will shortly be completed at N’dele Primary School, thanks to a generous grant from the British and Foreign School Society. This month work will commence on a 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses and latrines at N’gandu School, using a substantial grant from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission as a Community Works Project.
All of our work has had a big impact in these rural villages, but none more so than water projects. We need to provide more bore holes to improve health issues, reduce the number of diarrhoeal cases and to deliver a supply of water to irrigate for school gardens.
Progress In Education
I have just returned from Zambia after checking on our latest developments and sourcing new projects for 2015. It was wonderful to be back, despite it being the middle of the rainy season I was able to access most of the villages. As always it was extremely rewarding to see so much progress being made.
Thanks to a private donor Muchambile school has undergone vast improvements. The addition of a bore hole, classroom block, teacher’s house, latrines and a school shop has encouraged more children to enrol at school. The Head Teacher has introduced an adult class, as many of the older generation are uneducated. Later this year four parents will be sitting grade seven exams with their children. The donor also funded a health post for this community.
In March 2014 a group of employees from Attraction Tickets Direct visited Nampuyani School after donating a bore hole through our partner organisation, Just a Drop. Seeing first hand the need for support, the company gave a generous donation to improve the facilities. Two classrooms blocks and a store room have undergone restoration, a teacher’s house has been added along with two double latrines.
A new classroom block for N’dele Primary School is currently being constructed kindly funded by the British and Foreign School Society. Development at N’gandu School will shortly commence with the addition of a 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses and four double latrines. This is funded by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission through their Community Works Programme.
There are many more rural schools that need support. A new roof has been added to a classroom at Manyemuyemu, but this 1937 school needs further funding. Children at Bunsanga Community School are being taught in a mud hut while pupils at River View School are using tents! Reverend Presley Mulenga has recently been posted to River View School after serving as an impressive Head Teacher at Mukuni for the past twelve years. Presley will remain a full member of The Butterfly Tree.
Malaria prevention remains a major priority. We are in the final stages of getting the full licenses for the new malaria products from Biotech International. I was saddened to learn that malaria is again on the increase in the Southern Province. We will step up our programmes, my team reported that the repellent t-shirts donated by New Textiles have really helped. Horwich Rotary Club kindly donated a motorcycle and kit for Mrs Meseke, our Environmental Officer, which will enable her to reach remote malaria ‘hot spots’. A private donor funded her training with Riders for Health.
More orphans have been added to our orphan sponsorship programme. A number of school leavers have been successful in seeking employment, some now doing teacher’s practice at our schools and others are volunteering for The Butterfly Tree.
We are making substantial advancements with education in rural areas. With your help we have sponsored several hundred individual orphans, built five new schools, expanded a further twenty schools and added four special education units with a fifth one scheduled for this year. We will endeavour to raise funds to help these vulnerable children – education is the key to alleviating poverty!