Jane Kaye-Bailey with the Kamwi twins
After a somewhat challenging year I am pleased to report on the completion of several projects that will benefit the orphans and rural communities. All of them are a huge asset but none more so than those providing improved water and health facilities. Three new bore holes have been added at Kauwe, Kanibmwe and Muchambile schools in the Nyawe Chiefdom. In addition two latrines and a sluice for Mukuni Health Centre and one double for Kamwi school. Kaminbwa school. The new health centre at Mahalulu in the Mukuni Chiefdom is now complete. The government had taken three years to construct a clinic building in this outreach area – in just over a year we have added a maternity clinic, a women’s shelter, three medical staff houses and latrines in addition to a bore hole. The facility will cater for people who previously had to walk over thirty kilometres to reach the nearest health centre. A further women’s shelter has been added to Mambova Clinic in the Sikute Chiefdom.
Staff at these rural clinics has to treat patients with numerous illness including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and snake bites, besides holding anti-natal and post natal clinics. In addition to skilled staff local people are trained to assist with childbirth and home care. The HIV and AIDS statistics in the area are the highest in the nation, with as many as 30% of the population being infected with the HIV virus. Livingstone is a border town and the capital of tourism. I was horrified to learn that one of my team had overheard some European female students saying that they only come to Africa for sex! We are increasing the number of educational workshops on HIV and AIDS prevention and teenage pregnancies, but it appears the visitors also need to be educated!
A new Special Education unit at River View school has just been completed. A further unit is currently being constructed at Katapazi Basic school. The new 1×2 classroom block is in full use and a school shop will shortly be built to create sustainability for the Mukuni schools. Some of these projects are two hundred kilometres from our base and up to sixty kilometres off road. All kind of problems arose, including poor access, vehicles getting stuck, dry bore holes and increase in fuel costs. Mupotola, Martin and Presley, three of The Butterfly Tree volunteers in Zambia, deserve most of the credit for their hard work, sheer determination and dedication in helping these vulnerable communities.
As always it was great to meet up with the orphans. Many of them participated in the Kazungula District schools’ events, with Mukuni hosting it at the new Music Centre. Mukuni won the best choir, poetry and traditional dancing competitions and went on to compete in the Southern Province finals where they came runners up in all categories. I managed to catch up with the Kamwi twins who lost their mother in childbirth, both are happy and healthy and will be three years old in October. Sadly more children have been orphaned and need our support. Today I was delighted to hear that a group of Australians has agreed to sponsor fifty orphans for a further year. Many thanks to all our donors.