Orphan Sponsorship

In Zambia there are 710,000 orphans. 33,000 children are infected with the HIV virus. Orphan sponsorship provides an education for these vulnerable children.

Sponsored Orphan Jane Mulonda Sponsored Orphan Nakwali Balumbi Sponsored Orphan Natasha Mufaya Sponsored Orphan Chaton Sitali Follow link to sponsor an orphan and meet some of the courageous orphans.

Prince Royal Visit to Mukuni
Travelmole Award

All posts in ‘Sustainability’ category

Mothers in Zambia

In developing countries such as Zambia much of the responsibility of bringing up children is left to the mother. Sadly, as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, there are far too many young widows left with no income. The Butterfly Tree provides housing and sustainable income-generating enterprises for such women.

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Young Zambian mother and child

It is believed that if you educate a women she will educate the entire family. Certainly from my eight year experience of working with women in Zambia, they are ready to make the change. Traditionally, in villages like Mukuni, boys dropped out of school to become wood carvers and girls fell pregnant or were forced into early marriages. Times are changing and now both boys and girls are completing high school. Education is the key to overcoming poverty and disease.

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The Butterfly Tree house for young widow and children

At the beginning of May further houses will be built for these young widows, thanks to fundraising efforts by William Anderson of Teamworks, who will be going out to Zambia with his colleagues to help with the construction of four new homes. To date we have donated over sixty houses to widows and orphans.

Help us to reach out to vulnerable women on Mother’s Day:

  • Order flowers through our partner Charity Flowers - 15% will be donated to the charity
  • Buy a CD and listen to the powerful voices of the Mukuni School Choir
  • Place a bid on Ebay for our ‘teddy bear’ auction
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‘Teddy Bear’ Auction – knitted by an Inner Wheel Club member

Donate to any of the following projects:

WATER – FOOD – HEALTH – EDUCATION

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Education & Sustainability

In the past five years The Butterfly Tree has concentrated on advancing the water, food, health and education facilities and has made a difference to the lives of  thousands of people in the Mukuni Chiefdom and beyond. Now we are to take this a step further thanks to the help of international volunteers who will be working with the charity to initiate projects which will include peer educating, improvement in education methods and sustainability.

Mutsa Marau from London has spent the past year raising funds to visit Mukuni and introduce a peer education system at Mukuni Basic and High Schools. HIV/AIDS remains the major problem within the Mukuni community leaving almost fifty per cent of the children orphaned. One in six adults is HIV positive and the longevity is merely thirty six years of age. Mutsa is determined to make her HIV and AIDS Prevention project work; educating pupils between the ages of twelve and twenty about the dangers of HIV, holding workshops and teaching during her four month visit to the village.

Education improvements at Mukuni

Education improvements at Mukuni

Joining Mutsa will be Petteri Alppi from Finland who is a student at University College, London and a member of their Global Development Initiatives. Although the teaching standards in Zambia are good many pupils fail their exams due to a lack of materials and teaching staff. Petteri has compiled educational data to help improve English and Mathematics skills at the schools. He will also assist the charity by documenting and producing videos of our projects, volunteering and the Zambian cultural way of life.

For the third consecutive year Margaret Bax and Casey Short from Oregon will be returning to Mukuni to continue their work with sustainable projects. A successful chicken farming enterprise has given a number of women an opportunity to have an income-generating activity. Last year Margaret and Casey started a goat-rearing project to assist The Butterfly Tree’s under fives’ feeding program. One of our most successful projects to date this requires a large injection of funds and due to the high cost of formula only a limited number of infants can participate. The project provides formula, to replace breast milk in women who are HIV positive, to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child. Since 2007 all infants partaking on this program have been tested free of HIV. The production of goat’s milk will provide a nutritional supplement for this feeding program.

Under fives' feediging program, Mukuni Village

Sustainability – under fives’ feediging program, Mukuni Village

Our aim is to make the Mukuni Chiefdom projects models for other areas of need.

