Tiny Tim & Friends has entered a film competition, Every Footstep Counts, and we need your help.
The competition aims to showcase and celebrate the successes organisations, like Tiny Tim & Friends, are making worldwide that are integral to end mother-to-child transmission and paediatric HIV. By following this link and voting for Tiny Tim & Friends film, "The Power of Living Positively", you can help us to win £10,000 and the opportunity to attend the International AIDS Conference in 2018 and showcase our work to global leaders in the field of HIV.
Vote for Tiny Tim & Friends Film and help us to win £10,000.
The Six films with the most votes will go to a judging panel where the top two will be classified as winners. So we need your votes!
Tiny Tim & Friends' film focuses on the work of one of our community health volunteers, Margaret. Margaret lives positively within her community, sharing her status to encourage others to access HIV testing and treatment. Through her work with the TTF Clinic she reaches out to vulnerable children and pregnant women who would have otherwise not accessed services. Every day she engages with new people, working to ensure children and pregnant women living with HIV are accessing treatment and staying in care. She continually follows TTF's Mission - working towards a future where no child is living with HIV.
Watch the video on the Every Footstep Counts website and vote for Tiny Tim & Friends - The Power of Positivity
THERE IS AN AFRICAN PROVERB - IF YOU WANT TO WALK FAST WALK ALONE, IF YOU WANT TO WALK FAR, WALK TOGETHER...
As Tiny Tim & Friends grows in terms of patients, and the number activities we undertake to provide additional layers of support to those patients, we must also grow our support networks around the world. In Lusaka our community volunteers provide an essential part of our work in: helping us access individuals who would have been previously unknown to us; in allowing us to provide home based support to our patients across Lusaka; and in ensuring we can provide follow ups to everyone we test as HIV+ in order to ensure they are getting the right medical care and treatment they need to lead a healthy life.
We specifically work with HIV+ women in the community to help support our work and to provide HIV awareness and sensitisation. Their personal insight into living with HIV and their understanding of the issues the communities are facing enables us to have a much greater impact on the lives of the children, adolescents and pregnant women we work everyday to support.
One of our community volunteers is Margaret, 45, who after her diagnosis of being HIV+ decided she wanted to help others:
“ I tested as HIV+ in 2004, I was scared at the time because I had three children and was worried they would also be HIV+. I knew a little bit about HIV but mainly that it could kill you and knew nothing about being able to live a healthy life. I got all of my children tested and they were all negative. I was put on ARV’s and started to learn more about HIV. After I understood more I decided I wanted to help other people who were HIV+ and help others to understand more about HIV. So in 2006 I started volunteering at George Clinic doing filing, helping with follow ups and monitoring the growth of malnourished children. Then one day a lady came to the clinic and told me about Tiny Tim & Friends and asked if I would be interested in volunteering with them to help identify HIV+ children and that is how I came to work with TTF.
My favourite part of working with TTF is when you find someone in the community, get them tested and they get enrolled into the clinic because I know then that they will have a better chance in life to be healthy.
There are a lot of problems in the community which I see which can lead to increased HIV transmission or ill health for people living with HIV. There is no employment, people do peacemeal work selling vegetables, cleaning, collecting bottles but nothing consistent. The best job for a community member is a security guard but you need to be healthy so if you are HIV+ and not on treatment you can get sick a lot and then end up losing your job. Because people have little money to survive some people resort to crime, stealing from peoples homes. Alcoholism and substance abuse is an issue, especially for young men and women. They have nothing else to do so soon turn to substances for entertainment. This can lead to promiscuity or sexual assault for women. Additionally a lot of young women and children are assaulted by family members. People are afraid to report it to the police for fear of judgement that they have been out drinking or that their family member (who could be a wage provider) will go to prison and their family will suffer more.
Its also not easy for young women to get condoms, vendors wont sell to them and they don’t feel empowered to ask a man to wear a condom in case they are accused of being promiscuous. I see a lot of teenage pregnancies because the girls are vulnerable. There are a lot of orphans in the community so they are also left vulnerable.
The teenagers are the ones who need education the most, to understand the importance of safe sex. And for young girls to be empowered and feel confident to insist on safe sex. In Zambian culture that is a difficult thing to overcome.
There is also a lot of education needed on the dangers of stopping medication once you have started it. And the importance of talking to your health care provider if you are experiencing side effects. A lot of the time in the community if someone is HIV+ and gets sick people can stop caring for them as they expect them to die but that isn't the case any more with medicine. People need educated around this.
I try and talk to 2-3 people every day, I tell them I am HIV+ and they are surprised as I am healthy – they have a lot of questions about medication and side effects. A lot of people are also afraid of getting tested but when I tell them I am HIV+ they feel a lot more comfortable, and a lot less fearful that it means an early death.
