New Year Brings Hope for Orphans. It is almost seven years since I first stepped foot in Mukuni Village and visited their basic school. It was there that I learnt about the plight of the orphans – almost 50% of the children had lost one or both parents. Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has assisted thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children in the Mukuni Chiefdom and beyond and sponsored over 500 individual ones in education. With the start of the new school year in Zambia many children will have dropped out of rural schools due to the lack of funds. Education up to grade seven is free, though books and uniform still need to be purchased. After grade seven school fees have to be found – a hard task for families who are living below the poverty line.
With so much poverty in rural villages education is crucial for these needy children. We have provided bore holes, improved health facilities and feeding programs but far too many orphans are struggling to meet the school fees. It cost just £110 ($180) per annum to sponsor an orphan or £10 per month for UK donors. Last year twenty orphans who had completed high school were able to go onto further education thanks to a grant from the BFSS. The majority of them took hotel management or food and beverage courses. Zambia is an up and coming tourist destination and new hotels are being built in the area. More jobs will become available for these students who are now trained in this industry. Two of the first orphans we sponsored have employment as security guards at Stanley Safari Lodge.
For 2013 one challenge is for the schools we support to become more sustainable, another will be to initiate income-generating enterprises for orphans who are unable to seek employment. Our aim is to provide a mentoring scheme, which will involve local employers and businesses. If we can teach these educated orphans how to run a business not only to provide food for their families, but also to produce food for the tourist industry, they can overcome the poverty cycle. At the end of 2012 many of Zambia’s crops were destroyed be army worms. Mukuni and Kamwi villages lost most of their crops and will suffer a food shortage later this year. The Butterfly Tree has donated funds for 100 bags of seeds to help the worse effected families to replant during this peak growing season. All of these families will be supporting orphans; besides giving them an education we have to ensure that the orphans do not to suffer from hunger.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.