The Butterfly Tree

The Butterfly Tree's aim is to improve the lives of vulnerable people living in remote villages in Zambia. To advance the education and improve the facilities in rural schools, giving every child a chance to be educated. To protect the health of patients by developing the rural clinics offering support sevices, medical supplies and equipment. To relieve poverty and improve the living conditions of socially disadvantaged communities teaching them how to become sustainable.
Jan 22, 2013

2013 Support for Orphans

Natasha sponsored by The Butterfly Tree
Natasha sponsored by The Butterfly Tree

New Year Brings Hope for Orphans. It is almost seven years since I first stepped foot in Mukuni Village and visited their basic school. It was there that I learnt about the plight of the orphans – almost 50% of the children had lost one or both parents. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has assisted thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children in the Mukuni Chiefdom and beyond and sponsored over 500 individual ones in education. With the start of the new school year in Zambia many children will have dropped out of rural schools due to the lack of funds. Education up to grade seven is free, though books and uniform still need to be purchased. After grade seven school fees have to be found – a hard task for families who are living below the poverty line.

With so much poverty in rural villages education is crucial for these needy children. We have provided bore holes, improved health facilities and feeding programs but far too many orphans are struggling to meet the school fees. It cost just £110 ($180) per annum to sponsor an orphan or £10 per month for UK donors. Last year twenty orphans who had completed high school were able to go onto further education thanks to a grant from the BFSS. The majority of them took hotel management or food and beverage courses. Zambia is an up and coming tourist destination and new hotels are being built in the area. More jobs will become available for these students who are now trained in this industry. Two of the first orphans we sponsored have employment as security guards at Stanley Safari Lodge.

For 2013 one challenge is for the schools we support to become more sustainable, another will be to initiate income-generating enterprises for orphans who are unable to seek employment. Our aim is to provide a mentoring scheme, which will involve local employers and businesses. If we can teach these educated orphans how to run a business not only to provide food for their families, but also to produce food for the tourist industry, they can overcome the poverty cycle. At the end of 2012 many of Zambia’s crops were destroyed be army worms. Mukuni and Kamwi villages lost most of their crops and will suffer a food shortage later this year. The Butterfly Tree has donated funds for 100 bags of seeds to help the worse effected families to replant during this peak growing season. All of these families will be supporting orphans; besides giving them an education we have to ensure that the orphans do not to suffer from hunger.

James and Victor now in have employment
James and Victor now in have employment
Jan 7, 2013

Crops Destroyed

Zambia has been plagued with an infestation of army worms, which started in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and is now down in the Southern Province and Mukuni has been hard hit. December to March is prime growing time and just when the maize was sprouting the army worms have destroyed all the crops in the area. President Sada has announced it as a national disaster and if it is not controlled in time Zambia could face a severe famine next year. With maize and fuel already in short supply new ways must be found to provide food for these needy people and to prevent further major issues.

Most rural communites rely on maize, which is Zambia´s staple diet. Crops are planted in December and harvested from March onwards. The corn is left to dry on the stalks, after picking it is ground and stored. This has to suffice vulnerable people during the dry months of April through to November. With two thirds of the population living on less than a dollar a day maize is the staple diet. When ground the maize is mixed with water to make a porridge for breakfast. For supper it is boiled and mashed to eat with vegetables and ground nuts.

With the destruction of the crops in many parts of Zambia the government are assisting the large farmers, but very little help is given the outreach communities. There is still time to replace the loss of crops by giving each family a bag of seeds. It cost just $20 and will provide enough food to feed a family for many months. Although there is always hunger in these rural communities, without this aid, many areas could be affected by famine by the end of 2013.

The Butterfly Tree is targeting the most needy families, giving the seeds to womand and girls who will plant tand control the project. Since the end of December 2012 over $2000 has been allocated for seeds. Please help us to help them ovecome this catastrophe.

Links:

Dec 4, 2012

World AIDS Day

Children from Chuunga Village
Children from Chuunga Village

Every hour around 300 people die of AIDS related illnesses, between 30 to 40 of them are children.

Globally there are 34 million people living with HIV and AIDS. Despite significant progress being made sadly last year there were 2.2 million new infections and 1.7 million deaths caused by AIDS related illnesses. Two thirds of those people are living in Commonwealth countries, the majority are in Southern Africa, which includes Zambia.

Education is the key for preventing the spread of HIV, particularly in developing countries such as Zambia. The Butterfly Tree funds a number of initiatives in remote villages. These include workshops to help overcome the stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS, to encourage safe sex and to partake in voluntary testing. Knowing your status is paramount. Recently we provided funds for fifteen community based volunteers to attend training courses, in addition we have funded a workshop for defaulters, people who have been receiving treatment and then stopped after feeling well. These people cause a huge threat to the community. We continue to support mothers who are HIV positive, provide care for their infants and offer support to thousands of orphans effected by the pandemic, most especially children infected with HIV.

Every child has a right to education and yet of greater importance every child should have access to basic healthcare. Health is fundamental and when you are working in one of the poorest countries on the planet adequate healthcare is not readily available. We are currently building a clinic at Mahalululu, where people walk 48 kilometres to get to Mukuni Health Centre. Our aim for 2013 is to provide further outreach health posts, to increase our funding for HIV and AIDS and to further promote peer education for HIV prevention within the schools. Zambia may not reach the Millennium Development Goal in 2015, but we are certainly doing our bit to help them.

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