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 counsellors to attend the TTF Girls Club, with the intention to help provide her 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 learnt about HIV, how to better support her daughter and speak to her husband about HIV transmission, breaking down the mis-information 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.
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
Blessings, 14, is shy. I can see she has a lot of potential if she was given the right opportunities in life. But she doesn't make friends easily. She stigmatizes herself and withdraws, denying herself the support network she desperately needs to shine.
I sit with her and talk to her about living with HIV. With support from TTF her mum told her she is HIV+. To help her understand what this means Blessings is attending a children's support group. She is learning about HIV and how to live healthily.
She is clever and explains brilliantly about the things she has learned. She says she feels better having made friends at the support group but I know she often sits to the side, quietly taking in the scenes around her, too shy to interact with her peers.
I ask Blessings how she feels about living with HIV. She tells me she feels bad. She says she hears people saying things about people living with HIV that make her feel bad about herself. Even with HIV education she continues to self stigmatize.
But it doesn’t have to be this way for Blessings.
Our staff take their time to get to know her needs beyond HIV treatment, they will help her find a way to feel good about herself.
We make the TTF clinic a place where confidence and independence can be gained. But this doesn't happen overnight and we cant do it alone. More than ever we need your help to change lives.This year we are aiming to raise $20,000 to support the Tiny Tim & Friends Clinic and we need your support.
I urge you to give a child like Blessings a gift this Christmas by donating to Tiny Tim & Friends. Your support ensures Blessings, and many other children like her can get the right treatment, care and counseling they need to thrive in life.
Jac Connell, Director, Tiny Tim & Friends Zambia.
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)
In 2016 TTF ran a Crowd Funding campaign through Caring Crowd to support 50 of the most malnourished patients at Tiny Tim & Friends. Thanks to the support of 79 donors who came together to support our cause, and to Johnson & Johnson who matched every donation, we were successful in reaching our goal.
So in early 2017 we spent time undertaking home visits, to understand the needs of our patients, and identifying those most in need of nutritional support. Finding 25 children and adolescents who were eligible was sadly not difficult.
Many of the children were so malnourished and underweight they were suffering with opportunistic infections and alongside nutritional support also required supervised palliative care to help them get well.
Supporting families with nutritional food packages is easy. But ensuring the children we are supporting are gaining weight and getting healthy is much more complex, involving regular counselling, home assessments, medical interventions and sometimes palliative care.
Thanks to the support of 79 donors through CaringCrowd and from the hard work of our counsellors all of the children gained weight, including one child who gained a massive 9kgs. Stay posted for further stories of each of these children but in the meantime we hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of just a few of the children you have changed the lives of.