‘Once again I am delighted to say that we have had another incredible year. Our work has expanded into a third Chiefdom and more orphans are being assisted. Despite the current climate we have once again raised a quarter of a million pounds – a huge amount for a small charity, which is even more significant when you consider that virtually 100% of this goes directly into grassroots projects’.
Follow link to view the full report and accounts: The Butterfly Tree Annual Report 2011-2012.
One of the highlights of the year was being selected, out of hundreds of charities working in Africa, as the charity having the best proven record of transparency. It was a privilege to be invited to Zurich to receive a cheque for US$27,000 from ENRC Marketing. In January three new schools were opened, for some children this was their first experience to attend school, as previously the distance had been too far for them to walk. Further funding has given us the opportunity to build more teacher’s houses and classrooms and to install bore holes for communities who previously depended on bacteria-infested streams for drinking water. Hundreds more mosquito nets have been distributed for malaria prevention and many more orphans are being sponsored. With over 700,000 orphans nationwide it is imperative to educate and improve the health facilities for these vulnerable children.
The high point for me has been following the progress of the twin boys whose mother tragically died in childbirth along with her baby daughter. The boys are now eighteen months old, happy, healthy and running around Kamwi Village, being cared for by their grandmother. Sadly there are still far too many Zambian children who are suffering, there has been an increase in new cases of malaria and the HIV and AIDS pandemic ravages the community, affecting or infecting every family. Our new peer education program for HIV and AIDS prevention, targeting school children, is under way and this is where we hope the change can be made. We have expanded our malaria prevention program; malaria remains the biggest killer of man. We target children under five, pregnant women and those most at risk.
For the first time we have been able to send twenty school leavers for vocational courses, ranging from teaching, computing and hotel management. The special education class has received recognition from the Provincial Department of Education and is being used as a model for other areas. Very few disabled children in Zambia have access to education. This is the only rural special education unit in the entire nation. The orphan sponsorship program has increased, boosted by the Mukuni Village Fund in Australia, a group of people who sponsor fifty orphans.
In March we were honored to receive a visit from the newly appointed British High Commissioner to Zambia; who wanted to see The Butterfly Tree in operation. We have had an increasing number of visitors to see our projects in Mukuni from individuals, groups and corporate. These visits have generated a substantial amount of income through travel philanthropy and for many it has been the highlight of their entire holiday. Once again a number of volunteers from the UK, Europe, US, Canada and Australia worked at the school, within the community and at the Mukuni Health Centre. Their input has been invaluable. We have global fundraisers, who have raised a considerable amount of money for the charity through various initiatives and sporting activities. One of the main events this year was participating in Cyclothon UK, where our team the ‘Flying Butts’ did a twelve hour cycle challenge around Brands Hatch.
With so much bad publicity in the charity sector, concerning the amount of money that is deducted for administration and personal fees, we continue to work as volunteers both in the UK and Zambia, enabling all funds raised to go directly into grassroots projects. As always I am grateful to my fellow trustees, David Kaye and Miranda de Freston. Miranda’s excellent optimization skills have generated a great deal of support through our website. Also to Ann, who has taken over the role of Treasurer and Mary in administration, Frank Maiolo (our US representative), our volunteers and the many fundraisers who have generously given their time to help and support The Butterfly Tree. This new year we have taken on additions to our team are – Mutsa Marau, as HIV and AIDS Prevention Coordinator, Oscar Miyanda in public relations and Wendy Callaway to assist with the orphan sponsorship program. In Canada we are joined by Grant and Marilee Gibson who will be fundraising and promoting our work.
None of our success could have been achieved without our amazing team in Zambia – Mupotola Siloka, Presley Mulenga, Martin Mushabati, Rosemary Siloka, Sweso Museke and Stain Musengaila, the ten female representatives who oversee the orphan sponsorship program and all the teachers who run the sustainable projects for the schools. They are dedicated, hard-working and professional people who are committed to making the change. Special thanks to Chief Mukuni and several local hotels and lodges, namely Sun International and Stanley Safari Lodge and tour operators who support our work.
Each of our donors around the world deserves enormous thanks; unfortunately it is not possible to name every one of them individually. However I must express gratitude to our major sponsor, the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, who has given us the opportunity to build schools and clinics in very remote areas. Other major generous sponsors include Saga Charitable Trust, Just a Drop, the British and Foreign School Society and The Besom. Through grant aid their support has funded bore holes, malaria prevention, vocational courses and health facilities. Corporate sponsors Cunninghams, Gardiff, Brady Italia, ENRC Marketing and Canon Australia have given tremendous backing and a special thanks to the BigGive, who doubled our donations through their Christmas Challenge. There are numerous schools, clubs, churches and individuals kindly donating ongoing funds to assist the thousands of orphaned children in Zambia. This coming year with your continued support we aim to reach out to children in the Sikute and Nyawa Chiefdoms.
Follow link to view the full Annual Report and Accounts: The Butterfly Tree Annual Report 2011-2012.