COVID-19 has reached Lesotho and we are worried. The families we serve have already endured several years of food insecurity caused by drought, and have high rates of illnesses like HIV and tuberculosis, which weakens their immune systems. In this short video, Ellen Block (TTLF’s Executive Director) and Dr. Amy Ellingson (board member and pediatrician) explain some of the ongoing challenges that TTL faces in light of the increased drought conditions and the vulnerabilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ellen is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, where she conducts research on HIV/AIDS and orphan care practices in Lesotho, and elder care in Ghana. Her book Infected Kin:Orphan Care and AIDS in Lesotho (written with Will McGrath, her husband, and creative non-fiction writer) is based on the research she has conducted in Lesotho since 2007. She has served as advisor to undergraduate students who wish to do field research at TTL, and has been on the Board since 2015. She took over the position of Executive Director in 2019.