Project #3969

Orphan Education Support - Zambian Villages

by The Butterfly Tree
Jacob in final year at Agricultural College
Jacob in final year at Agricultural College

It never rains but it pours – as the proverb goes! After two years of drought the rains in Zambia have come in abundance, though this is great news for the farmers and school feeding program but it comes with a price. Several schools and many mud huts have been damaged because of high winds and heavy rains.

As always working in Africa is challenging. Extreme poverty, MalariaHIV and AIDS, and climate change are just some of the serious issues people living in countries like Zambia face daily. The work of The Butterfly Tree has helped to transform the lives of thousands of orphans and vulnerable children by providing improved education and health facilities, safe drinking water, feeding programmes and better housing.

An American supporter has donated two further houses and will raise their number of donations throughout the year. For the elderly living in villages life is tough. Many have lost their children as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, left with orphaned grandchildren and no income. Our community house project has provided homes for over seventy families.

For the start of the new school year eighteen schools have been given seeds and fertiliser to grow food for their feeding programs. A considerable number of new orphans are being sponsored mainly at Mukuni, N’gandu, Kamwi, Ndele and River View Schools, and seven students are attending college.

We are increasig our work in HIV prevention, a UK volunteer will be spending two months, starting early February, further training our peer educators who hold regular workshops on HIV prevntion, teenage pregnancies and alcohol abuse. 

The orphan support program has enabled hundreds of orphans to receive a sound basic education. Some of the ones we started sponsoring back in 2006 have not only completed school, but have gained a college certificate and many others have sought employment. For just $15 a month an orphan is given hope and a chance for a better future. Thank to everyone of our donors for your invaluable support.


Brian training to become a pilot
Brian training to become a pilot

2016 was a very succussful year for The Butterfly Tree. So much has been achieved that it is impossible to write about everything, so for today I would like to share with you an amazing success story about Brian. We started sponsoring Brian in grade 8 at Mukuni Basic School, after he had achieved good results in grade 7. When he later took his exams at the end of grade 9 he did so well that the government offered Brian a place at a High School, where he would have to board, and I was asked to sponsor him. However, in 2007 we had built and opened the High School at Mukuni Village, so that orphaned and rural pupils could afford to complete their education. Consequently I was reluctant to approve this, especially as boarding school fees are obviously much higher. 

Unfortunately I had to explain to Brian that we could sponsor two more orphans for the extra money needed to send him to boarding school, and that I could not grant him this opportunity. It was a difficult decision knowing that he would excel at a more advanced school than Mukuni. However, though at first disappointed, he accepted it and completed high school in 2015.

Attending High School at Mukuni Village was challenging for Brian, but proved to be hugely beneficial. During this time some American tourists visited the school and met Brian. After they learnt that he wanted to be a pilot they offered to sponsor him. Coming from a humble background this was an incredible opportunity for Brian, he has embraced it and I am sure he will do exceeding well.

In his own words:

‘Thank you so much Jane, I am and will always be grateful for your help. I remember when I wrote my grade nine exams and qualified to go to a boarding school but things never worked that way, I got mentally disturbed such that it affected my performance during my high school and my final results from secondary. I am humbled that even when I had to repeat to grade 11 you still continued to help me, and today by the grace of God I am pursuing my career to become an airline pilot. I am very sure my Teachers are proud and very soon will be very proud to say ”one of our own is now pilot” and that is my desire to inspire my brothers and sisters that it is not about the environment but the mindset of an individual. Always grateful and humbled’. Brian

I would like to say an enormous ‘thank you’ to everyone of our orphan sponsors, and all our donors, fundraisers and volunteers from around the world and to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.





New boarding facility for 28 rural girls
New boarding facility for 28 rural girls

Three weeks is just not enough time to visit the many projects we have in the four Chiefdom of the Kazungula District! However, I did manage to see a considerable number of them. What impressed me more than ever is the commitment of our team of volunteers on the ground, besides the original members we have recruited some of the orphans who received orphan support and have now completed school.n the education front we have almost completed a development, which included the expansion of two classroom blocks, a teacher’s house and latrines at Sinsimuku School.