I want to go back to school so I can continue to work with TTF and do even more work with them to support HIV+ individuals in the community – to help children and families to be less fearful and ashamed and to be rid of the stigma that exists around HIV so that people can lead more open lives and transmission is reduced.
Since I found out I was HIV+ I have also had another child who is very healthy so I know it is possible to lead a healthy normal life with the right treatment and support, like TTF provide. I want others to have the same opportunities I have. “
Imagine living in a home with one room, 10 family members and surviving on one meal a day.....This is the reality for Joyce, a 9 year old patient at the Tiny Tim & Friends Clinic.
Joyce is a new patient at TTF. She is HIV+, weighs only 12kgs (26lbs), has TB and is suffering from an all over body rash. Her symptoms and illnesses are not uncommon for a malnourished HIV+ child. Joyce currently sits below the 5th percentile on the BMI index and her health is a great concern – her CD4 count is 261 - just above a critical level.
Joyce's family situation is complex, her mother has alcohol abuse issues, and upon visiting her family home we discovered here grandmother, Betty, was seriously ill with TB - weighing only 28kgs (61lbs). Due to malnutrition Joyce is always sick and unable to go to school. Her mother never went to school and so is unable to secure regular employment, meaning food is scarce. They are stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Joyce needs significant medical and social support in order to help her to get healthy and lead a positive life. Tiny Tim & Friends is currently supporting her in the following ways:
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN ORDER TO CONTINUE TO HELP HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN LIKE JOYCE AT THE ttf cLINIC
Joyce came to Tiny Tim & Friends in August through one of our community volunteers who was working to identify HIV+ children in one of the biggest compounds in Lusaka, George Compound. She found Joyce in a bar with her mother, who sadly suffers with alcohol abuse issues. Immediately our volunteer was concerned by Joyce’s appearance – after speaking to her mother, Miriam, our volunteer confirmed that Joyce was HIV+ but not currently on treatment. After a long discussion Miriam consented for Joyce to be brought to the TTF Clinic.
By Katie Kampa:
"As I complete the last few days of a ten week internship with Tiny Tim & Friends, it’s a great time for me to look back and reflect on the experiences I’ve had with the organization. While TTF is a rather small NGO, I have been amazed at the large number of activities that they are involved in and the number of clients they manage to reach.
"THE DEDICATED STAFF AT TTF AND THE GRACIOUS DONORS.....
In Lusaka, Zambia it is estimated by the Ministry of Health that almost 1 in 5 people are living with HIV. Individuals knowing their status and getting access to treatment (ART) is essential to prevent HIV transmission.
At the end of last year TTF undertook 14 intensive days community outreaches in Chibolya, one of the most economically deprived areas of Lusaka. With a team of 10 counselors lead by our Social Worker, Noah Kampengele, we worked in the community going door to door to talk to people in the privacy of their homes about HIV, testing 6,341 individuals, identifying 217 HIV people and registering 116 HIV+ children and adolescents into the TTF Clinic.
"KNOWING THAT WE CAN SAVE A CHILD'S LIFE
IS WHY WE DO THIS WORK."
What is it like in Chibolya?
Chibolya compound originated from the migration of people from different places around Zambia in search of greener pastures, but basically ended up being a hiding place for armed robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes. There are basically no facilities there, especially health, education and police presence. The houses have no order and most don't have house numbers. This means finding your way around and finding people can be really difficult.
When TTF do outreaches do you only focus on children?
No, not at all, we test entire families and individuals who request it.
Why do you think that it’s important to recognise National youth day and what will you be doing on the day?
It is an important day to recognise because in a Zambian the youth are the majority and form the highest part of the population. Whatever is going on in employment, volunteering, bus drivers, they are all young people – youth day gives people an opportunity to reflect on their lives, and what they want to do.
I will be sharing my day with the senior citizens, 65 and above – and try to find out about life, how life was, before independence compared how life is now. I want to know how they used to treat each other, to talk about issues which are happening with young people today and find out from them how it was and how we can move forward.
In Zambia females aged 14-29, orphans and vulnerable children are the most at risk of contracting HIV and. An estimated 80,000 – 100,000 HIV+ adolescents (older than 14) are not currently on treatment. What more do you think TTF can be doing to help address this issue?
Most young people are on social media – TTF need to work on a social media and social work side, having a Q&A page where individuals can post questions. We need to make sure young people are given the opportunity to understand the organisation and what we can offer. This could be done through advertising our clinic and services.
TTF also need to continue our outreaches and focus on young people and adolescents. Young people will then understand what we stand for and HIV. We also need to strengthen our women groups, coming up with a system of referrals for young people. By doing these three things we are catching people on Facebook, in the community and in an urban setting.
Dr Tim Meade
HIV Negative Children
Tiny Tim & Friends
TTF Women's Groups
Young People And Adolescents