Liswani is 17 years old and discovered she was living with HIV in 2019 through a routine TTF community testing day. When she learned about her status, she felt alone and did not have anyone to talk to. Liswani would often come to the clinic, always reserved, without saying much. One day she was invited by the TTF counselors to attend the TTF Girls Club, with the intention of help provide her with a support network of peers living with HIV. It was here that this quiet, shy girl revealed her story:
Liswani lived with her stepfather and mother. Only Liswani’s mother knew her status, but one day her stepfather found a bag with her medication and her mother was forced to tell him Liswani had tested positive for HIV. When this occurred everything changed for Liswani. She explained that often her stepfather would throw away any food she prepared for him or even break plates if he saw her using them. She suffered daily stigma and discrimination from her stepfather, and he even stopped paying for her school fees forcing her to drop out of school. With the constant bullying and negativity at home she even thought of committing suicide.
Slowly, with the support of the TTF Girls Club, Liswani began to find solace in her newfound friends and was able to draw strength from their individual experiences of discrimination and how they dealt with it. By opening up to her peers this young girl has blossomed to being a strong confident young woman. By learning about HIV and acceptance at TTF she has been able to speak to her family about HIV, breaking down barriers and improving her relationship with both her parents.
Liswani’s mother was invited to attend a TTF caregiver’s workshop, where she learned about HIV, how to better support her daughter, and how to speak to her husband about HIV transmission, breaking down the misinformation and stigma.
Today, Liswani is virally suppressed and is active in many youth programs offered at TTF. Liswani hopes she will one day be able to go back to school. She wants to be a nurse and help other girls like her.
Your donation allows us to support girls like Liswani. Please consider supporting us to continue running the Girls Club:
Many people don't realize that it is totally possible for a woman living with HIV to have a healthy, HIV negative baby. If we can get a woman on HIV treatment early enough into her pregnancy, we can suppress the virus within her body, reducing the risk of HIV transmission to Zero.
Over the past two years our prevention of mother to child transmission program has been 100% successful, with no child being born with HIV when we have got the mother onto treatment at least three months prior to deliver.
Many government clinics lack basic supplies for women during labor, meaning women are either denied access to the facility or have an increased risk of complications during pregnancy due to basic supplies not being available. Our birthing hampers can be life changing, being the difference between a woman giving with at home, or safely in a facility.
In February 2018, TTF USA Board members Tom, Colleen, Kris along with young Tim took a trip to Zambia to reconnect with the staff and see what happening, on the ground.
As always the trip felt way too short, but was a great way to witness how your donations are improving the lives of the patients at the TTF clinic. Being physically present and witnessing the work first hand really makes us feel proud of the work that is being done. We are so fortunate to see the smiling faces of the children and the changes the work of TTF is having on these vulnerable individuals’ lives.
One of the highlights of the trip was on a clinic day, where families come in for check-ups, counselling and to pick up their medication. We were able to hand out a food package of eggs, oil, flour, beans, onion, potatoes, rice and sugar to each of the families who are in the Nutrition Program. We heard stories from the team and patients about how this program had changed children’s lives. Your donations have made this possible.
We saw many pregnant women who are supported with information and tools to prevent the transfer of HIV to their unborn child. Alongside medication, TTF supports these women with birthing hampers. Just a small hamper including a nappy, cotton wool, a blanket, latex gloves, an umbilical cord clamp and disinfectant can mean the difference between birthing at home – or safely at a clinic. It was great to hear the results and successes and that in 2016 & 2017, thanks to you, ZERO babies were born HIV+.
The staff and the patients are so very grateful for all of the donations from you, our supporters. Because of you, TTF is able to provide a complete package medication, nutrition, counseling and social support for entire families. Without your help these families would not be able to live normal healthy lives.
We continue to be grateful to all of our donors for your support. Your donations are changing lives, we have witnessed it many times first hand, but after our visit feel even more compelled to continue our work . Together we can change lives and work towards a generation where no child has HIV.
WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, where we take stock to be grateful to those who make a difference in our lives.
For our patients in Zambia Thanksgiving is an unknown holiday. But their gratitude to you, our donors, is unending. Every day we receive comments and thanks from patients whose lives you have changed for the better. They are so thankful for the impact you are having - enabling them to lead healthy lives and have healthy families.
It can be difficult to convey the great impact you are having here in Zambia, but today we wanted to take extra time out to say thank you for your ongoing support. You are creating a positive change in the lives of vulnerable HIV+ children.
With your support we can continue to work towards eradicating HIV in Zambia and changing the future for thousands of vulnerable children and adolescents.
Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!
Tiny Tim & Friends Team, Zambia.
It's the donors at Tiny Tim & Friends who are pivotal to our work. We wanted to share with you the story of one donor and why she supports our work.
GANDHI SAID "BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD", DR. TIM WAS THE CHANGE......HIS PASSION ENGAGED MY HEART"
Written by Eileen Leo, TTF Donor:
"I will never forget how I first heard about Tiny Tim & Friends and how I came to meet Dr. Tim, his lovely parents, Betty and Tom, Tiny Tim, his terrific young son, and his wonderful siblings.