Further improvements are being made at N’gandu School, plus a water system for both the school and village, are now being added. A new boarding shelter at Mukuni has been completed. This is our third Mukuni boarding facility, enabling rural orphans and vulnerable pupils to attend high school.

Once again we distributed educational materials at River View School. Text books for this school were also given out, as well as to Ndele, Chuunga and Napapandi Community Schools.
Four bore holes have been installed at River View and Kazungula Boarding Schools – Sekute Chiefdom, and Nguba and Mayala Schools – Nyawa Chiefdom. Previously pupils from Mayala had to draw water from a river several kilometres from their school. We also funded electification at Mambova Clinic.
After six months without rain I came across a great deal of hunger. It saddens me to see children who are receiving only one meal a day, and often that consists of only vegetables. Bags of maize were donated to needy families. The communities are desperate for rain and have started preparing the land for planting. This season is also the time to get malaria prevention methods in place. After last year’s success with our new malaria prevention initiative we provided further protection in the Mukuni Chiefdom by distributing 330 mosquito nets in areas of high malaria prevalence.
Many widows and the elderly are living in appalling conditions, struggling to feed and educate orphans. Their houses are old and dilapidated – once the rains start water will seep into their homes. Six houses are currently under construction.

While in Zambia I spent a great deal of time with our young volunteers. Besides working on the HIV education through peer education programme some of them have been trained in the building of community houses so that they can earn an income.

The three weeks flew by – there is always so much to be done! I cannot thank enough all the volunteers, both locally and internationally, who give up their free time to help our cause. A special thanks to our global donors who continue to support our grass root projects in Zambia.


Nampuyani Junior School - Nyawa Cheifdom, Zambia
Nampuyani Junior School - Nyawa Cheifdom, Zambia

How your donations have helped to impact the lives of thousands of children in Zambia, most especially by aiding them to have a sound basic education, which has given them hope for a better future:

Since our first development took place at Mukuni in 2006, to present day where improvements are currently being make in many more rural schools, The Butterfly Tree has worked in over thirty schools in four Chiefdoms in the Southern Province of Zambia. Some of the schools have less than 100 pupils, whereas as others such as Mukuni and River View have in excess of 1,000 pupils. One thing that is common ground, Zambian children love to learn and value their education.

In the past ten years we have built entire new schools, which include classrooms, teacher’s houses and latrines. In other cases we have made improvements by adding extra facilities most importantly bore holes to provide a safe source of water, we have boarding shelters and feeding programmes, donating seeds and fertiliser for school gardens.

Below is a report from a teacher in the Nyawa Chiefdom. Several schools in this area have undergone extensive development thanks to generous funding from our donors.

'After so many years of kids learning in derelict buildings… from early 90’s up to 2014 our school is now a school where teachers and pupils can teach and learn in a conducive environment. I remember the first day I set foot at this school as teacher in charge, the classrooms were dusty, windowless, no doors and there was no teacher’s house. This was beyond my expectation, I was so shocked. The school was utter ruins but the kids I found were very eager to learn. After settling down, though grudgingly, I began mobilising the community to make bricks and collect raw materials for a classroom block and a staff house. After we had collected enough materials I went in search for assistance. But unfortunately no one was able to help and the best they could do was to promise. Two years later I approached The Butterfly Tree charity and told them the situation. Promptly they came on board and sunk a borehole, completed the classes and built a staff house. The school is at the moment one of the best in the district and hence zonal meetings for both Kauwe and Nguba zones are held there. I am no longer at that school but due to its better condition the district education office has sent three trained teachers. In the past the school was run by grade nine drop outs which undermined pupils performance’. 

Without education the future of these rural children will not be so bright. The Zambian economy is suffering and funding for education is limited. If we can improve the infrastructure in rural schools the Ministry of Education will provide trained teachers. It is our aim to source and reach out to more remote areas where children are unable to go to school or attend schools that need further development.



New classrooms for Ndele School pupils
New classrooms for Ndele School pupils

I have pleasure in presenting The Butterfly Tree’s Annual Report and Accounts. My Chairman’s Report is below, please follow the link below to view the full report, accounts and more pictures.

