Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education
Working in the Kazungula District of Southern Province The Butterfly Tree is building sustainable schools, advancing education and offering hope to thousands of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.
‘Education is the key’ – without it there is no way these needy young people, who have been deeply affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic, can move forward. Sadly, the education in rural villages is inadequate. Shortage of facilities, distance to travel to the nearest school, poverty, and lack of safe water and food are common place. For the past fourteen years we have built new schools, enabling children to go to school for the very first time, added classrooms and teacher’s houses to existing schools, installed boreholes and latrines, and provided seeds for sustainable feeding programmes. Most recently, we are providing schools with solar powered water reticulation systems for food production. The aim is for the schools to grow enough food to for their pupils with surplus being sold to the communities. Prophets from this will be used to support orphans and to purchase educational supplies.
The areas we have covered are in the Mukuni, Musokotwane, Sekute and Nyawa Chiefdoms of the Kazungula District, as well as Livingstone and Kalomo Districts. Most of the villages are remote and some become inaccessible during the rainy season from November to March. Once we have built a school we hand it over to the Ministry of Education in order for them to provide the necessary trained teachers. Unfortunately, schooling is not free for older pupils, and from grade seven school and exam fees have to be found. Additional funds are needed for uniforms, shoes and books, which is only affordable if your parents have an income. When you are an orphan it is virtually impossible to find the money to go to school. That is why The Butterfly Tree initiated an orphan sponsorship programme, which has enabled hundreds of children to receive an education, from pre-school through to completing high school, and offers sponsorship for further education.
We have supported over 30 students at college and university – courses have included teacher’s training, computing, agriculture, bio-medicine and hotel management. Some students have taken skilled-based courses such as building, plumbing, electrics and tailoring.
From 2006 – 2015 we funded a pre-school at Mukuni Village, which was attended daily by over 230 children and another at Machenje Village. In 2014 the government incorporated pre-schools within the curriculum. In February 2015 we handed these pre-schools over to the Ministry of Education. In 2019 a private pre-school was completed at Nakawa, which has volunteer teachers.
We have constructed eight entire new schools at Matengu, Silelo, Malima, N’dele, Sibbulo and most recently at Bunsanga, Muyunda and Kazungula Satellite School. There were no high schools in the area, and the majority of pupils could not afford to go to boarding school once they had completed grades seven and nine. We opened Mukuni High School in 2007, and added four boarding shelters, which accommodate 75 pupils from outreach villages. Before The Butterfly Tree’s involvement there were no facilities for children needing special education in these remote villages. In 2010 we added a unit to Mukuni Basic School, the first in Zambia. In 2013 one to Riverview School, and in 2014 two further units were opened at Katapazi and Simango schools.
Between 2015-16 we funded a substantial amount of educational development. These include the addition of 6 classrooms, 2 teacher’s houses, bore holes and latrines at N’gandu School, two classroom blocks, a teacher’s house and latrines for Sinsimuku.
2017 – A 1×4 classrom block for River View, enabled the establishment to be upgrade to a high school. A 1×2 classroom block was constructed for Bunsanga. A classroom block and latrines were added to Chaba School, which resulted in the school being upgraded to junior secondary.
2018 – A science lab for River View School was completed, and another lab was built for Nyawa Secondary School. In addition classroom blocks were funded for Kauwe and Singwamba schools, as well as teachers’ houses for Muchambila and Bunsanga. Sifteen students attend further education.
2019 – Classroom blocks were completed at River View, Kawewa and Muyunda Schools, and the science laboratory at Nyawa. A pre-school was completed at Nakawa. Mukuni received a fourth boarding house and River View School had two new boarding schools.
2020 – A new satellite school in Kazungula has been completed to take the overflow from River View, which now has 1,600 pupils and for children who have never been to school. Musakotwane Secondary School will have extensive expansion with funding in place for a new 1×3 classroom block, two boarding houses and four latrines. 20 schools are to be given help to create gradens for sustainable feeding programmes and five more schools will receive boreholes. More orphans are being sponsored.
2021 – Muyunda Community School teacher’s house to add to the classroom build in 2019 is under construction. Once this has been completed the government will provide a trained teacher. Musokotwane Secondary School expansion is 90% complete and will accommodate extra pupils from outreach villages. An additional classroom block for N’guba Secondary School classroom should be opened for the start of the new school year in January.