HIV and AIDS Education
According to the World Health Organisation
- 36.9 million living with HIV in 2014
- 1.5 million died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2013
- 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012
- 9.7 million in low – and middle – income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2012
- 2.3 million new HIV infections were registered in 2013
- 6.6 million peoplecurrently receiving ARV therapy
- 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus
- 39 million have died people have died from HIV and AIDS related issues since the beginning of the epidemic
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million people living with HIV in 2014.
- Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections.
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 and AIDS prevention methods and to target school pupils through a peer education programme, in order for them to be the ones that make the change.
The only way to reduce the HIV/AIDS statistics is through education – one in six adults in Zambia are infected with the HIV virus.
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.
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
Last month I was delighted to learn from Gumtree that The Butterfly Tree was to be the beneficiary for a fundraising activity, taking place in April. The aim was to upcycle an old and unrepairable Beetle and turn it into a number of unique pieces of furniture and household items.
To achieve this Gumtree engaged TV personality Max McMurdo of Reestore and a team of designers, upcyclers and bloggers to report on all the action. They had just six days to complete the task, and then the items would go on sale.
Several of the team, including Max, worked tirelessly throughout the week, with volunteers increasing over the weekend. I was invited over to Bedford to observe the production line and meet the team, it was so exciting that I returned on the Saturday to see the items taking shape. A bed, a dressing table, chairs, lamps and wall clocks were just some of the ingenious designs unfolding.
Gumtree are now selling the items on their Beetlemania site. All proceeds, including an incredibly generous offer from the company to match the funds raised, with be donated to The Butterfly Tree. 100% of the money raised will go to to building a much needed classroom block for the 1,050 children at River View School, where there are as many as 80 pupils per class.
On behalf of the charity I would like to thank Gumtree, Max McMurdo and all the dedicated volunteers who generously offered their expertise and gave up their time to support our cause in Zambia.
End Malaria For Good
The Butterfly Tree in partnership with Vectorcide International introduces safe innovative malaria prevention method for World Malaria Day 2016
Malaria is the biggest killer of man – every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria. People all over the globe come together to mark this significant day.
- In 2015, there were 214 million cases, and 438 000 deaths from Malaria
- 3.2 billion (half the world’s population) are at risk
- In 2015, 97 countries had on-going malaria transmission
- The global malaria mortality rate was reduced by 60% in 2000 – 15, and an estimated 6.2 million lives were saved as a result of a scale-up of malaria interventions
We are the first charity is the world to use Vectorcide’s safe insecticidal coating and Larvicide granules to help eradicate malaria in Zambia. Both these products are highly effective, with no new cases of malaria being reported in areas of application. The products are harmless to humans, animals and the environment.
To mark this day The Butterfly Tree is hosting an event, to showcase our work in malaria prevention, at Kamwi Village in the Mukuni Chiefdom. Members of the Ministry of Health and local communities will be in attendance. Two of our team Mrs Maseka, a government Environmental Officer and Stain Musungaila will be the presenters. Stain has lost five family members to this devastating disease.
For the past eight years we have donated a vast number of mosquito nets in the Mukuni, Sekute and Nyawa Chiefdoms adding extra protection. A substantial donation will be offered to mark World Malaria Day.
The Butterfly Tree is appealing for donations to distribute more of these life-saving products in Zambia, and other areas where there is a high prevalence of malaria. Thank you to Saga, Medisave, Inner Wheel Clubs District 6, Karmakarma and all the individual donors who have already supported our malaria prevention programme.
Please DONATE Just £5 ($8) will protect a family home or buy a mosquito net.
Funding for Schools and Health Centres
I have just returned from Zambia after two weeks visiting the projects and sourcing new ones. Despite the drought, late rains provided a much needed supply of water, streams are filling up and the vegetation is lush and green. Millet and sorghum crops are growing well, but the early maize crops perished, the wet season is almost over and it will be at least six months before the next rains fall.
As always there are many projects to inspect, most especially the completed clinic at Mambova, funded by a private donor, which was a delight to see. The old crumbling clinic was infested with bats, so seeing patients being attended to at the new premises was a humbling experience. I also visited Musokotwane Clinic to donate blankets knitted by Inner Wheel District 6 Clubs and to offer them a Women’s Shelter funded by The Besom.
On other health issues we are getting great feedback from the new malaria prevention initiative, especially from Chuunga area where no new cases of malaria have been reported. In November we provided over 1,000 households with the safe insecticide coating – the results have been quite astonishing. More funds are needed to help other areas where there is a high prevalence of malaria. KarmaKarma‘s donation to purchase mosquito nets will give additional protection, the organisation also donated money to pay school examinations fees.
As always I spent a great deal of time with the orphans and located new ones to be sponsored. Regrettably HIV is still on the increase, therefore we have stepped up our HIV prevention workshops using Meet Mutsa’s peer education method. It’s heart breaking to see so much loss. The younger generation must be protected. We have enrolled several of our former sponsored orphans, who have now completed high school, to be trained as peer educators.
