You do not have to be as big as Microsoft and Virgin Atlantic to get your company involved in Corporate Social Responsibility and initiatives such as Philanthropic Travel and Volunteering. ‘Corporate social responsibility is about understanding your business’ impact on the wider world and considering how you can use this impact in a positive way. Corporate Social Responsibility can also be good for your bottom line’.
For the past six years we have been involved with a number of corporates who have supported The Butterfly Tree. Cunninghams fund a feeding programme for 350 orphaned and vulnerable children, while Gardiff donated funds to build a pre-school at Mukuni in addition to supporting three teaching staff. One such initiative, which is hugely successful is that of Saga, who support a community based project in every one of their travel destinations, they also challenge their employees to participate in annual fundraising events as well as engaging their travelers.
Last year we were selected out of hundreds of charities working in Africa, by ENRC Marketing, as the one with the best proven record of transparency. They have a huge CSR program with beneficiaries all over the world. After a business incentive trip to Mukuni Village both Brady Italia and Canon Australia have provided continued support to the charity. Other corporates have sponsored some of our fundraising events such as our team participating in Cyclothon UK. You can enter your own cycling team in this challenge for 2012, which takes part at Brands Hatch on 13th September, while raising funds for The Butterfly Tree.
There are several ways to have a Social Corporate Responsibility programme and partner with The Butterfly Tree, it could be with a single donation or an on going project. We involve our donors in decision making so that they can select a project they like and then receive regular feedback. A donation does not necessarily have to come directly from the corporate’s profits, it can be done through engaging their clients, customers and employees. Forming a lasting partnership can be beneficial for all parties concerned. Mukuni Village Incorporated (Australia), Black and White Accounting and Dative Studios each generously sponsor orphans. This lifts their company profile and provides much needed support to vulnerable children such as those in Zambia.
We are seeking corporate sponsorship to build more classrooms, teacher’s houses, bore holes, community houses and for the orphan sponsorship program. Your support could make a huge difference to a local community who need only the essentials in life – WATER FOOD HEALTH and EDUCATION. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just returned from Zambia after three full weeks overseeing The Butterfly Tree projects and sourcing new ones. We are now covering areas some 100 kilometres from Livingstone, reaching out to villages in very remote areas where progress is being made in both health and education. However much more needs to be done in areas where poverty is extreme, parents are dying from AIDS related illnesses and children are hungry. Mukuni Village, due to its location, close to Livingstone and the border of Zimbabwe, suffers more than most. The HIV and AIDS statistics are incredibly high and more and more children are orphaned through this destructive disease, stressing how essential it is to continue with the orphan sponsorship program.
I am pleased to report that it is not all ‘doom and gloom’ much progress is being made. The highlight of my trip was visiting the four new schools that we have constructed thanks to a hugely generous grant from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission - three opened in January and one will open next term. All of these schools are complete with teachers’ houses and latrines with the addition of a bore hole at Malima. For the Mandandi community this is a real advancement, previously 46 children had never been to school and over 30 attended only once a week due to the long distance they had to walk to the nearest school. Each new school has received a substantial amount of stationary and equipment as a result of a grant from the British and Foreign School Society. We aim to make these schools sustainable by providing seeds to produce feeding programs as well as uniform making projects to create income generation.
Another highlight of the trip was when the new British High Commissioner, James Thornton, paid a visit to Mukuni Village. The Commission had selected The Butterfly Tree projects out of all the NGO’s operating in the Livingstone area.
Further improvements include a shelter for boarders, funded by Saga Charitable Trust, which means the older pupils can remain in Mukuni during the week. The special education project is so successful that the Provincial Department of Education has got involved. Fountaindale School has once again provided a teacher exchange program. During their recent visit the UK teachers hosted workshops for the Province, using Mukuni Special Education as a model for this exercise. It is a joy to see local children with both mental and physical disabilities receiving a sound education. The orphan sponsorship has recently had a boost, many sponsors have either visited Mukuni or found us on the internet with over twenty more children being able to join the program.Virtually 100% of our sponsored orphans recently passed to go to the high school and twenty orphans, who completed grade 12, have been able to participate in vocational causes, part of the grant from the British and Foreign School Society. A further teacher’s house at Mukuni High School has been completed as a part of a considerable donation from ENRC Marketing.
We are very grateful to all our donors, fund raisers and volunteers who have helped us to reach out to many more rural communities. Funds are in place for the construction of a further school, a clinic and a Music Centre.
Virtually all the work of The Butterfly Tree revolves around the HIV and AIDS orphans. At Mukuni Village almost 50% of the school children have lost one or more parent putting a huge burden on elderly grandparents and guardians and it’s the same story in every village. We believe that the only way to make the change is to target the younger generation and teach them all about HIV and AIDS prevention. Last year we were delighted to welcome Mutsa Marau to our team as a volunteer from London. Mutsa has a BA in Anthropoly and Socialogy, a MBA in International Business Practice and is a trained youth worker. She has written her own HIV and AIDS prevention program to train peer educators amongst school children, for the past four and a half months has worked with pupils at Mukuni.
