Working in four Chiefdoms of Zambia we are building sustainable schools, advancing education and offering hope to thousands of orphans and vulnerable children. ‘Education is the key’ – without it there is no way these needy people, who have been decimated by the HIV and AIDS pandemic, can move forward. Sadly the education in rural villages is inadequate. Shortage of facilities, distance to travel to the nearest school, poverty and lack of safe water and food are common place. For the past nine years we have built new schools, enabling children to go to school for the very first time, added classrooms to existing schools, installed bore holes and latrines and provided seeds for sustainable feeding programs.
The areas we have covered are in the Mukuni, Musokotwane, Sikute and Nyawa Chiefdoms – many of these are remote villages which become in accessible during the rainy season from November to March. Once we have built a school we hand it over to the Ministry of Education in order for them to provide the necessary trained teachers. Unfortunately schooling is not free and from grade seven school and exam fees have to be found. Additional funds are needed for uniform, shoes and books, which is affordable if your parents have an income. When you are an orphan it is virtually impossible to find the funds to go to school. That is why The Butterfly Tree set up an orphan sponsorship program, which has enabled hundreds of children to receive an education from pre-school through to completing high school.
We have supported 25 students at college – courses have included teacher’s training, computing, agriculture and hotel management.
In 2014 the government incorporated pre-schools within the curriculum. Since 2006 we have funded a pre-school at Mukuni Village, which is attended daily by over 230 children and another at Machenje Village. In February 2015 we handed the pre-school over to the Ministry of Education.
In addition we have constructed five new schools at Matengu, Silelo, Malima, N’dele and Sibbulo. There were no high schools in the area, and the majority of pupils could not afford to go to boarding school was they had completed grade nine. We opened Mukuni High School in 2007, since adding two boarding shelters, which will accommodate 50 pupils from outreach villages. Before The Butterfly Tree’s involvement there were no facilities for children needing special education in these remote villages. In 2010 we added a unit to Mukuni Basic School, the first in Zambia. in 2013 one to Riverview School, and in 2014 two further units were opened at Katapazi and Simango schools. A fifth unit is scheduled for 2015 for Kauwe Secondary School.