Project #3969

Orphan Education Support - Zambian Villages

by The Butterfly Tree
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






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.



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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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