Project #3969

Orphan Education Support - Zambian Villages

by The Butterfly Tree
Bathromia supported by the charity
Bathromia supported by the charity


On the education front we received substantial funding to add two 1×3 classroom blocks and a solar system to N’gandu School. This is being done through a Community Works Project and once again we will host volunteers from Jersey to help with the construction. Arnewood School has raised funds for a boarding shelter at Mukuni, a group of their students will shortly travel to Zambia to volunteer.

Sinsimuku Community School is currently being developed with the construction of two classrooms, latrines and a teacher’s house. In addition a recent donation from a US volunteer will enable our young peer educators, formerly orphans sponsored by The Butterfly Tree to carry out more workshops in HIV prevention. Three of them, Peter, Natasha and Edwin, are currently being sponsored for a computer course. More orphans are to be sponsored over the next few months.

At the end of June we were contacted by our team in Zambia and told that they had found six children from Lumba Village that were not attending school. Four of them from one family and two from another family, all aged between 8 and 16 years, the younger ones had never attended school, while the older ones had to drop out due to lack of funds. On visiting their village the families were found to be extremely poor, they had very little clothing and no blankets for the cool winter months between June and August. The only food they ate was after visiting the local cafes late at night to beg for the 'leftovers'.

We are pleased to report that with our support all six children were enrolled in school within a week of finding them. Funds have been sent for uniforms, shoes, blankets and school fees.

We have a brand ‘new look’ website, kindly donated by Miranda de Freston, one of our trustees and owner of Morphity.

These generous offers of support and funds help to sustain our on going projects as well as allowing us to reach out to more orphans and remote communities in in the Southern Province of Zambia.


HIV Prevention Peer Educators
HIV Prevention Peer Educators

Coming from remote villages in Zambia the majority of children have to walk daily, from one to ten miles each way, to seek an education. The facility may only be a mud hut with an untrained teacher, but the eagerness to learn, shown by these vulnerable children, never seizes to amaze me. Education is everything to them.

Since 2006 The Butterfly Tree has run an orphan support programme for children who have lost one or both parents. Several hundred children have received a sound basic education, now many of the original beneficiaries have completed school. 

Over the past ten years we have build a considerable number of schools and teachers houses, installed bore hole and latrines, improved the health facilities, all for the benefit of the orphans. In addition we have provided vast amounts of educational material, sports and classroom equipment and much needed boarding shelters to enable older children to attend High School.

What has impressed me most is the desire for these educated orphans to give back to their community. Jacob, when he completed grade 12, thanked me and added ‘What can I do to help The Butterfly Tree?’ He has since been a volunteer at Mukuni Health Centre, helped us with the orphan and malaria prevention programmes, and is about to start his final year at agricultural college.

 Others like Josias, Edwin, Natasha, Joe, Sammy, Florence, Mufiani, and Etkin have followed suit by volunteering for the charity. Most importantly many of them have become trained peer educators in HIV prevention, a programme that was written especially for these young Zambians by Mutsa Marau, one of our UK volunteers. Natasha and Bridget are full time volunteers at the clinic.

‘Catch me I’m a Butterfly Tree’ teaches school children about the dangers of HIV and AIDS, early teenage pregnancies, STI’s and drug and alcohol abuse. I spent several days in March observing and working with these young peer educators, it was truly inspirational. They are motivated role models and the ones that will make the change for their peers and families to lead healthier lives.

When funds are available we sponsor orphans to go to college. The courses include hotel management, teaching, engineering and computing to name but a few. A major donor sponsored 20 students, out of these 18 have sought employment. Our aim is to source funds to provide further education opportunities for the orphans, and to create a training centre for young entrepreneurs.

A message from Petronella:

 'I would like to thank you for the sponsorship you gave me towards my education. I believe that for me I am where I am today because of you and can’t imagine how I would have ended up if I hadn’t been offered the chance to get an education.’

We are so grateful to everyone of our donors who have helped these disdvantaged to be educated.


Orphans at N
Orphans at N'gandu School, Mukuni Chiefdom

It is almost ten years since The Butterfly Tree started its orphan support program in Zambia, to date around 1,000 individual orphans have received a sound basic education. Many pupils have since completed high school, others are attending college, while a number have sought employment.

Within a short time of working on this project we realised that it is not only education that the orphans in these remote villages need. Besides going to school they must have safe water to drink, access to better healthcare, improved housing conditions, and sanitation facilities. Consequently we created a holistic approach to the welfare of these vulnerable children by adding bore holes and latrines in schools, building clinics and providing support for malaria and HIV prevention.

