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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