Zambia is in Sub-Sahara Africa where 265 million people are hungry, many relying on food aid. In the past twelve months The Butterfly Tree has provided bore holes to four schools and two villages in Mukuni. Now we need to use that water to develop agriculture and for the communities to grow food so that they can become sustainable. I hear sad stories of African children unable to walk the long distance to school due to lack of food, pupils who are lethargic in class and have actually seen a number of them fall asleep over their desks. I recently met a mother with twins who had walked three miles to the clinic, the infants were suffering from malnutrition, she hadn’t eaten for twenty-four hours having no money to buy a bag of ground maize. They are now receiving aid through our under-fives' feeding program.
Many women have to provide food, not only for their own children, but for orphans they have to accommodate, pushing them below the poverty line. We have set up a number of women's groups to grow vegetables, these can be used to provide food for their own families in addition to selling some to earn an income. Many people have only one meal a day, consisting of Nshima (ground maize), ground nuts (peanuts) and vegetables.Orphaned and vulnerable children receive a daily nutritious meal at Mukuni Basic School, but for other schools children go hungry.
Providing seeds for both women and girls provides extra food. When parents have died it is usually up to the oldest girl in the family to provide food, often they have to drop out of school to find employment to feed their siblings. We helped fund a local shop for one young woman who was in charge of her four siblings. This was becoming sustainable until she had to use all her funds to pay for her sister to go to hospital. Sadly she has no money left to buy further produce, therefore donating seeds will give her the chance to grow her own food.
Food is essential for the development of young children and improves concentration and perfomance at school. This has been proved in cases where The Butterfly Tree has provided feeding programs in schools.
We are seeking funds so that groups of widows, schools and communities can grow crops, produce goats and chickens for meat and eggs, fish farming and fruit trees.
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