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.
Oct 18, 2012

Orphans receive visit from Princess Royal

The Princess Royal visits The Butterfly Tree
The Princess Royal visits The Butterfly Tree

Over 1000 children, waving a mixture of British and Zambian flags, lined the road leading to Mukuni Basic School to welcome HRH Princess Royal. The excitement reached fever pitch as the cavalcade of cars pulled into the school grounds. The 4×4 bearing the Royal Standard came to a holt and as the Princess stepped out I felt an overwhelming sense of joy as I welcomed her to The Butterfly Tree. Standing close by The Butterfly Tree volunteers were eagerly waiting to meet The Princess, the women looking resplendent in their colourful chytangis, all of them wearing polo shirts adorned with our striking logo.

I presented the twenty Zambian volunteers to The Princess along with Emma Soames, a trustee of Saga’s Charitable Trust, who is one of our majar donors and Stain Musungaila, from Sun International. After the introductions I escorted The Princess Royal into a mud hut where I was able to tell her about the charity’s work in Zambia. I was so impressed with her knowledge and her interest, The Princess Royal is renowned for her work with Save the Children and many other charitable causes. After the briefing we proceeded to the Special Education Unit, where The Princess Royal was introduced to sixteen children who are now receiving an education for the first time. This is the only one of its kind in a Zambian village. ‘Good morning, Ma’am’ greeted The Princess Royal after she left the unit and entered a grade nine classroom during a Maths lesson.

Before being seated under a tented area The Princess Royal was to receive gifts from Esnat, Angela and Cynthia, the three young girls who inspired the founding fo the charity. Next the rich voices of the Mukuni High School choir followed by the traditional dancers and the beating of the drums entertained The Princess, after which a former recipient of The Butterfly Tree’s orphan sponsorship programme, Mudenda Hazyendo, told a moving story about how the charity had supported him. He had passed to go to university to study law, funds were not avvailable so he had accepted the opportunity to go to teacher’s training college, thanks to funding from one of our donor’s, the BFSS. The Province’s Permanent Sectretary also heard this story and Mundenda is to be offered a place a Lusaka University.

Once the performances were over the Princess RoyaI unvieled a plaque before I escorted her down the sandy track to the Mukuni Health Centre. Here seated on the verandah were several young children who had successfully undergone operations and treatment funded by the charity. I explained the programme and how we had paid for the restoration of the clinic and provided a huge amount of medical supplies and equipment as well as malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. Finally we proceeded to The Butterfly Tree maternity clinic and women’s shelter, both invaluable additions to a clinic that serves some 7000 people.

The time passed far too quickly and as I thanked HRH for visiting the charity her parting words still echo in my ears ‘Working with orphans is difficult but you seem to have got it right‘ – a compliment indeed!

Oct 18, 2012

Hunger amongst Children

N'gandu Girls

N'gandu is situated in the Kazungula District of the Southern Provice of Zambia and 28 kilomters to the neares town of Livingstone. The Butterfly Tree has helped to advance the education in their rural school which now goes up to grade 9, after which the pupils have to walk 10 kilometers to reach Mukuni High School, built by The Butterfly Tree.

A group of grades 10-12 girls leave home at 5am to reach Mukuni by 7am to start their lessons. Unfortunately due to lack of income they are unable to have breakfast. During term time the only meal they receive is from the charity's feeding program. This provides a nutritional meal of n'shima (ground maize), meat, fish or beans and vegetables. At 4pm these girls set off for the long walk back to N'gandu Village; during September to December temperatures can soar to 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

When they get back to their mud hut homes far too often there is no food for supper. The Butterfly Tree has funded a small project for these girls to generate some income and to have an additional food supply. The funds will be used to purchase seeds and to have a small shop selling essential produce such as maize, cooking oils and sugar. The aim is for them to be able to make a profit to buy food for their families and to grow their own vegetables and maize.

Though this is not a famine area their is tremndous hunger, particularly amongst school children. Thank you for your generous donations, and we look forward to your continous suppport!


Aug 28, 2012

Food for Zambia

School feeding program
School feeding program

Zambia is in Sub-Sahara Africa where 265 million people are hungry, many relying on food aid. In the past twelve months The Butterfly Tree has provided bore holes to four schools and two villages in Mukuni. Now we need to use that water to develop agriculture and for the communities to grow food so that they can become sustainable. I hear sad stories of African children unable to walk the long distance to school due to lack of food, pupils who are lethargic in class and have actually seen a number of them fall asleep over their desks. I recently met a mother with twins who had walked three miles to the clinic, the infants were suffering from malnutrition, she hadn’t eaten for twenty-four hours having no money to buy a bag of ground maize. They are now receiving aid through our under-fives' feeding program.

Many women have to provide food, not only for their own children, but for orphans they have to accommodate, pushing them below the poverty line. We have set up a number of women's groups to grow vegetables, these can be used to provide food for their own families in addition to selling some to earn an income. Many people have only one meal a day, consisting of Nshima (ground maize), ground nuts (peanuts) and vegetables.Orphaned and vulnerable children receive a daily nutritious meal at Mukuni Basic School, but for other schools children go hungry.

Providing seeds for both women and girls provides extra food. When parents have died it is usually up to the oldest girl in the family to provide food, often they have to drop out of school to find employment to feed their siblings. We helped fund a local shop for one young woman who was in charge of her four siblings. This was becoming sustainable until she had to use all her funds to pay for her sister to go to hospital. Sadly she has no money left to buy further produce, therefore donating seeds will give her the chance to grow her own food.

Food is essential for the development of young children and improves concentration and perfomance at school. This has been proved in cases where The Butterfly Tree has provided feeding programs in schools.

We are seeking funds so that groups of widows, schools and communities can grow crops, produce goats and chickens for meat and eggs, fish farming and fruit trees.


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