Ray Archer from Butterfly Plants for Poverty with a Cairns Birdwing in his butterfly enclosure at his property at Buaraba.
Ray Archer from Butterfly Plants for Poverty with a Cairns Birdwing in his butterfly enclosure at his property at Buaraba. Claudia Baxter

Butterflies offer hope

BUTTERFLIES might not spring to mind when you think about fighting world poverty, but Buaraba resident Ray Archer is trying to change all that.

Mr Archer and his wife Delphine founded Butterfly Plants for Poverty nearly a year ago in an effort to turn what had been a hobby into a way to help people living in extreme poverty.

Their block of land, halfway between Gatton and Esk, was transformed into a paradise for birds and butterflies, from which they've developed their charity.

Assisted by a small team of volunteers, Mr and Mrs Archer grow butterfly-attracting plants they then sell via Australia Post, with the proceeds going to help provide micro-loans to poverty stricken residents of India and nations across Africa.

"These people are earning $1, maximum $2 per day," he said.

"They'll go to work, buy some rice for their family and then go to sleep in a lean-to shack or a cardboard box.

"It's a day by day existence."

Through the micro-loan system, which lends sums between $10 and $200, the beneficiaries are urged to start a business to help pull their families out of poverty.

"Through selling butterfly-attracting plants we're encouraging people to bring butterflies back to their gardens."

Butterfly Plants for Poverty will be hosting an open day this Sunday at its Buaraba property.

Children who visit will be able to catch and release some of the butterflies in the property's greenhouse.

Mr Archer will be hosting walks through the property and talking about the charity.

The open day runs from 9.30am until 4pm.

For further information on Butterfly Plants for Poverty and the open day visit www.butterflyplantsforpoverty.org.



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