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.
Sep 16, 2013

Visiting Mukuni Model School

Sickley Mwandila
Sickley Mwandila

The following is an e-postcard from Kai Iizuka, a GlobalGiving Representative in Zambia.

The Mukuni Model School has grown thanks to the support they receive from the Butterfly Tree. According to head teacher Rev. Mulenga, thanks to the new school buildings as well as dormitories for teachers, the school that could only teach till grade 9 now is able to offer high school education.

Thanks to the organization providing for their tuition fee as well as their school supplies (uniforms, notebooks, pens, etc.), 400 orphans are able to go to school which they would otherwise be unable to attend. The students attending the school come from all over, with some travelling up to twenty kilometers to receive education. To help remedy this problem, two boarding houses have been constructed and a feeding program has been established where the children are able to receive lunches.

One of the orphan children attending Mukni Model School is Sickley Mwandila in the eighth grade. She told me how her mother died when she was four, and her father died before she was born, so she currently lives with her extended family; she and her three sisters are being taken care of by just her grandmother. She explained how after the Butterfly Tree learned of her situation they have been helping pay for her school fees, uniform, books and shoes. With the money that they have been able to save, her family has managed to build a house for them all to live in. Sickley’s favourite subjects are English and Science, and she hopes to become a nurse someday.

Rev. Mulenga
Rev. Mulenga
School building built by the Butterfly Tree
School building built by the Butterfly Tree
Sep 6, 2013

Orphan Sponsorship in Zambia

It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the decimation caused by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zambia. With a population of barely more than 14 million the nation has over 700,000 orphans, primarily as a result of HIV and AIDS. Virtually all of the Butterfly Tree’s work revolves around the orphans and we strive to give them hope for a better future. Our aim is to provide a sound, basic education for as many rural children as funds permit. It is not possible for every child to be accepted on our orphan sponsorship program as there are so many, but we can help in other ways by improving the education facilities in these remote schools and helping them to generate sustainability.

Creating global awareness is paramount - the poverty levels are extreme. Under normal circumstances Zambian families can support themselves by living a simple lifestyle, but when they have the addition of several orphans to feed and educate they are pushed below the poverty line. Two thirds of the entire nation lives on less than £1 ($1.5) per day. Our aim is to develop sustainability in rural schools and communities so that every orphan has a chance to be educated.

We have many people helping us to achieve this through fundraising, sponsorship and volunteering. Last month we welcomed Thomas Mills High School, whose pupils raised funds to build a sustainable school shop at Mukuni Basic School. Camping out in the classrooms, two groups totalling thirty pupils form this school in Suffolk set about building the facility, which will be used to make and sell uniforms as well as school supplies. Students helped in the classrooms, with activities and on the sports ground. 

While it is essential for these vulnerable children to complete their education it is not always possible to seek employment once they leave school. Mukuni Village is close to the mighty Victoria Falls, a major tourist destination, but there are not enough jobs for everyone and unemployment is high. To take advantage of the surroundings and the abundance of visitors to the area we are initiating an Ecotourism project. In July I visited Zambia with Jonathan Sedo, an Ecotourism consultant from Costa Rica, who is submitting a project plan to The Butterfly Tree. Emma Kennedy, an International Development student will assist with the initial stages of the project. This is a great opportunity for Mukuni orphans and school leavers to be involved income-generating enterprise

The orphan sponsorship program has been running since 2006, many of the children have reached high school - some have already completed school whilst others are just starting. We have extended the program to help children in the following schools: Mukuni, N’gandu, Kamwi, Siamasimbi and Ndele and many more need help. 

Jul 16, 2013

Newsletter - July 2013

Jane Kaye-Bailey with the Kamwi twins
Jane Kaye-Bailey with the Kamwi twins

After a somewhat challenging year I am pleased to report on the completion of several projects that will benefit the orphans and rural communities. All of them are a huge asset but none more so than those providing improved water and health facilities. Three new bore holes have been added at Kauwe, Kanibmwe and Muchambile schools in the Nyawe Chiefdom. In addition two latrines and a sluice for Mukuni Health Centre and one double for Kamwi school. Kaminbwa school. The new health centre at Mahalulu in the Mukuni Chiefdom is now complete. The government had taken three years to construct a clinic building in this outreach area – in just over a year we have added a maternity clinic, a women’s shelter, three medical staff houses and latrines in addition to a bore hole. The facility will cater for people who previously had to walk over thirty kilometres to reach the nearest health centre. A further women’s shelter has been added to Mambova Clinic in the Sikute Chiefdom.

Staff at these rural clinics has to treat patients with numerous illness including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and snake bites, besides holding anti-natal and post natal clinics. In addition to skilled staff local people are trained to assist with childbirth and home care. The HIV and AIDS statistics in the area are the highest in the nation, with as many as 30% of the population being infected with the HIV virus. Livingstone is a border town and the capital of tourism. I was horrified to learn that one of my team had overheard some European female students saying that they only come to Africa for sex! We are increasing the number of educational workshops on HIV and AIDS prevention and teenage pregnancies, but it appears the visitors also need to be educated!

A new Special Education unit at River View school has just been completed. A further unit is currently being constructed at Katapazi Basic school. The new 1×2 classroom block is in full use and a school shop will shortly be built to create sustainability for the Mukuni schools. Some of these projects are two hundred kilometres from our base and up to sixty kilometres off road. All kind of problems arose, including poor access, vehicles getting stuck, dry bore holes and increase in fuel costs. Mupotola, Martin and Presley, three of The Butterfly Tree volunteers in Zambia, deserve most of the credit for their hard work, sheer determination and dedication in helping these vulnerable communities.

As always it was great to meet up with the orphans. Many of them participated in the Kazungula District schools’ events, with Mukuni hosting it at the new Music Centre. Mukuni won the best choir, poetry and traditional dancing competitions and went on to compete in the Southern Province finals where they came runners up in all categories. I managed to catch up with the Kamwi twins who lost their mother in childbirth, both are happy and healthy and will be three years old in October. Sadly more children have been orphaned and need our support. Today I was delighted to hear that a group of Australians has agreed to sponsor fifty orphans for a further year. Many thanks to all our donors.

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $16
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $30
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $650
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $16
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $650
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?