Africa Day 2011

Africa – love it or hate it there is no in between  The heat, dust, poverty, corruption, violence that is how many sceptics describe this vast, parched continent, but have they ever actually visited the real Africa? The second largest and second most populated continent, Africa has huge geographical diversity and a mixture of many different cultures. In the middle of some of the most volatile countries on the planet is a haven called Zambia, totally land-locked yet boasting some of the best wildlife in Africa and the magnificent Victoria Falls. It borders eight other countries including Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

Victoria Falls - Zambia

The breathtaking Victoria Falls – Zambia

Today marks Africa Day and the one thing that unites all Africans is their love of music – they are born with rhythm! From their very first steps to adulthood they are natural dances and love performing at schools, in churches and at community gatherings – song and dance are part off their traditional heritage. Surrounded by such extreme cases of poverty and deprivation music can bring a light relief and is a great way to spread awareness of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. The Butterfly Tree is working with a number of volunteers who are helping to raise funds to help the fight against these devastating diseases. Basement Entertainment supports our malaria prevention program. Brendan Mission, through Music Earth Rise is currently raising funds to build a  music centre  in Mukuni Village. The pupils will be able to use it to hold concerts, drama and workshops.

Mukuni Basic School tradtional dance

Africa Day: Mukuni Basic School performing a tradtional dance

To make any lasting progress the HIV/AIDS situation has to be addressed. In Mukuni alone almost 50% of the children are orphaned, whereas one in six adults are HIV positive. We have a number of programs to help tackle this enormous problem but more funds are needed. As always education is the key and this coming year we are fortunate to have several volunteers, including Mutsa Murau, who want to work with the orphans to help reduce the number of new cases of HIV. Mutsa will assist our HIV/AIDS prevention program by training peer educators in some of the schools supported by The Butterfly Tree.

Orphans at Simasimbi Basic School

Orphans at Simasimbi Basic School

Although there is vast wealth among some Africans the majority of people native to countries like Zambia live in extreme poverty and rely on international aid. However we feel that it is vital to bring about sustainability in areas where we operate once the education and health facilities have been improved. We are developing a number of enterprises at both the school and community in Mukuni. Perhaps one day the children on our orphan sponsorship program can be supporting their own families.

Music Supporting Charity in Africa

Africans are born with rhythm, so it is not surprising to come across many talented people during my trips to Mukuni; song and dance play an influential role in their culture. The forthcoming Lwiindi Ceremony, the ‘Cutlural Feast of the Spray Ceremony of the Victoria Falls’ scheduled for the 2nd August. This is a great spectacle of colour showing many aspects of tribal life, most especially through music. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Live Aid, the famous Fundraising Concert for the famine in Ethiopia. I recently watched a biography of Bob Geldof and a recording of Live Aid, this shows the power and lure of music from every corner of the world. I have always been inspired by the incredible fete acheived by the organisers of this event and believe that music is a great media for fundraising.

Charity Music: Crystal Shaun & TY2 & Leya Tribal Dancing at Mukuni Village

This year we launched a charity single, called ‘Change for the Better’ on World Malaria Day to increase global awareness and raise funds for Malaria Prevention and the fight against Africa malaria. Although Zambia is not a famine area, there is hunger, poverty and sickness and the continual battle against malaria and HIV and AIDS Prevention, lack of safe, clean water and medical supplies. The Butterfly Tree has concentrated its work in the Mukuni Chiefdom to improve all aspects of life and not just walk away after putting up a new classroom. It is vital to improve the water and health facilities along with advancing the edcuation to really make a difference, after which Mukuni Village can attempt to be more sustainable.

HIV/AIDS in Zambia  under fives’s feeding program     outreach clinics in Mukuni

A student from North Carolina recently visited our projects on behalf of GlobalGving US. Troy Smith has written a wonderful report highlighting our work and the difference we are making to the lives of the orphans and our programs for HIV/AIDS in Zambia. A volunteer from the UK, Brendan Poynton, recently spent some time at Mukuni, Ngandu and Kamwi Schools holding music workshops for the pupils. He was so inspired by our work and the response from the children that he has offered to raise funds to build a Music Centre at Mukuni. With this in place we can hold events in Zambia and who knows we may even be able to host our own mini ‘Live Aid’ concert.

Christmas 2009 Newsletter

They may not receive gifts on Christmas Day at Mukuni but thanks to everyone around the globe who has supported The Butterfly Tree we are able to offer them the essentials in life - WATER, FOOD, HEALTH and EDUCATION.

We have had great success with our fundraising efforts this year. During the past few months we have increased our orphan sponsorship program, provided seeds for several school gardens and funded treatment for children. We have added five bore holes, built six community houses for widows and orphans, set up a sustainable chicken farm for a women’s group and provided essential funds for the HIV/AIDS in Zambia and malaria programs. Our biggest project, funded by JOAC, was to build a 1×3 classroom and extend the clinic at Katapazi Village, which is now complete.

