HIV and AIDS Education
According to the World Health Organisation:
- The only way to reduce the HIV/AIDS statistics is through education - one in six adults in Zambia are infected with the HIV virus.
- 35.3 million people living with HIV in 2012
- 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012
- 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2012
- In 2013, the world registered 2.3 million new HIV infections
- 6.6 Million people currently receiving ARV therapy
Every family is infected or affected. In the Livingstone and Mukuni area the statistics are the fourth highest in the nation, with 27% of the population infect with HIV. It is imperative that people have access to education, come forward to be tested, know their status and to take the antiretroviral drugs if they are tested positive. Our aim is to assist the rural clinics with their HIV/AIDS prevention programs and to target school pupils, in order for them to be the ones that make the change. We provide peer education, use educational DVDS to create awareness and help to remove the stigma. TME, a Warwickshire based charity, provide us with the interactive DVDs, which have proved to be an invaluable source of material.
We are providing an orphan sponsorship program for some 500 children besides assisting thousands more with improved health and education facilities. The statistics in Livingstone and Mukuni Village are some of the highest in the nation due it being a tourist and border area. School pupils are encouraged to be tested for HIV, to remove the stigma and support peers who are HIV positive. Antiretroviral drugs are free of charge and readily available at the rural clinics as are contraceptives to prevent having unprotected sex.
Receiving education on HIV prevention
Women who are pregnant and wish to give birth at a clinic are automatically tested for HIV. If the mother is HIV positive the government’s directive is to breastfeed for two years. The infant will also be put on drugs and are tested regularly. Mukuni Health Centre has made good progress in this area and we hope that the new clinic we have constructed at Mahalulu will help to reduce the numbers of people contracting HIV.
Latest Happenings WITH OUR HIV and AIDS Education Project
Water, Health and Education Developments
The Butterfly Tree has come a long way since 2006, gaining a sound reputation for transparency, attracting a global following, as well as continuing to be run by a team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers. After recently spending three weeks in Zambia there is so much to report, so many stories to tell and many people to thank.
The start of the trip was spent hosting Geoff Crill, a Commissioner from our major donor organisation, the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. After three days visiting rural schools at Kamwi, Ndele, Mukuni, Machenje, Matengu and Silelo, we ended with a visit to the newly opened clinic at Mahalulu, the Commissioner was impressed! He saw first-hand how far we have reached, the challenges we face, met our wonderful team of volunteers and personally funded the repair of the Silelo borehole. A new Community Work Project is to be funded by JOAC for the expansion of N’gandu School for 2015, when volunteers from Jersey will travel to Zambia to help with the construction of the project.
Further development is taking place at Nampuyani, where a new borehole has been added, thanks to Just a Drop and funded by Attraction Tickets Direct who also paid for the addition of latrines and restoration of the school. Previously the only source of water was collected from bacteria infected shallow wells. The three hour drive to Nampuyani was tough, driving across river beds and a little too close for comfort to bush fires! However the joy of seeing children pumping safe clean water, was both humbling and overwhelming, and well worth the effort.
Muchimbale School, also in the Nyawa Chiefdom, underwent extensive development in 2013. Now thanks to further funding from a private donor a health post is to be added to reduce the distance that this community has to walk to seek medical attention. Moving on the Musokotwane Chiefdom Simango School, with some 750 pupils, has the addition of a Special Education unit, jointly funded by St. James Place Foundation and The Besom.
Three Enactus students from Sheffield University successfully initiated two projects for school leavers in the Mukuni Chiefdom. After funding repairs to four boreholes, a sustainable WASHcom. was set up in remote villages. Six school leavers are now operating a soap-making project and supplying their products to local hotels and lodges. Among the local supporters are Safpar and Stanley Safari Lodge. Emma Kennedy, our UK volunteer, returned to Zambia for three months to assist with our grass root projects.
As always I was given a substantial amount of items to distribute, which included medical supplies, knitted items from District 6 Inner Wheel Clubs and football jerseys from York City Football Club, complete with 15 footballs donated by their CEO John McGhee. In addition we received 130 t-shirts impregnated with mosquito nets from New Textiles, Portugal. These are to be given to a remote community where there is a high prevalence of malaria and also to our Zambia volunteers. We are continuing our campaign to help the fight against malaria and to prevent further new cases in these rural villages.
Thank you to everyone for all your support – without you, none of this could have happened!
Fundraising for Zambia
With the holiday season in full swing August in generally a quiet month for charities. However I am pleased to report that The Butterfly Tree is having a great month, funds are being boosted thanks to new and existing donors, fundraisers from church members to students raising money for the charity and volunteers are heading out to Zambia. Once again the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission has offered substantial support in the form of a Community Work Project to develop Ng’andu Basic School. This school was built in the early 1940′s and apart from the charity restoring classrooms and adding a bore hole and teacher’s houses very little else has been done. JOAC volunteers will assist in the construction of a new 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses and latrines in May 2015.