Every family has been affected by the HIV pandemic, which has resulted in leaving 1.2 million orphans without one or both parents. Our workshops helped to build confidence and create peer educators who can then go on to teach HIV prevention in schools. This is proving to be the most successful method.

Our holistic approach has enabled us to reach out to several thousand children in the Mukuni, Musokotwane, Sekute and Nyawa Chiefdoms. We have built entire new schools in areas where children had never attended school. Virtually every project we do is for the benefit of the orphans.

In September 2012 when HRH The Princess Royal visited our projects at Mukuni Village, at the end of her tour she said ‘working with orphans is not easy, but you seem to have got it right.'

Now as we approach our second decade our aim is to expand into other Chiefdoms and communities that receive little help. We are delighted to tell you that we have been able to sustain our ability to run the charity both in the UK and Zambia entirely by volunteers, with the addition of Frank Maiolo who helps with this orphan support program in the USA. Most of them have been with us since 2006, and thanks to their dedication and commitment these orphans have a much better chance in life.


New Bore Hole for Simsimuku School
New Bore Hole for Simsimuku School

Everything we do revolves around the welfare of the Zambia orphans. 1.2 million children have lost one or both parents through HIV and AIDS, malaria and poverty related issues.

We take a holistic approach when working with orphans and rural communities, looking to see how their water, food, health and education facilites can be improved. We have made tremendous progress in many areas, most especially by adding bore holes (wells) in schools, most recently to Siachabuki and Simuka. With the prolonged drought, which has caused considerable food shortages throughout the Southern Province, bore holes are essential, not only to provide safe drinking water, but also to enable irrigation for school gardens. This year fifteen schools have received seeds and fertilizers to develop sustainable feeding programs.

Major projects completed in 2015 include the school development at N’gandu with the addition of a 1×3 classroom block, two teacher's houses and latrines. Other schools that recently received funding are River View, who were given desks and text books, and 100 pupils received school bags containing all their educational needs. Kasiya School has new latrines, a teacher’s house has been restored at Kamwi and a new 1×2 classroom block at N’dele.

In December a number of orphans, being sponsored by the charity, completed school and will receive their results in March 2016. Charity Muuya, completed her third year at Teacher's Training College and will be volunteering for The Butterfly Tree while she await employment. Over the Christmas period we have engaged school leavers, who were sponsored by The Butterfly Tree, and having been trained as peer educators, to run HIV prevention workshops.

We are reaching out to 29 schools in four Chiefdoms. Thousands of orphans and vulnerable children, throughout the Kazungula and Livingstone Districts, now have access to improved water supplies, feeding programmes, better education and healthcare.



There are 1.2 million orphans in Zambia, primarily as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. All the work done by The Butterfly Tree in Zambia is designed to improve the welfare of these vulnerable children. Every school we work in has orphans - Mukuni Village has the highest number with a staggering 600 children, over 50%, losing one or both parents!

In October 2010 I had to deal with one of the most heartbreaking situations I have ever encountered. Baby boys, Elvis and Vincent, were born two months premature, after their mother went into early labour. She died during childbirth with a third baby. The hospital could not help them, so when they were just two weeks old, each weighing less than 3lbs, they were sent home, to the remote village of  Kamwi. The Butterfly Tree has supported these vulnerable boys ever since. I am overjoyed to tell you that this month they are celebrating their fifth birthday!

Our program has helped hundreds of orphans, and has enabled them to stay with their friends instead of having to go into orphanages. The first orphan we ever sponsored was Peter Liyungu, who went on to complete high school and is now being sponsored to go to college. Peter and another sponsored orphan called Charity, recently did their work experience at Mukuni and will shortly become qualified teachers. Josias, who has already gained his certificate, is volunteering at N'dele School, whicle awaiting a permanent teaching post.

To prevent new cases of HIV we fund workshops in schools. This project teaches peer educators all about the dangers of HIV, sex education, teenage pregnancies and alcohol issues. Once trained these young educators visit other schools and teach the pupils everything they know about HIV prevention. We are seeing very good results.

As always education is the key to overcoming poverty and its related issues. Your support has enabled us to pay for school and exam fees, buy uniforms, school shoes, bags and books. We are very grateful to all our sponsors, the guardians who look after the orphans and the volunteers who oversee the welfare of these very special children.





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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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