Christmas: bore hole & classroom for Katapazi      Treatment funded for Kevin

Offering the chance for people to buy alternative Christmas presents has also been fruitful – donkeys, bicycles, chickens and even a house have been generously donated and the calendars as always have been very popular. Many people chose to donate instead of sending Christmas cards.

N’gandu boy takes his sisters to school A new home for a Mukuni widow and orphans

2010 will bring forth the most amazing grants we have ever received. JOAC has offered a huge amount of grant aid to enable us to do six building projects at Mukuni, Siamasimbi and Kamwi Schools, build a brand new school at Mandandi, open a pre-school at Machenje as well as the opportunity to improve a clinic at N’songwe. Just a Drop will fund a bore hole for Kamwi Basic School and Saga Charitable Trust have offered continual support for our health projects at Mukuni Village. The BFSS are giving us another generous grant to purchase stationery and materials for six more schools. All our schools will now receive a feeding program as World Bank are no longer providing porridge to these remote areas.

I would like to say a huge thank you to my fellow trustees, all the volunteers and fundraisers who have worked tirelessly to make this such a successful period and most especially to everyone who has generously donated to our cause and given hope to thousands of people in the Mukuni Chiefdom.

I am so grateful to everyone for helping me to achieve our goals and wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas and a peacful and prosperous New Year.

Jane Kaye-Bailey

Presents for Mukuni

How many of you find it a struggle to know what to buy someone for Christmas, especially someone who appears to have everything? So how about giving something that will benefit someone who has nothing!

The children of Mukuni don’t receive Christmas presents, they don’t know about Father Christmas or the celebrations of the festive season. Apart from the joy of going to church on Christmas morning the rest of the day will just be as any other day at Mukuni Village. No stocking fillers nor treats just a plate of nsima (ground maize), vegetables and groundnuts and for the few lucky ones the addition of chicken or kapenta (dried fish) swilled down with water. Coke, Fanta and Lemonade are a luxury very few can afford and despite the constant heat ice-cream is unheard of.

Alternative Christmas presents could really help a child or community in need and give more satisfaction to the donor than the risk of purchasing an unwanted gift. From as little as £6 for a goat to building a house for a family your money will help to improve the life of someone less fortunate.

Presents for Mukuni: Donate a donkey

Presents for Mukuni: Donate a donkey

The following can all be purchased through the charity as an alternative Christmas present to provide valuable funds to overcome these hardships:Life in these remote villages is tough – with daily challenges to meet these people strive to find food for their families, fresh water to drink and medicine to heal their sick. All things that we in the west take for granted. For the past seven months the rural clinics have received no government funding. Yesterday I was told that there is an outbreak  in the district and no money available to buy the neccessary insecticides. The Butterfly Tree will help to eradicate this issue, at least for Mukuni Village, in the forthcoming week. These are just some of the many problems these gentle people have to endure while we suffer from the pressures of our Christmas - what to eat and drink, what to wear and finding the perfect tree!

Donate a goat – £6

Donate a football – £8

Donate 5 mosquito nets £20

Donate a bicycle - £75

Sponsor an orphan – £120 per annum

Build a house for widows and orphans – £400

Buy a 2010 charity calendar – £4 plus postage

For more information email jane@thebutterflytree.org.uk or telephone 01926 843699

New homes for orphans

After working in temperatures reaching 35 degrees my sons, Mike and David built four homes in Mukuni Village for the elderly and widows with orphans. The senior headman selected the most deserving cases. All four houses were given to elderly people living in delapidated conditions and having to look after their grandchildren who have been orphaned through HIV/AIDS in Zanbia. As always transport is a huge issue but the guys used our 4×4 to ferry poles, mud, grasses and water, which speeded up the project.

David & Mike with a Mukuni Widow            Widow with two orphans in her new home

Assisting the local builders - firstly Mike and David collected poles and grasses from the remote villages of Kamwi and Machenje, then the mud had to be dug from an area outside Mukuni and the water fetched from the nearest bore holes. Each house was built in stages, the poles were put into the ground, next the erecting of the roof poles, then the expert thatchers got to work – each house needed eighty bundles of straw.

Mike unloading grasses                               David carrying water

Traditionally the women add the mud to the walls, which has to be mixed with gallons of water. Ladies from the local church took part donating their earned income to the church. The final stage was to put in the floor and paint the outside of the walls. It took two days to complete each house and thanks to everyone’s generous donations and Mike and David’s hard work four families in Mukuni are now enjoying the comforts of their new homes.