Cunninghams, another of our long term donors,continues to support a feeding programme at Mukuni Comprehensive school for 400 pupils and 50 boarders. As part of our malaria prevention campaign to help the fight against malaria, New Textiles Portugal has donated over 100 insect repellent t-shirts to distribute amongst children in areas where we have seen an increase in new cases of malaria.
This year we have seen an increase in volunteering in Zambia. Most recently from the US Hanna Cohen and her two daughters helped at the Mukuni schools and raised funds towards a borehole. Neysa Murphy and Wiremu Sutherland from New Zealand assisted the NASAAZ interschools’ Drama, Poetry and Choirs competitions and have since offered financial support for the Festival and will set up a scholarship for talented performers. Currently three Enactus students from Sheffield University are initiating WASHcoms and soap-making projects at Ng’andu, Kamwi and Kasiya Schools to improve the water supply and hygiene standards.
Other donations have included invaluable blood pressure monitors from Medisave for Mukuni Health Centre and three large boxes of football strips from York City Football Club. These will be shared amongst the Mukuni United Football Club, who are presently top of their league and a number of rural schools. We are very grateful to all our supporters who provide vital funds and supplies to help with our projects in remote areas of Zambia.
From the Chair…
Once again I am delighted to say that The Butterfly Tree has had a very successful year. I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support we have received from all over the world and amazed that people from as far away as New Zealand chose to volunteer for our charity. We have advanced several more rural schools and initiated feeding programs as well as providing vital funds for malaria and HIV prevention. We are now reaching out to remote communities some 200 kilometers from our base at Mukuni Village, many of which receive virtually no other international aid.
Please follow the link to view the full Annual Report, Photos and Accounts: Annual Report & Accounts 2013-2014
Helping to improve the facilities in these remote schools has given the children hope of a better future. At the villages of Chuunga, Manyemumyemu and Muchimbale additional classrooms and teachers’ houses have been added to their schools. River View and Katapazi saw the completion of two special education units, adding to the two at Mukuni and Simango, the first of their kind in Zambian villages. Most rural children with special needs have no access to education.
Our largest school at Mukuni Village, with over one thousand pupils, has had an excellent year. The addition of two extra classrooms reduced the number of pupils per class and added extra teaching hours. A sustainable school shop providing uniforms, stationery and tuck, started making profits after just four months. A further school shop has been opened at Muchimbale. Lack of text books has always been a huge issue; ten schools received a substantial amount of books, this contributed to the fact that Mukuni Basic School got the best grade seven and nine examination results in the Kazungula District.
The boarding shelters at Mukuni were extended and bunk beds and mattresses donated. This has enabled pupils from outreach villages to forego the long daily walks to school and has also allowed those who live in extremely remote areas to attend a high school.
As always our orphan sponsorship is at the forefront. Children who have lost one or both parents are being helped with their education. With over 710,000 orphans nationwide it is imperative for them to not only receive basic education but also to learn about the dangers of HIV and AIDS. Mutsa Marau returned to Zambia to train more peer educators on HIV prevention and sexual health. A number of orphans have now completed school, five of them are being sponsored at teachers’ training college and one at an agricultural college. Some of our orphans are now employed in security, customs and teaching.
The Butterfly Tree continues to provide funds for malaria prevention with the distribution of mosquito nets and educational workshops. This year Nyawe Chiefdom was the beneficiary. Sadly there has been a substantial increase in new cases of malaria throughout the Kazungula district due to lack of spraying and insufficient provision of nets. We are working with a UK corporate to bring two safe new products into Zambia for malaria prevention in the forthcoming months.
Whenever possible we provide funds for sick children to be treated in hospital. We have built a women’s shelter at Mambova Health Centre and continue to support both maternity care and under-fives clinics. The CEF goat project funded by two of our US volunteers continues to provide goat’s milk for vulnerable infants and children.
Six community houses have been built for widows and the elderly looking after orphans with funding in place for four more. Initiating community projects is an essential part of development. Our aim is to create these for school leavers who cannot afford to go to college. In July I was accompanied by an Ecotourism consultant from Costa Rica, in view of setting up a sustainable project in Mukuni Village. This is a prime area, just seven kilometers from the renowned Victoria Falls and the perfect location to create an income-generating an enterprise for the educated school leavers.
Volunteers have come from all over the world to help us! Some taught at the Mukuni schools and worked at the clinic, while others, including two school groups, helped to paint classrooms and build community houses and a school shop. I am delighted to say that five of these volunteers have joined The Butterfly Tree team: Carolyn Howe, who now managers the volunteer programme, Emma Kennedy is to run the orphan sponsorship program and Jonathan Sedo, from Costa Rica, will develop the Ecotourism project. In addition Bob and Cindy Orr from New Jersey are to fundraise in the US. We are very grateful to all of them for offering their free time to support The Butterfly Tree.