It was a busy time at the schools, now on a month’s break. Sinsimuku Community School development is under way thanks to a further donation from Attraction Tickets Direct. We distributed more school bags at River View School through our partnership with School in a Bag, and Monde par la Main/Give a Hand donated funds for text books – Mukuni, River View, N’dele and Sinsimuku are the beneficiary schools.
I am more determined than ever to create awareness and increase our fundraising efforts to provide much needed resources for water, food, health and education projects. We are very grateful to Colour Graphics who has kindly donated flyers, posters and banners to help with our campaign.
Providing Water, Food, Health and Education Projects
Ten years ago today I boarded a flight in Livingstone after spending an amazing week in one of the most stunning parts of Africa. The magnificent Victoria Falls is a World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The area has an abundance of activities including game drives, elephant back safaris, river cruises and a cultural visit to Mukuni Village.
Little did I know that a visit to this renowned village would have such an impact on me and that I would be running a charity to support orphans and vulnerable children. Nor did I imagine that I would have a global following of volunteers and supporters and be working in over one hundred villages in remote areas of Zambia.
Three weeks later I returned to Mukuni Village with my son younger son David. Inspired by three little girls, and after seeing so much need, The Butterfly Tree Charity was born. The following year we registered as an NGO in Zambia, which included the UK team and some remarkable local people who are still with me.
What started as a project to sponsor a few orphans, followed by the construction of a high school, developed far beyond any of my expectations. My motto has always been ‘I do not expect anything so everything is a bonus.’ The bonus seems to get bigger every year and the reward is being able to reach out to ‘communities that need only the essentials in life – Water, Food, Health and Education‘.
Raising funds and awareness is not always easy, especially when there are so many good causes to support. Sadly charity in the UK has become big business and vast amounts of money are needed for salaries and administration costs. From its concept I insisted that The Butterfly Tree would be run entirely by volunteers in both the UK and Zambia. This has enabled all donations and grant aid to go directly into the grass root projects – this principle is still in place.
Our projects include the development of some thirty schools and ten clinics. We have installed seventeen bore holes, constructed over eighty latrines and built seventy community houses. We have worked tirelessly to help with the prevention of HIV, training school leavers in peer education. We have sponsored several hundred orphans and helped thousands more to gain a sound basic education. We introduced the first special education units into Zambia and opened the nation’s first rural maternity clinic.
In 2014 I was offered the opportunity to introduce a safe new malaria prevention initiative into Zambia. Up until then we had only worked at District level. It was a gamble, but after months of working with the Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Control Centre the method was accepted and we were given the licence to import and distribute the products. We started distribution into remote village in November 2015, and the reports coming in are quite remarkable.
The Butterfly Tree is the first charity in the world to use this superior form of malaria prevention. Our involvement has enabled the UK company to use our name and reports to introduce the products into other countries, not only to help the fight against malaria, but also Zika, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya.
I am so grateful to all the people who have helped me to achieve so much, most especially my sons Mike and David (a trustee), and trustees Miranda de Freston and Wendy Calloway. A special thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, donors and fundraisers who have given up their free time and a considerable amount of money to support The Butterfly Tree. None of the success could have been accomplished without our dedicated team in Zambia.
With much appreciation,
Bore Holes Needed to Help Water Shortages
For many of us the constant rainy days this winter have become tiresome. The ground is saturated, which restricts us being able to play sport, do the gardening or hang out the washing. Imagine what it would be like if you had no fresh water to drink, no rain to irrigate the crops and no streams to wash your clothes in.
While some areas of the globe are experiencing excessive rain and flooding caused by El Niño, many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa are suffering from drought. Zambia is no exception. Though substantial rain has helped parts of the nation, areas between Zimba to Livingstone, in Southern Province, have been hit for the second consecutive year. The Chiefdoms where we work are in this region.
Reports are coming in of dry streams, failed crops and food shortages. Children are drinking from shallow wells. At River View School, which is close to the Zambezi River, water is generally pumped from the river using an electric pump, but when there is no electricity, water has to be drawn from the river. Last week, a fourteen year old boy had a narrow escape. As he was drawing the water a friend noticed a crocodile heading towards him and thankfully alerted the boy in time!
Over one third of Zambia’s 15.5 million population do no have access to safe clean drinking water and 25% of all schools to not have a safe supply of water.
We have successfully installed a number of bore holes and Indian hand pumps in schools, clinics and rural communities. This facility not only provides safe drinking water, but also a source of irrigation for school gardens to create sustainable feeding programmes. As maize is rain dependent we have introduced sorghum seeds for schools, the crop requires less water, along with vegetable seeds.
Our priority over the next few months will be to source funds to provide more remote schools and clinics with bore holes. If you are interested in supporting our water projects please contact email@example.com or DONATE on line using our secure facilitator.