Virtually all the work of The Butterfly Tree revolves around the HIV and AIDS orphans. At Mukuni Village almost 50% of the school children have lost one or more parent putting a huge burden on elderly grandparents and guardians and it’s the same story in every village. We believe that the only way to make the change is to target the younger generation and teach them all about HIV and AIDS prevention. Last year we were delighted to welcome Mutsa Marau to our team as a volunteer from London. Mutsa has a BA in Anthropoly and Socialogy, a MBA in International Business Practice and is a trained youth worker. She has written her own HIV and AIDS prevention program to train peer educators amongst school children, for the past four and a half months has worked with pupils at Mukuni.
Now these dedicated young people are ready to ‘spread the word’ and are reaching out to other rural schools. They are educating their peers on the dangers of HIV, how to prevent it, the importance of voluntary testing and how to live with it if you are unfortunate to have been born with the virus. Other issues include teenage pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases and surrounding issues. With our support their aim is to reach out to all the schools we are involved with and beyond. Several of these educators are from The Butterfly Tree orphan sponsorship program and it is wonderful to see the progress they have made as inviduals and a group.
One of the most important considerations when giving to charity is to ensure that the maximum amount goes directly to the cause and this is something that we continue to strive for. I repeatedly hear people say that they are through with giving to charities that deduct a sizeable amount of a donation to cover administration fees. Other hidden costs cover salaries, personal expenses and outlay for restructuring. Obviously the larger charities have to generate vast amounts of money and have high overheads but so much money is being misused.
The Butterfly Tree prides itself in being able to capitalize on a donation and use it in the best possible way that will benefit the rural communities we support in Zambia. For the past six years we have been able to use donor funds to initiate projects such as building classrooms and clinics, bore holes, malaria and HIV and AIDS prevention programs, community housing and orphan sponsorship. No administration costs or personal fees have been deducted. Our loyal and committed teams both in Zambia and the UK work on a volunteer basis, dedicating their time and energy to improving the lives of those less fortunate. The Chairman covers administration fees in the UK and we do not rent office space in either country.
Thank you for your support.