It’s hard to believe, that in January this year, it was ten years since I first stepped onto Zambian soil. Little did I know that during the next decade I would return to this beautiful, but very poor, country and be running a charity both in the UK and Zambia, besides having a following of supporters from around the globe.

What is even more amazing is that most of the volunteers who joined me in 2006 are still helping me, and that to this day we have not changed our original concept. The charity’s philosophy is to ensure that all donor funds go directly into grass roots projects, and that no personal fees or administration costs are deducted. I am delighted to say that we have been able to sustain this belief over the years.

The 2015-16 financial year has been another great period for the charity and its beneficiaries. Despite raising less funds than the previous year, we completed more projects and gained a number of new donors, as well as new partnerships.

On the education front, we completed a huge development at N’gandu School, using grant aid with the help of volunteers from Jersey. Kamwi, Muchambile, Singwamba, Kauwe and River View Schools also underwent considerable expansion. The additional facilities included new classroom blocks, latrines, a school shop and a mobile science laboratory.

The core of all our work revolves around the welfare of orphans. With 1.2 million orphans in a country with a population of just over 15 million, a great deal of support is needed. We continue to attract new sponsors, but the more orphans we support, the more time is needed for administering the programme. To maximise the use of the sponsorship funds we are unable to provide regular feedback on each individual orphan. Therefore I would like to thank everyone for their understanding of the need to avoid any charges so that the funds can be used to educate and provide food for the orphans.

Every year the number of orphans completing a full basic education increases, and it is extremely rewarding to know that so many have gone on to seek further education or employment. Currently there are ten students being assisted to boarding establishments or colleges. For the ones that are awaiting opportunities we have enrolled them in volunteer programmes, most especially with the peer education for HIV prevention and malaria prevention programmes.

As always HIV is a major issue, especially in Mukuni Village and areas surrounding Kazungula. Both are border towns to Zimbabwe and Botswana respectively, as well as being close to major tourist destinations. Educating the young people about the dangers of HIV and prevention of the virus is crucial. Alcohol and drug abuse lessons, as well as early pregnancy prevention, are included in our workshops, which are proving to be highly invaluable.

The lack of safe drinking water in rural communities and schools is also a great concern. Three more bore holes were donated to Bunsanga, Siachikubi and Sinsimuku Schools. This helps to reduce diarroheal diseases in children, saves time on collecting water, and during the dry season it provides irrigation for school gardens. The charity has funded a feeding programme at Mukuni School for almost ten years. A further sixteen schools are given seeds and fertilizer to provide sustainable feeding programmes. Sanitation is another huge issue, especially in remote schools. Nine double latrines were constructed at N’gandu, Kasiya, Kauwe and Singwamba Schools

Several health initiatives were funded during the past twelve months, these included a clinic at Mambova, two women’s shelters and the new malaria prevention project, which is proving to be highly successful. Over 1,000 houses were painted with the new insecticidal coating, and unlike the rest of the district these areas reported zero or very few cases of malaria. In addition, safe granules were placed in ponds and streams to prevent larva developing into mosquitoes. The Zambian Ministry of Health states that the products are highly effective in fighting the malaria vector.

Six community houses were constructed for widows looking after orphans, four of them with the help of school groups from Wales, while a group of eleven adults came from Jersey, and once again Mukuni Health Centre had help from Sydney University students. A team from London travelled to Nyawa Chiefdom where their company funded a number of school projects, as well as funding bore holes.

Most importantly I cannot thank enough our amazing team of volunteers for The Butterfly Tree, Zambia. Having the charity registered both in the UK and Zambia has helped us to achieve so much more than having to rely on third party organisations or agencies. Their devotion and commitment is quite extroadinary, especially now that we have expanded to areas away from their roots. Finally, the help from the young volunteers is so rewarding – they are the ones that will make the changes! A special thanks to the Mukuni Chiefdom, and the local tour operators and hoteliers who support our work.

My heartfelt thanks to every single individual, each company and organisation who has supported us over the past decade. I am grateful and overwhelmed by the trust that everyone of you has put in myself and The Butterfly Tree.

Jane Kaye-Bailey







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Organization Information

The Butterfly Tree

Location: Warwick, Warwickshire - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​​pages/​
Project Leader:
Frank Maiolo
Monument, Colorado United States

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