Project #3969

Orphan Education Support - Zambian Villages

by The Butterfly Tree
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.




Donated Jumpers and Hats
Donated Jumpers and Hats

Zambia has 1.2 million orphans as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The Butterfly Tree has provided an orphan support program for orphaned children from remote villages since 2006.

Sadly it will be a whole generation before a significant difference can be made. In the meantime it is essential for these vulnerable children receive a sound basic education to enable them to be free of the poverty cycle.

River View School in the Sekute Chiefdom is just one of the many schools that receives support from The Butterfly Tree. This school is close to the border of Botswana. There is a high statistic of people living with HIV in this area due to it being a border town, where truckers can wait up to three days to cross the river. This puts a huge strain on the limited medical facilities and the NGO's working in the field on HIV prevention and support.  

Less than a mile from River View School a new town of Kazungula is being developed. The school has 1,181 pupils of which 180 are orphans. Every week the school receives new pupils with the every increasing number of people coming to the area for work. There is a bridge being built across the river which will take six years to complete and has attracted workers from all over Zambia.

In 2013 we opened a special education unit at River View and most recently donated funds to complete a pre-school for the very young children. It is hoped that by giving this support it will help to protect these children from the dangers of HIV and the issues related to poverty.

Last month we were able to give a donation to River View School to buy a considerable amount of text books. The Ministry of Education recently changed the syllabus, but were unable to provide sufficient books for each class. This year we have also donated blankets, school jumpers and hats, knitted by the ladies of Inner Wheel Clubs UK, to provide warmth for the orphans during the cold winter nights between June and August.

Your support is greatly appreciated, but much more is needed for River View School.  


Ndele 1x2 classroom block
Ndele 1x2 classroom block

The majority of The Butterfly Tree's work in Zambia revolves around the welfare of vulnerable chilren, far too many are left orphaned as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Life is rural villages is especially tough for the young - lack of safe water, no electricity, food shortages and disease are just some of the problems they endure on a daily basis. Children have to walk up 10 miles each way to get to school, leaving home at 4am to arrive for the start of lessons at 7am. With little else to do children yearn to seek an education.

Education is vital in helping to alleviate poverty and its related issues. We currently have several educational advancements being made – the construction of a 1×2 classroom block and latrines are almost complete at N’dele Primary School. N’gandu Junior Secondary School is undergoing extensive expansion with the addition of a 1x3 classroom block, two teachers' houses and latrines. Muchambile Village has received a boost adding a much needed clinic and materials for the school. Kasiya Community School has new latrines, essential to improve sanitition and reduce the number of diarrhoeal cases.

HIV is being successfully addressed through our 'Catch me I'm a Butterfly' project. This simple method trains young people to become peer educators in the prevention of HIV. Once the groups have been fully trained they hold workshops in outreach schools on the dangers of HIV. Topics include teenage pregnancies, how to prevent getting HIV, sex education and alcohol problems. The students can talk freely and more openly to the young educators, than they can to parents, teachers or guardians.

Many of the orphans we have supported have now completed high school. We have sponsored a number of them to go on to further education resulting in employment. What is most rewarding is to see the ones being sponsored at teachers' traiining college coming back to the rural schools to partake in work experience. Peter, Charity and Josias are working in the Mukuni Schools, in addition Martin is doing an engineering course and Jacob is studying agriculture. The knowledge they ware gaining will give them the opportunity to eventually support their familes and give something back to their community.

Advancing the education in schools is invaluable for future development of these rural communities who desperately need your support.



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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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