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.
Dear Friends of The Butterfly Tree,
During my recent visit to Zambia the nation’s general elections took place. With a change of government it is believed that Michael Sata, the new President, will increase aid to deprived areas and stamp out corruption. Although I never involve the charity in political matters, measures to improve health and education sectors need to be addressed. In the past five years I have seen a reduction in funding for both rural schools and clinics, which have to rely more than ever on international aid for development. I came across a woman who had walked 37 kilometers, taking 13 hours, to reach Mukuni maternity clinic from Chuunga - she was nine months pregnant.
Thanks to substantial grant aid from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission we are in the final stages of completing three new rural schools. The villages of Silelo and Matengu in the Musokotwane Chiefdom had to rely on unskilled teachers operating in mud hut structers. It was amazing to see the transformation, each school has three classrooms, two teachers’ houses and latrines. The community participation had been impressive and once approved these schools expect to open in January 2012. A third school at Malima, in the Mukuni Chiefom, has been given the same funding with the addition of a bore hole.
The highlight of my entire trip was to see the Kamwi twins, who lost their mother and sister during childbirth. Vincent and Elvis celebrated their first birthday this month. Last October, when I first set eyes on them, I feared they would not survive; they each weighed just over one kilo. At barely two weeks old they were sent to a remote village, after being discharged from hospital because they could offer them only water. I could not refuse to support to these helpless infants. For twelve months the charity has provided formula, clothing and blankets and all their requirements, while their grandmother has lovingly nurtured them. They have been tested free of HIV and both are happy and healthy and are testament to the vital role we play in these vulnerable communities.
October sees the start of the rains and many mud huts cannot stand up to the deluge. This is particularly hard for old people supporting orphans. In the past few months we have build an additional nine homes. Two of them have been donated by one of the volunteers, James Ashley, who helped construct the houses. Five of them were funded by ENRC marketing who have also funded a teacher’s house, HIV and AIDS prevention projects and the under five’s feeding program, which has also received support from Brady Italia. One home was donated by LSR Rotary Club, one by Aurora and the other through the Cyclothon Challenge.
I had the pleasure of working with a number of volunteers, Casey Short and Margaret Bax, from Oregon, returned for a third year to continue the goat’s milk project. Mutsa Marau, a young lady from London, is spending four months at Mukuni teaching peer education in HIV and AIDS prevention. Petteri Alppi a former UCL student from Finland has documented the work of The Butterfly Tree in addition to writing a much needed Maths and English Revision guide. Claire Richardson and Hannah Lainton spent time teaching business skills to women’s groups. I have been so impressed with their hard work and dedication and thank them for helping us to make a difference.
We have just received our figures for 2010-‐2011 and I am delighted to say that we have raised an amazing £270,000 (US$445,000); this is our best year to date. All the money has gone directly into our grassroots projects in Zambia. Our annual report and accounts will shortly be circulated.Despite a quiet start to the new financial year our funds have had a great boost from both individuals and corporate who have visited Mukuni Village in the past few months. Having gone to the village as part of a cultural tour, many took the opportunity to visit The Butterfly Tree projects. Donations of blankets, sports balls, stationery and clothing have helped a number of vulnerable people. Two companies, Brady Italy and Canon Australia have generously offered ongoing support. Others came in individual donations and orphan sponsorship from the UK, US, Europe and Australia.
The three schools we are currently building, two in the Musokatwane Chiefdom and one in Mukuni, are well under way and should all be completed by the end of this year ready to open in January 2012. This has been made possible thanks to grant aid from Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. We are now reaching out to fifteen schools in the Kazungula District in addition to three clinics and a number of rural villages.
Many existing donors have generously continued their support to sponsor orphans. The first of the sponsored orphans have now completed grade twelve and our aim is to source the funds so they can go onto further education. The Mukuni Village Fund in South Australia is now sponsoring fifty orphans through The Butterfly Tree program. However many more sponsors are needed. Due to the global recession and lack of employment in these outreach villages far too many children, even those with parents, have failed to pay their school fees. We have increased our support to keep them in school. This summer we have seven volunteers who are working at the Mukuni schools to tackle the HIV/AIDS problems and improve the education standards and also some of them will be working with women's groups.
This month I was invited to Zurich to receive a substantial donation from ENRC Marketing AG. Unknown to us their employees had held a fundraising campaign and the beneficiary was to be an NGO working in one of the many countries where their company operates. After sifting through hundreds of charitable organisations, amazingly The Butterfly Tree was selected for having the best record of proven transparency and for the fact that we are all volunteers both in the UK and Zambia. The male employees had to grow mustaches and beards, all the staff gave generously with matched funding provided by ENRC's head office in London. This was an amazing achievement especially as it took only one month from concept to reaching their target. The funds raised totalled US $27,000 and will be used to build a teachers house at Mukuni Village, five community houses for orphans in the Chiefdom and to support our HIV/AIDS programmes for children, which include peer education, workshops and feeding programs.
Saga, whos charitable trust is one of our major donors, are challenging their employees to raise funds to build a bore hole and a shelter for boarders at Mukuni who have to long distances to walk to school. This means that they can remain close to the school during the week and return home at the weekend.
Next month, after winning a team place, we are to participate in Cyclothon UK, a cycle challenge initiated by Victor Umbugu of VU Ltd and former England rugby prop. The event is to be held at Brands Hatch on 15th September. Our team, The Flying Butts, need your support. Donations would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to The Butterfly Tree, 3 Gannaway Court, Norton Lindsey, Warwick CV35 8JR or made using our Just Giving webpage: http://www.justgiving.com/clythothonuk. If you are in the area any time during the day or from 4pm onwards when the excitement reaches a peak, please go and support the team and see many of the International Rugby players taking part. We are grateful to CRB Solutions, Academy Leasing and Geddes and Associates who are our three of our main sponsors.
Thank you to all the individuals, corporate, schools, clubs, volunteers and philanthropies who have given so generously to our grassroots projects, which have improved the lives of thousands of children and vulnerable communities in Zambia.
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