It is mainly because of our wonderful volunteers that the charity has been able to achieve so much. It is an inspiration to me to have so much help from so many selfless people. I would like to thank David and Miranda, my fellow trustees, for serving on the board with me. I have to thank Ann, who does a remarkable job with the accounts. I am also grateful to Mutsa and Oscar for their support in HIV and malaria prevention respectively, and Frank, Margaret and Casey, our US volunteers have been a great support.
As always I am totally in awe of my amazing team in Zambia, most especially Mupotola, Martin and Presley and thank them for all that they have done for The Butterfly Tree and their community. The tireless commitment has enabled us to initiate water, food, health and education projects in remote areas in four Chiefdoms, spanning a radius of two hundred kilometers. Rosemary, Sibeso, Stain, Jacob and the ten women orphan representatives and the volunteer cooks have all contributed to our success. I would also like to thank Chief Mukuni for his counsel and the local tour operators, hotels and lodges, namely Sun International, who supports our work in Zambia.
We now have so many donors around the world that it is impossible to list them all. However I wish to express my gratitude to our major sponsor, the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, have given us the opportunity to build entire new schools and clinics in these outreach areas. Our other major donors Saga Charitable Trust, Just a Drop, the British and Foreign School Society, and The Besom have also given us substantial funds over several years. Through grant aid their support has funded bore holes, malaria prevention, classrooms, vocational courses and health facilities. Corporate sponsors Cunninghams, Brady Italia, ENRC Marketing AG, Dative Studios and Black and White Accounting continue to generously support our cause. A special thanks to the BigGive, who doubled our donations through their Christmas Challenge and the Mukuni Village Fund, Australia, who sponsor fifty orphans.
In October a great opportunity arose when we were invited by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to be listed as one of their charities. The forthcoming year has some exciting prospects in the making, most importantly the new malaria prevention projects and further development in rural schools.
Key to Overcoming Poverty
In Zambia a high percentage of children are orphans as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has offered support to orphans and vulnerable children in twenty five schools in the Southern Province. Five of these schools were built from scratch, thanks to generous funding from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, others have been expanded, some now have pre-schools and four schools have new special education units.
The hardships these rural children have to endure on a daily basis are numerous – lack of safe drinking water and shortage of food, hours of walking to school in the baking sun, the risk of contracting malaria and HIV, and no clinic within a thirty mile radius. How do they cope? They live for each day and hope for a better future. Education is the key to overcoming poverty and its related issues. By advancing these rural schools The Butterfly Tree has given hope to thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children.
In the past twelve months we have completed education projects in Mukuni, Musokotwane and Nyawe Chiefdoms. Simango, River View and Katapazi schools have each gained a special education unit. Muchimbale, Chuunga and soon to be completed Nampuyani, have all had extra classrooms, teacher’s house and latrines, and three more schools have boreholes.
Many parents of these rural children are illiterate. Education not only provides an opportunity to seek employment, it teaches children about the dangers of HIV and malaria prevention. A substantial number of orphans, who we started sponsoring back in 2006, are currently receiving further education or engaged in work. They now have a purpose in life and a chance to help their families and communities. The Butterfly Tree is committed to continuing this vital support, most especially for orphans. If you would like to offer support for any of our education projects please contact us.
Need For Safe Water and Sanitation
No project is more essential than that to improve access to safe water in remote schools and communities. It is heart-breaking to see children drinking from bacteria-infested streams and rivers, especially when the rivers are teaming with crocodiles.
A third of Zambians do not have access to safe water, thousands of people walk several miles daily to fetch water, much of it unclean. Contaminated water is a leading cause of diarrhoeal disease in Zambia, Schistosomiasis, (also known as Balharzia) and Rotavirus are common and can be fatal in infants.
Annually, there are an estimated 10.5 million cases of diarrhoea, 63,000 hospitalisations and 15,000 deaths attributed to the disease in children under-five in Zambia. The Butterfly Tree’s aim is to source communities in Zambia desperately in need of bore holes and find schools with insufficient sanitation.
Recently I visited Nampuyani School, in the Nyawe Chiefdom, where children were drinking unsafe water from shallow wells. During the rainy season, November to April, the pupils dug these wells to collect water for storage during the dry season. By May one of the two wells was already dry. These wells are being used by animals at night, further polluting the water. Thanks to a generous donation from Attraction Tickets Direct, through our partner Just a Drop, a bore hole and Indian hand pump will be installed this month.
Lack of sanitation is another huge issue, more than fifty per cent of Zambians do not have sanitation facilities. Schools can be closed down by the government if there are insufficient latrines, diarrhoeal diseases are common amongst pupils.
The Butterfly Tree has added eleven bore holes to schools throughout the Chiefdoms of Mukuni, Sikute, Musokotwane and Nyawe in the Southern Province of Zambia. Adding a bore hole not only gives the pupils access to safe drinking water, but also helps them to have sustainable feeding programmes. In addition we have constructed over forty latrines in schools, which has helped to reduce diarrhoeal diseases and absenteeism.
Next month three volunteers from Enactus, a student-