The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).
Today TTL turns 8 – and we’re feeling pretty good about it. That’s eight years of being the one who is willing to go where no one else goes. Eight years of helping families and communities fight back against the HIV epidemic. Eight years of changing the lives of children, working to make sure that they get the opportunity to celebrate their own richly deserved birthdays.
But instead of simply patting ourselves on the back on a job well done, I thought I would share what some of the caregivers TTL is currently supporting have to say about us –
“They are helpful people who help those in need with a smile”
– Grandmother caring for a 4 year old child who was referred to TTL because of malnutrition. The child’s mother is away in South Africa trying to find work.
“My family is no longer spending sleepless nights because of the child’s illnesses.”
–Aunt and Uncle caring for an HIV+ child whose mother passed away from HIV-related causes. TTL has been supporting the family since October 2011, including a three month stay in the safe-home
“There have been positive achievements from TTL’s services, especially for my child who managed to live because of TTL’s services and he is now grown up. I had five children who passed away because I did not know I needed to attend clinic services and access HIV testing and counselling.”
-HIV positive mother with twins. TTL has supported the family since the twins were only a few weeks old. They will celebrate their first birthday in July.
“Outreach workers are very cooperative people as they teach us how to feed our children. They encourage us to produce vegetables so that we can have more food. They have love for the babies. When they come to see [the babies] they want to know about their lives in detail”
-The caregiver of a TTL client who was brought to the safe-home after being hospitalised for kwashiorkor. Both the mother and father of the child have passed away from TB and there are 10 other people in the household, 8 of whom are under 18. The child was able to return home in February 2012 where the Outreach team continues to work with his Aunt to ensure his health and development stay on track.
“There have been changes because other villagers got tested [for HIV] and are able to feed their children in an acceptable manner”
–HIV + mother and child, TTL has supported the child from age 6 months to today (child is 20 months)
“TTL has done wonders for me of which I did not expect”
–Mother of TTL client who was referred for malnourishment. The family was referred to TTL because the mother is suspected of having cancer and was ill and unable to breastfeed. The mother is the only adult in the household and there is no income so the child was being fed sugar water before TTL’s support.
“TTL has helped me in so many ways. I am encouraging it to continue to help other children who will need help like my child”
-Grandmother of a child TTL started supporting at 3 months after the death of his mother from HIV-related causes. There are 11 other people in the household, six of whom are children.