Since the 1st April, the start of The Butterfly Tree’s financial year I have been overwhelmed by the support we are receiving. Existing and new donors are helping us to reach out to more remote communities and to help girls and vulnerable young people.
World Mental Health Day was on the 10th October. The world we live in today increases the risk of mental health issues which have a negative effect on our daily lives. Social media, 24-hour news, global warming, natural disasters, disease, and conflict to name just some the many problems people face globally.
We are delighted to receive a donation from our Canadian partner, Give a Hand, to initiate a project to empower young people with mental and physical disabilities and those who were born with HIV. Sixty young people from Mukuni, N’gandu and Kamwi villages will be given the opportunity to raise chickens, and to grow crops and vegetables to create a sustainable income-generating cooperative. This is a rare opportunity as there is very little on offer to help people with disabilities in Zambia.
A new health post is currently being constructed thanks to a further grant from the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission. The location at Mabwa, a remote area in Nyawa – the facility includes a clinic, two staff houses, a biodigester, toilets, a borehole and equipment. A shelter is to be constructed at Simonga health post donated by Blooms the Chemist, Australia who offer ongoing support for Simonga, Bunsanga and Mambova clinics.
A generous donation from The Murphy Family Foundation is being used to expand Musokotwane and River View Secondary Schools. Each school will have an additonal 1×3 classroom block and desks, with the former receiving computers and connection to power. A classroom block at Katubuya Community School will shortly be completed and funding is in place to build an entire new school.
As always there is a great need to provide safe drinking water in remote schools and villages. A substantial donation from Nick Bousliman for water and food projects will help thousands of vulnerable people. Creating sustainable feeding programmes in schools and helping people to grow crops, other than maize, that are less dependent on rain is a priority is essential.
Teenage pregnancies and early marriages prevent girls from completing their education. With the support of the Blackpool Cup and the Society of the Sacred Heart we are travelling to remote areas to conduct workshops on HIV prevention, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and drug and alcohol abuse. We invite pupils, teachers, traditional and civic leaders and medical staff.
We are more forming girls’ football teams to give girls an activity and to empower them. To date there are 15 teams. This is what one deputy head teacher told us ‘Since the inception of girls soccer, we have noticed a trend for girls playing soccer avoid casual sex and a big reduction in teenage pregnancy and dropouts due to early marriage. Before the inception we lost 14 girls from grade 8 last year but we haven’t recorded any this year among players.’
Thank you to everyone for your overwhelming support.