My sincere apologies for the delay in sending a newsletter. The reason is not because there wasn’t anything to report last month, quite the contrary, as we are about to complete one of our most successful years since the founding of The Butterfly Tree in 2006. The reason is because we are relocating!
For the past 16 years the charity’s head office has been in Warwickshire. All our Trustees and volunteers, throughout the country and internationally, work from their homes. Nothing will change as regards our concept but I am moving to Surrey so that I can live closer to my family. For the next few months the charity will be registered, at no cost, at a temporary address, which will be listed on the website.
The Butterfly Tree has donors from all of the UK as well as globally. Moving to a new area gives us the opportunity to engage more schools, clubs and organisations. What appeals to donors is that we do not deduct any administration, personal fees not office space, which enables us to give between 96-98% of all money raised to those most in need.
One of our most vital projects is that of healthcare. Thanks to a substantial grant from the Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission this month we have completed the construction of a much needed health post at Katondo in a remote area of Nyawa. The main clinic is 53km from Katondo and the only other clinic is in Western Province, a distance of 23km. During the rainy season when tracks become inaccessible people must to one of these clinics to seek medical attention. Consequently most women must deliver their babies at home. This worthwhile project includes a clinic, two staff houses, a borehole, biodigester, toilets, equipment, and a donation of mosquito nets.
Sadly, malaria has increased this year, not just in Zambia but globally. The World Health Organisation recently stated that a third of the increase is due to COVID-19, not because there is a lack of interventions but because of the delay in distribution. In Moomba Chiefdom, where is an epidemic, The Butterfly Tree has donated insecticidal coating to paint the inside of dwellings – when a mosquito lands on the paint it flies off and dies. Mosquito nets have also been donated to schools in Nyawa, Moomba, and in the Ngezi area will be next. We are very grateful to the Association of Inner Wheels Clubs for their commitment in helping us to eradicate malaria.
Three other health posts at Simonga, Mambova and Bunsanga are being regularly supported thanks to donations from Blooms the Chemist, Australia. We have two school leavers from our orphan sponsorship programme studying nursing. Two young men who recently completed a degree in teaching while waiting for their results are volunteering for The Butterfly Tree. Besides offering extra tuition to pupils who failed exams they are going to hold workshops to help prevent HIV and teenage pregnancies in Kamwi, Ngandu and Mukuni.
Other education projects currently being developed are a classroom block at Mubuyu, a science and classroom block at Sichifulu, support for Kamwi school and a donation for desks and lab stools for Mukuni Secondary School from Arnewood School. Currently we are sponsoring 21 students at several colleges and universities who are taking the following courses: teaching, accountancy, journalism, engineering, pharmacy, nursing, forward, catering, building and welding. The Murphy Family Foundation and private donors have provided the funds. Other pupils, like Gertrude, opted to seek employment. Out of 200 applicants Gertrude was one of only five to be selected as an administrator on a Hospital Management team. In her own words: ‘Thank you for picking me from being a street child to who I am today, I lost both her parents when I was young and had no hope of going to school. I went on to complete grade 12 with 3 merits and 4 passes because of The Butterfly Tree.’
In addtion to our health and education projects more boreholes are to be installed, further development for the women’s mango and chicken and vegetables projects funded by Give a Hand, and additional houses for orphans and the elderly are to be built. After receiving intensive training on the production of mango products the 200 women in Musokotwane are delighted that they will shortly have a sustainable income-generating enterprise.
From the 17th March The Butterfly Tree will no longer be based in Warwickshire, the new address will be listed on our website on Thursday. Everything else will remain the same. As we approach our financial year end I would like to thank everyone for the tremendous support we have received not just for this past year, but since 2006.