Aug 25, 2020

MALARIA PREVENTION MUST NOT BE OVERLOOKED

MOSQUITO NETS CAN SAVE LIVES
MOSQUITO NETS CAN SAVE LIVES

According to a study from a leading University in London it is estimated that malaria deaths could more than double in 2020 compared with 2019 if the distribution of 228 million mosquito nets, for sub-Sahara Africa, is disrupted.

It is imperative to put measures in place now to reduce the burden on health systems as COVID-19 cases increase in Zambia.

  • unlike COVID-19, malaria can be fatal in young children 
  • every two minutes a child dies from malaria 
  • almost 70% of all malaria deaths occur in children under the age of five in sub-Sahara Africa.

The Butterfly Tree is committed to supporting the fight against malaria and is currently doing an appeal to raise more funding for mosquito nets in schools. The World Health Organisation states that more pregnant women and children are protected from malaria, but these are mainly children under five. What we have learnt from working with local enviromental health technicians is that school age children often get left out.

For the past three years our 'mosquito nets for schools' initiative has proved to be successful. Each pupils and teacher take ownership of a mosquito net. Where the project has been implemented evaluation has shown that the number of new cases of malaria has been considerably reduced.

A recent donation will enable us to provide mosquito nets for schools in Moomba Chiefdom in the Kazungula District of Zambia. Moomba is a very remote area and a several hour drive, mostly off-road, from Livingstone. In addition, we aim to paint the dwellings in Moomba with a safe insecticidal coating, which lasts for two years, and place larvicide granules in ponds and streams to prevent larva developing into mosquito.

Working with the Ministry of Health in Zambia priority will be given to areas with the highest prevalence of malaria. A mosquito net costs just $8 and could save a child's life.

Jul 20, 2020

SHOOL DEVELOPMENTS

Borehole Drilling - Mubuyu Community School
Borehole Drilling - Mubuyu Community School

We are delighted to announce that we were selected as the winner of the ‘Volunteer Abroad Specialist of the Year’ for 2020. We have dedicated this wonderful accolade to our Zambia team.

The first three months of our new financial year have got off to a sound start with more orphans being supported, further schools being developed and more access to safe water for rural schools has been provided.

Schools in Zambia opened on June 1st for grades 7, 9 and 12. The pupils will be preparing for examinations taking place between October and December. It is hoped that other grades will open in September, after the August break.

The Butterfly Tree has provided protection for 21 schools in the form of soap, hand sanitising gel, disinfectant, and buckets with taps. In addition, two youths who were sponsored by the charity, are making medically approved masks as it is mandatory for pupils to wear them while at school.

For pupils that are boarding, we have recently opened three new boarding houses, one for Mukuni School and two at River View School. Two further boarding houses will shortly be constructed at Musokotwane Secondary School where we are currently expanding their facilities. In addition to the houses, a science lab, a 1x3 classroom block are four toilets are currently under construction.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on rural communities in Zambia we have regularly provided bags of maize for orphans and vulnerable children. 300 bags were given out yesterday in Ngandu, Kamwi and Mukuni Villages, and Kazungula pupils will receive today.

A 1x3 classroom block, part built by the local community is about to be completed at Nguba Junior Secondary School. Two boreholes (wells) were drilled at Chilebe and Mubuyu Junior Schools in remote areas in Nyawa Chiefdom. After last year’s drought these will be an invaluable asset to the school. Pupils will no longer have to walk long distances to collect water and diarrhoeal disease cases will be considerable reduced. Previously pupils had to draw water from bacteria-infected streams. A further six schools are to receive boreholes this month.

We have received donations to purchase textbooks for four schools. There is a huge shortage of textbooks in Zambian schools with classes of more that 60 pupils sharing as few as two textbooks. We have proof that providing each pupil with a text book considerably improves examination results.

Many of the pupils we have supported through school years have gone onto college. Some have become teachers, agriculturalists, journalists, builders, and tailors to name but a few. Currently six students are being sponsored – two in biomedicine, two in teaching, one is journalism and one in IT. Once they have completed their degree and engaged in employment, they will be able to support their families as well as giving back to their community.

Links:

Jul 14, 2020

SEEDS OF HOPE

Successful drilling of a borehole - Chikwama
Successful drilling of a borehole - Chikwama

Despite the distressing events that are taking place all around us, I am pleased to say that The Butterfly Tree is doing really well. We are continuing to run the charity as normal and some restrictions have been lifted in Zambia, which has enabled to us to move forward with certain projects that had been put on hold.  

I am thrilled to announce that The Butterfly Tree is the winner for ‘Volunteering Abroad Specialist of the year 2020‘, for United Kingdom, at the Travel and Hospitality Awards. Every year the charity welcomes volunteers, donors, and visitors from all over the world to help with our fundamental projects in Zambia.

This is an amazing accolade to receive and I would like to dedicate this award to our local team, without them none of this could happen. If I am not in Zambia Mupotola, Martin, Presley, and Natasha look after the volunteers and visitors, and organise volunteering experiences for them.

Due to the impact that COVID-19 is having on Zambia, most especially those communities close to the mighty Victoria Falls that rely heavily on tourism, we are helping with food distribution and food security.

We are currently providing bags of maize for 300 orphans and 1,000 bags to vulnerable people in Mukuni and surrounding villages. The village is famous for cultural tours and the selling of a variety of local curious. Sadly, until the pandemic passes, they have no source of income.

In the next few weeks we will be adding 5 water reticulation systems in schools in the Kazungula District, thanks to a grant award received earlier this year. These are to support school gardens, which will provide sustainable feeding programmes. In addition, thirty schools are to receive seeds to grow a variety of nutritious vegetables, such as pumpkins and sweet potatoes, for their feeding programmes. Surplus vegetables will be sold to the community with profits being utilised to support orphans and for the purchase of school supplies.

Without a supply of water nothing can be grown. The dry season in the Southern Province of Zambia lasts from the end of April until November. Schools and communities that rely on rivers and streams have a serious problem in periods of drought. 2019 saw the worst drought in Zambia for over 30 years, hunger was widespread, and in some areas, it progressed to famine. Fortunately, the rains finally broke in January this year.

A grant application for an ambitious project for 200 women in Musokotwane and surrounding villages has recently been approved. This will be based on products from mango trees, that grow profusely in rural areas. It will provide extra nutrition during the dry season, as well as a sustainable income-generating activity for these women to support their families.

This project will also receive a borehole. Last week we drilled four boreholes (wells), three for schools and one for a community. As soon as the drilling company is available, we have six more to drill, five for schools and one for a new settlement area, using funds from the grant award.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to donate to our vital projects in Zambia during these challenging times. The support has been both humbling and overwhelming.

Sustainable project for 200 women - Musokowane
Sustainable project for 200 women - Musokowane
Distribution of ground maize to orphans
Distribution of ground maize to orphans

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