The Butterfly Tree’s community houses cost £400 to build.

Houses for Mukuni

My sons, Mike and David have volunteered to go to Zambia to build homes for Mukuni, but first they have to raise the funds for the materials. They will work with the local builders, in temperatures reaching 35 degrees to provide at least one home for a widow and orphans during their stay. The cost per house is £400 to build a sturdy, substantial structure with a concrete floor and they will also include the mattresses.

A dwelling in Mukuni Village

Accomodation, in remote communities such as Mukuni Village, is primitive. A mud-hut dwelling for most, three huts for the more prosperous families – one a sleeping quarter for men, the other for women and young children and one for the kitchen. Sadly there are thousands of widows and orphans who have no income to repair or build new homes. The thatching, which should be done every five years, becomes neglected causing leaks during the rainy season, holes appear creating drafts in the winter months when the temperatures drop to below 4 degrees.

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Homes for Mukuni: A new house built by The Butterfly Tree

Mike and David are appealing for everyone to donate just £3, the cost of one less pint of beer on a Saturday night! All the money will be used for the project, no deductions will be made. The result - secure, spacious and comfortable accommodation for a vulnerable family, which will last for many years. To make a donation Mike has created a page, ‘The Kayes get Physcial’, on Just Giving; alternatively you can make a donation on The Butterfly Tree website.

Food for Mukuni

One billion people throughout the world suffer from hunger, a figure which has increased by 100 million because of the global financial crisis, says the United Nations. We are all complaining about the effect the world reccession is having upon us, but do we give a thought as to how badly people are affected in the developing countries. Lower incomes, unemployment, reduced foreign investment increase in food prices have attributed to a record number of people suffering from hunger and yet in the developed world relatively few are affected.

Zambia is in Sub-Sahara Africa where 265 million people are hungry, many relying on food aid. In the past twelve months The Butterfly Tree has provided bore holes to four schools and two villages in Mukuni now we need to use that water to develop agriculture and for the communities to grow food so that they can become sustainable. I hear sad stories of African children unable to walk the long distance to school due to lack of food, pupils who are lethargic in class and have actually seen a number of them fall asleep over their desks. I recently met a mother with twins who had walked three miles to the clinic, the infants were suffering from malnutrition, she hadn’t eaten for twenty-four hours having no money to buy a bag of ground maize. They are now receiving aid through our under fives feeding program.

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Food for Mukuni – mother & twins no longer suffering from hunger

More feeding programs are needed until these communities can become sustainable, a difficult task with ever increasing costs, floods and elephants destroying crops. The Butterfly Tree is currently providing a feeding program, sponsored by Cunninghams, for over 500 vulnerable and orphaned children at Mukuni Basic School. We have just commenced a second program at Siamasimbi Basic School. Each day the pupils are given a nutritional meal of Nshima (ground maize), meat or dried fish (kapenta) and vegetables.

Feeding programs like this one at Mukuni needed for more schools

We are seeking micro-financing so that groups of widows, schools and communities can grow crops, produce goats and chickens for meat and eggs, fish farming and fruit trees.

Homes for Mukuni

Winter in Zambia is between June and August, although the daytime temperatures can reach up to 25 degrees the nights can drop below 4 degrees. For many this is a very difficult time, with no money to repair thatched a roof, no mattress, no blanket nor warm clothes the cold nights can be unbearable. For old people with a number of ailments, sufferers of  TB and  HIV/AIDS in Zambia and new born babies it can be life-threatening. I have come across a number of people who are still sleeping with no shelter, open to the elements and snakes.

Homes for Mukuni: a dwelling in Mukuni Village

The Butterfly Tree’s community housing project provides substantial mud huts with a concrete floor for the most vulnerable. Using local builders a construction can be erected for just £400 and can comfortably sleep up to four people. One woman in Mukuni Village told me that when she lies down in her new home she thinks that she must be dreaming. To date we have built over 30 of these houses but need many more . This is the time of year when the grasses are ready for gathering, old roofs can be rethatched to keep the huts dry in the rainy season.

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The Butterfly Tree community house

Providing a new home for a widow with young children or an elderly person who has no one to care for them can give them hope and a better chance of surving the cold winter months. A mattress at £20 and a blanket for £10 is an added bonus.