Now these dedicated young people are ready to ‘spread the word’ and are reaching out to other rural schools. They are educating their peers on the dangers of HIV, how to prevent it, the importance of voluntary testing and how to live with it if you are unfortunate to have been born with the virus. Other issues include teenage pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases and surrounding issues. With our support their aim is to reach out to all the schools we are involved with and beyond. Several of these educators are from The Butterfly Tree orphan sponsorship program and it is wonderful to see the progress they have made as inviduals and a group.
One of the most important considerations when giving to charity is to ensure that the maximum amount goes directly to the cause and this is something that we continue to strive for. I repeatedly hear people say that they are through with giving to charities that deduct a sizeable amount of a donation to cover administration fees. Other hidden costs cover salaries, personal expenses and outlay for restructuring. Obviously the larger charities have to generate vast amounts of money and have high overheads but so much money is being misused.
The Butterfly Tree prides itself in being able to capitalize on a donation and use it in the best possible way that will benefit the rural communities we support in Zambia. For the past six years we have been able to use donor funds to initiate projects such as building classrooms and clinics, bore holes, malaria and HIV and AIDS prevention programs, community housing and orphan sponsorship. No administration costs or personal fees have been deducted. Our loyal and committed teams both in Zambia and the UK work on a volunteer basis, dedicating their time and energy to improving the lives of those less fortunate. The Chairman covers administration fees in the UK and we do not rent office space in either country.
Thank you for your support.
For the past six years The Butterfly Tree has sponsored over 500 individual orphans and helped several thousand more by improving education and health facilities in 16 schools. As a result of the global recession and ever-increasing food prices more children than ever are failing to pay their school and exam fees and are dropping out of school. Our aim is to reinstate them as soon as possible.
Over the past few months we have introduced our own peer education program to teach HIV prevention in rural schools. The group, now fully trained, are reaching out to other schools in remote villages.
This year for the first we have been able to send some of the orphans we have sponsored since 2006 for further education. Livingstone is the tourism capitol of Zambia and job opportunities are available. Fifteen students are attending catering college studying hotel management and food and beverage, Three more are taking a teaching course and two on a computer course. This will give them a far greater chance of seeking employment.
Two of the first orphans we sponsored are working as security guards at a stunning lodge overlooking the Victoria Falls.
As always our aim is to provide a good education for these vulnerable Zambian children.
Peter Liyungu was the first orphan to be accepted on The Butterfly Tree orphan sponsorship program, some five years ago, when we first started operating in Mukuni Village back in 2006. At the time despite being very intelligent, Peter had lost interest in his education after loosing both parents and having no funds to continue. A sponsor was sought and this transformed his life; as there was no high school at Mukuni Peter wanted to go to boarding school and subsequently attended Zimba High. We are also sponsoring his younger brother Mishek.
I am delighted to say that after four years Peter has completed grade twelve and did exceedingly well in his exams. In his own words Peter wished to thank his sponsors.
"It is my pleasure to show my gratitude and say thank you for opening up my life to a dream come true. You are my father and my mother who would have done the same if they were alive. It takes a strong sole to take up the work of someone else. I must let you know that I have made it through my senior secondary with 16 points which gives me the opportunity to apply for university. It is because of you that I have achieved this, your contribution to my education and my life in all was not in vain and once more thank you for making my dream come true."
This month most of us will be frantically buying presents and getting ready for the Christmas festivities. The stores are stacked with merchandise, delicious food and an abundance of drink and yet we still struggle to find that special present with a difference. One way to overcome this problem is to give a charitable gift and there are many ways this can be done. Each year hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unwanted presents get tossed in the trash - money, time and effort all spent in vain.
If you want to find a worthwhile present, which not only offers pleasure to both the giver and the recipient, but can benefit a third party who is less fortunate, then you may like to consider one of the following options: Sponsoring an orphan in Zambia will provide an education for a child, donating a mosquito net could save a child’s life or build a house to accommodate an entire family. There are many other ways to help the orphans – donate funds for a bicycle for a child who has to walk a long distance to school, donate funds for a bag of maize for just $15 or donate a blanket for the cold winter nights for only $23.
For most Zambians the highlight of their Christmas Day will be going to church, very few will have a celebratory meal or exchange presents. Two thirds of the population lives on less than one pound per day – their stress is not brought on from deciding what present to buy their family members, but whether they will have enough n’shima (ground maize), vegetables and ground nuts to feed the whole family. One young boy, just fifteen years of age, from Mukuni, recently tried to take his life because he could no longer cope with being constantly hungry. Please give this a thought when you are filling your shopping cart – for the price of that extra bottle of wine you can help a child in need.
Education is the key to making the change. Through the orphan support program we have given hundreds of orphans an education. Many had dropped out of school due to lack of funds and to date we have sponsored over 400 individual orphans. In addition thousands more have been helped in fifteen schools throughout the Mukuni and Musokotwane Chiefdoms. We have build classrooms for mainstream and special education, teacher’s house, latrines and supplied vast amounts of stationery and equipment.
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