WORLD AIDS DAY

Today marks World AIDS Day – the following statistics can be found on The World Health Organisation website:

  • 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

One thing I have learnt in the seven years I have been running The Butterfly Tree is that no lasting change can be made unless HIV Prevention is included in our work. Zambia alone has 710,000 orphans, with Mukuni Village along with Livingstone, having the fourth highest statistics in the nation. A staggering 27% of the population are infected with HIV. Although we have made a great deal of improvement in the provision of water, education, malaria prevention and maternity care much more needs to be done to reduce new infections of HIV.

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World AIDS Day – one of the hundreds of orphans in the Mukuni Chiefdom

Mutsa Marau, our own HIV Prevention Coordinator, is currently in Zambia working with groups of school children. Her invaluable work through her ‘Catch me I’m a Butterfly‘ project teaches HIV prevention through Peer Education and is proving to be a great success. Gaining the trust of the children Mutsa trained her first group in 2011 who are now assisting her to ‘spread the word’.

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HIV Prevention through Peer Education

In addition to Mukuni, Mutsa is targeting N’gandu Basic School and is delighted to have an increase in the uptake from the young people, who want to learn and know how to live healthy HIV free lives. To read more about Mutsa’s project click on this link.

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Natasha, sponsored orphan, assisting Mutsa at N’gandu Basic School

Other HIV projects supported by The Butterfly Tree include orphan sponsorship, funding HIV Education workshops to invite people for voluntary testing, to reduce the stigma and counselling. We also provide help to woman and infants, fund treatment for people suffering with HIV and AIDS and provide community housing for widows and the elderly supporting orphans.

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Widow in Kamwi Village receives community house

This week we have the opportunity to double donations through the Big Give Christmas Challenge for our orphan support programme. Thank you to everyone who has offered to participate- here again are the guidelines: Between the 5th to 7th December we need to raise £10,000 via The Big Give – if we reach this amount during that period our donations will be doubled to £20,000 – so we need your help.

  • When – 10am or as close to 10am as possible on the 5th, 6th, 7th December – as the donations close once an amount is reached.
  • Where – to The Butterfly Tree’s ‘Orphan Support’ project on the Big Give website
  • How –  on line using a credit or debit card on the Big Give website

If you require any further details please send an email to jane@thebutterflytree.org.uk or telephone: + 44 (0) 1926 843699 ‘Like’ us on Facebook and receive brief news updates!

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