The Zambian school year ended at the beginning of December and I am delighted to report that a further sixteen pupils from The Butterfly Tree’s orphan sponsorship programme have completed school.
Since early 2006 the charity has sponsored thousands of orphans and vulnerable children, initially at Mukuni Primary school and now reaching out to pupils at N’gandu, Kamwi, Ndele, River View, Lumbo, Senkobo and Musokotwane schools. In addition we are sponsoring five pupils at Kazungula boarding school as well as college and university students.
Not everyone succeeds and some do fall by the wayside, sadly leaving school prematurely due to pregnancies and social issues. We are stepping up our peer education programme in all schools to help educate these vulnerable children on HIV prevention, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and drug and alcohol abuse. This programme empowers young people and will enable them to make informed choices.
Several school leavers who must wait until March for their examinations results are currently volunteering for The Butterfly Tree and being trained to become peer educators. Besides helping to tackle social problems it gives them an opportunity to gain confidence, and to give back to their community.
At the end of November five schools – River View, Singwamba, Katondo, Nguba, Jane Kasela, and football teams participated in CNN’s Call To Earth initiative. Sponsored by The Butterfly Tree each school was invited to take action to clean up and protect their environment. Some wonderful ideas were put forward and pupils went about clearing rubbish from their surrounding areas, and educating people about the issues of burning charcoal, depleting forests and plastic waste. Mukuni youth football teams also helped to clean up their village, but the initiative that CNN reposted on their social medial channel was two girls from River View who made shopping bags and pencil cases from recycled plastic. Here is the link to their project on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PB_Z4GtFwdo
Thanks to two substantial donations from Nick Bousliman and another regular donor we can install at least ten boreholes and initiate more sustainable income-generating food projects. This month we have successfully drilled boreholes at Siambelele and Musokotwane villages, and at Bbombe Lyangoma school. The latter is in a remote area of Nyawa where the nearest water source is 10km, consequently the school currently relies on shallow wells.
Now that Bbombe Lyangoma community school has water we can develop the school. Funding from a private donor is in place to build a 1×3 classroom block. The only facility at the school is a structure built by the community which is totally inadequate.
The rainy season, though late and spasmodic, has started and this is the time when children need protection from malaria. We have received a substantial donation from The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust to purchase over 1,000 mosquito nets that will be distributed to pupils at Kauwe Primary and Secondary schools. The schools are located in a high malaria prevalence zone.
Earlier in the year two UK doctors who founded a charity called Make a Medic volunteered with The Butterfly Tree at N’gandu Junior Secondary School. In addition to helping with workshops they donated 240 textbooks to improve exam results, and four houses for orphans, as well as funding future HIV prevention workshops for continuity. The school has improved generally as a result of this donation.
Until crops have grown food is in short supply and there is much hunger in the villages. Leading up to Christmas we are appealing for donations to purchase bags of ground maize to distribute to the elderly, widows, and vulnerable people. The orphans on sponsorship will automatically be given a bag of maize. A 25kg bag of ground maize can feed a family of four for three weeks. The cost is £7 ($10). If you would like to make a donation please visit our DONATION page or send a request for our bank details to firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to thank everyone, whether you are a donor, supporter, fundraiser, trustee or volunteer for your unwavering support to The Butterfly Tree. 2023 is proving to be one of our most successful years to date. Wishing you all a very happy and joyful Christmas, and peace and good health in the New Year.