Mar 2, 2021

ADVANCING EDUCATION

Pupils at River View School, Kazungula
Pupils at River View School, Kazungula

The new school year started on the 2nd of February and thanks to donations from our supporters at least 30 schools are to receive PPE to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the classroom. The new variant of COVID-19 from South Africa has caused an increase in new cases at the beginning of the year but this appears to be stabilizing and numbers are on the decline. However, protection is paramount for pupils and teachers.

We have some exciting developments taking place all over the Kazungula District. An extra classroom block, science lab, boarding houses, toilets, and a food production unit at Musokotwane Secondary School will provide advanced and extra facilities to cater for a greater number of pupils.

Examination results are currently being given out and one of the hardest subjects to pass is Mathematics. After doing some research I learnt that the main reason for poor results is lack of textbooks. In most cases pupils must learn from the blackboard and only have notes for revision and homework. We are donating several hundred Maths books and we currently raising funds to provide more Maths books in rural schools, the donations given to each schools, will be monitored and evaluated at the end of the year.

The new school year commenced on the 2nd February, a month later than usual due to the pandemic. Once again, we are sponsoring over 200 orphans and vulnerable children. Thank you to everyone who supports this programme, We are also funding six students to study at college and two at university.

A new teacher’s house for Muyunda, a remote community in Nyawa will soon be completed to add to the classroom block we opened in 2019, and a classroom block at Nguba has now been finished. We are still locating schools in remote areas where the only building is a mud and pole structure, built by the locals and run by untrained community teachers.

After 35 years teaching in rural areas Presley Mulenga has retired. I met Presley in 2006 when I first visited Mukuni Junior School where he was Head Teacher for thirteen years, after which he was transferred to River View in 2014. I have worked closely with him for 15 years, his selfless dedication to education and commitment in helping orphans and vulnerable children has impressed me most of all. Having Presley on our team is invaluable. He gave me an insight into the education system in Zambia, helped me to identify areas lacking in schools, and to initiate the orphan sponsorship programme. We wish his all the very best in his retirement and delighted that he will remain as a Trustee for The Butterfly Tree NGO in Zambia.

Jan 26, 2021

The Butterfly Tree 2006-2021

Traditional dwelling - Mukuni Village 2006
Traditional dwelling - Mukuni Village 2006

Fifteen years ago today I flew to Zambia for the first time, little did I know that it would not only change my life for the better, but it would result in helping to change the lives of thousands of orphans and vulnerable children in one of the poorest countries on the planet.

Since the founding of the charity in 2006, and subsequent registration in 2007, The Butterfly Tree has considerably expanded. It began with sponsoring a few orphans in Mukuni Village and over the years it has developed into an accomplished organisation. Our work covers a vast area of the Kazungula District where we have built new schools and health centres, installed boreholes and water reticulation systems, initiated feeding programmes, implemented an advanced malaria prevention programme, and build houses for orphans and the elderly.

What has helped to sustain the charity is using volunteers and registering our own NGO in Zambia, as well as the continual support from our donors, many of them have been with us from the beginning. Along the way we have gained hundreds of donors from all over the world. I am totally overwhelmed by the support we have received, and by the dedication of our wonderful trustees and volunteers who make everything happen. They have risen to the challenges of working in an area of extreme poverty, where both HIV and malaria  are prevalent. More recently they have helped to raise funds, and provided emergency relief for communities, suffering from food shortages, due to a severe drought.

Now with the COVID-19 pandemic we are facing a challenge on a scale that none of us have ever before experienced. HIV started off as an unknown virus, but now thanks to medical advancement and the development of antiretroviral drugs, people can live long and healthy lives. Amazingly, in barely a year since the pandemic was announced by the World Health Orgnaisation coronavirus vaccines are being widely distributed. Zambia is expected to start the vaccination roll out in February, which will be a great relief as the new coronalvirus variant from South Africa is spreading rapidly.

Due to the recent increase in coronavirus cases in Zambia the opening on the new school year has been postponed until the 1st February. Projects that are taking place out in the open, such as the construction of the school expansion at Musokotwane, the teacher’s house and Muyunda, community houses for widows and orphans, and both the beekeeping and mango projects, will continue. As always we are mindful of the need to protect our volunteers and beneficiaries therefore, as before we are providing PPE to as many rural health centres as possible, and to schools when they open next month.

 

 


 

 

Dec 29, 2020

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR LOSS OF INCOME FROM TOURISM

CHRISTMAS FOOD DONATION - MUKUNI VILLAGE
CHRISTMAS FOOD DONATION - MUKUNI VILLAGE

COVID-19 continues to impact communities in Zambia despite the number of coronavirus cases being relatively low. The Kazungula District in Southern Province is home to the mighty Victoria Falls, the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, and the borders to Botswana with its abundant game reserves.

Globally the tourism industry has virtually come to a standstill. Travel for many is no longer an option let alone a luxury. Two villages, where we work, Mukuni and Simonga rely heavily on tourism as their main source of income, but neither have received any tourists since March.

The consequences are dire. After experiencing the worst drought in over 3 years, COVID-19 immerged, and hunger in many areas is apparent. People working in lodges and hotels, tour operators, guides, and curio makers and sellers are seeking alternative ways to feed their families. The rains have now started and those that can afford to buy seeds are currently planting. However, it will be some months before the main crops are ready to harvest.

Sadly, for many, especially elderly people and widows without income, life is a constant struggle. Grandparents who have lost their children are struggling to feed their grandchildren and child-headed households are in great need.

Thanks to the considerable amount of support, we have received during our Christmas Appeal for bags of maize and mosquito nets many families are being helped. Though the rains have started early only vegetables have a short growing time. Therefore, we have distributed bags of maize to all the orphans on our support programme and the most vulnerable families in the Chiefdoms of Mukuni, Musokotwane and Sekute. 

We have been overwhelmed by your support and hope that this will continue until the situation improves. Wishing all our donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries a peaceful and health New Year.

CHRISTMAS FOOD DONATION - MUKUNI VILLAGE
CHRISTMAS FOOD DONATION - MUKUNI VILLAGE

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.