The Theme for International Women’s Day 2023 – ‘Embrace Equity.’
Today we are celebrating all the girls who have been sponsored by The Butterfly Tree and rose to the challenge. Hundreds of young women have completed high school education and college, many have sought employment. One of them is a volunteer for the charity and manages our orphan sponsorship and girls’ empowerment programmes.
There are 1.2 million orphans in Zambia. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has sponsored orphaned and vulnerable boys and girls from rural villages in the Kazungula District. Girls traditionally marry at a young age and have children in their teens. Those living in extreme poverty can easily fall pregnant through lack of knowledge or be enticed into early marriages, putting them at risk of contracting HIV. Educating girls can help to prevent this from happening.
Our orphan support programmes give girls an opportunity to be educated, to have choices and to learn about girl empowerment. Training peer educators is the best way to educate girls about the dangers of HIV, teenage pregnancies, and drug and alcohol abuse. We have role models who have completed high school and giving back to their communities.
After completing high school girls have gone to university or college studying a variety of subjects, including teaching, business and hotel management, catering, nursing, and journalism. Situated close to Livingstone, the capital of tourism, and the Victoria Falls young women from the rural areas have been able to engage in employment in hotels, businesses, and at the border.
As we celebrate this day The Butterfly Tree aims to support more vulnerable girls from remote villages who would not normally have an opportunity to complete their education. With our support their lives can change for the better.