HIV and AIDS Education
According to the World Health Organisation
- 35 million living with HIV in 2013
- 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 and about 39 million people have died of HIV since the beginning of the epidemic
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. TME, a Warwickshire based charity, provide us with the interactive DVDs, which have proved to be an invaluable source of material.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 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.