I don’t usually read the Edina Sun newspaper, but that day I was skimming it and noticed a short article about a Fundraiser for a local non-profit, Tiny Tim & Friends, to support the work of Dr. Tim Meade, a pediatric HIV/AIDS specialist in Zambia.
Curious to know more, I found Betty and Tom’s phone number, called, and enjoyed a lovely chat with Betty who warmly invited me to attend the fundraiser. In listening to Dr. Tim tell the story of Tiny Tim & Friends and show photos of the children and the work they do I was captivated by his passion and zeal, the ongoing efforts of the Clinic’s team, and the amazing progress of hundreds of children when tested and begun on a regimen of medicine.
Dr. Tim’s presentation enlarged my world and engaged my heart. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Dr. Tim was the change."
"Tom and Betty Meade launched Tiny Tim & Friends to support their son’s work, and to tell the world about the children in Zambia and how we can help. They have made 7 or 8 trips to visit the clinic compound in Lusaka, Zambia!!
Their crowning jewel is Tiny Tim, Dr. Tim’s wonderful son. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a few times when he and his Dad visited “Grandma and Grandpa” who hosted fun fundraisers every summer. Betty and Tom’s charisma is something to be experienced! It was infectious; I wanted to do something to help and be a part of their work. I offered to make quilts to sell at a fundraiser. Little did I know that Tom would build a beautiful quilt rack !!!
Many of my friends have purses, baskets, and jewelry made by talented Zambian women. The very personal connection I felt when I found their names written on a little piece of paper in the purse, or on the bottom of a basket. I am the richer for having the women’s beautifully woven colorful baskets in my home, for carrying their purses knitted out of colorful plastic bags, proudly telling the story of Tiny Tim & Friends."
"please join us in being an ongoing part of the team at tiny tim......there's room for you on the path!"
"I have saved every newsletter filled with clinic updates, progress celebrated, photos, interning college students who have caught Dr. Tim’s passion, ongoing concerns, new endeavors, ways to help.
The bliss and the blisters. And the blessed. I am blessed for having known Dr. Tim. I always wanted to go to Zambia to visit and volunteer for a month or so, maybe help in the school. I never did go to Zambia but never will lose my heartfelt connection and commitment to the children and to Dr. Tim’s dream. I decided to honor Dr. Tim by becoming a monthly donor and be an ongoing part of the team. Thanks to Betty and Tom Meade, “Tiny Tim & Friends” has hundreds of people walking the path behind Dr. Tim.
Please join us…there’s room for you on the path.
For the love of children and in memory of Dr. Tim, thank you."
Watch our video and see the impact our donors are having on vulnerable, malnourished children in Zambia.
The staff and board at Tiny Tim & Friends are committed to continuing our work and developing programs to support even more HIV+ children and adolescents live healthy, positive lives. Our donors and supporters have enabled TTF to pilot many new interventions over the years which have allowed us to change the lives of thousands of HIV+ individuals. WE CONTINUE TO NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN CHANGING LIVES.
Adolescent girls are twice as likely to get infected with HIV as their male counterparts. And many adolescents do not feel empowered to access contraception, do not feel empowered to ask their partner to wear use condoms, or do not know where to access contraception from in order to protect themselves from infection.
When some of our adolescent peer mentors came to us recently to suggest setting up youth friendly services at the TTF Clinic, we were excited to hear about their ideas. Our aim is to support them to develop a youth focused project which could not only help us in retaining our existing adolescent patients into treatment but in identifying new patients to reach out to and providing a safe space for young people to come and access information and services.
IT COSTS LESS THAN $7,000 TO SET UP AND RUN OUR YOUTH FRIENDLY SERVICE FOR 6 MONTHS.
The purpose of the youth friendly center would be to provide youth led HIV testing, counselling, sexual reproductive health information, access to condoms and referral services for those in need of HIV treatment, or other health and counselling services. We would also run community based outreach services, led by our teen mentors and youth counselors, with the purpose of encouraging HIV testing in the community around the TTF Clinic and to encourage individuals to come to the clinic for testing and information services.
Finally the youth groups want to establish chess clubs, sports teams and activity groups to provide a much needed distraction from some of the vices, such as alcohol and drug abuse, which are too easily accessible to the vulnerable populations we work with.
We are more than confident that with the right funding, and guidance from the TTF management and social work teams our peer mentors can set up services which supports adolescents in:
BUT WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. IT WOULD COST US LESS THAN $7,000 TO ESTABLISH AND RUN OUR YOUTH FRIENDLY CENTER FOR 6 MONTHS, DURING WHICH TIME THE YOUTH WOULD LOOK TO UNDERTAKE FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES OF THEIR OWN IN LUSAKA TO SUPPORT THEIR CONTINUED OPERATIONS. PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING OUR WORK BY DONATING TO TTF TODAY!(Please state the purpose of your donation on the donation page)