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
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."
Dr. Tim had such a great impact on the patients and people that we work with. So when one of our community volunteers gave birth to a little boy the day after Tim passed away last year, she decided to name her new born son Tim, to pay tribute to the work he had done to help her and others living with HIV to healthy lives and have healthy HIV negative children.
"Dr. Tim was a man of action, and I hope for my son to grow up to live up to his namesake."
PANJI IS DESPARATE TO FINISH SCHOOL BUT HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO ATTEND FOR OVER 6 MONTHS DUE TO POOR HEALTH
Sadly, sometimes patients come to TTF and from their appearance you immediately you know there is a major health problem. This was the case for 19 year old Panji when he was brought to the TTF Clinic earlier this year. Panji is 1.73m (5ft 8) and weighs only 42Kgs (92lbs). He is significantly malnourished and currently undergoing tests to see if he is suffering from Tuberculosis.
His malnutrition, alongside HIV and suspected TB puts his health at significant risk, and without boosting his immune system just a small infection could prove fatal.
Panji's parents died when he was just a child and he now lives in a one room house with 6 other people (his sister (pictured below), brother in law, and four nieces and nephews), sharing a pit latrine with 20 other people. Whilst food in the home is provided by Panji's brother in law, there isn't enough to support Panji in his current state and he is in desperate need of nutritional support. He needs your help to ensure he can go on to finish his education and lead a healthy, successful life.
"I WANT TO FINISH SCHOOL SO I CAN BECOME A DOCTOR AND HELP OTHERS"
Panji, was identified in the community by one of our teen mentors. He had previously been tested for HIV but wasn't yet ready to accept his status. Our staff have been working closely with him to provide him with medical advice and emotional counselling to prepare him to start on medication. But because of his late access to treatment he is incredibly sick and because of his poor health, he has been unable to attend school for the past 6 months. He desperately wants to complete his education so he can make something of his life and help others.
With the right medical, social and nutritional support Panji can go onto lead a healthy life, but we need your donations to support him and 49 other children and adolescents like him to reach our crowdfunding goal. So please consider pledging today and changing Panjis life around for the better!
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. “
Lonely, is one of our Social Workers and Adherence counselors at TTF. He runs our clinic and interacts with young people on a daily basis. He see's every day the issues that the young people living with HIV are facing. In celebration of National Youth Day in Zambia we interviewed him about some of the problems young people face and how TTF can help.
Last year TTF worked in a variety of different compounds around Lusaka to reach as many people as possible. In 2014, funded by the Diplomatic Spouses Association of Zambia, we have begun undertaking much smaller more targeted outreaches in Chibolya, one of the most economically and socially deprived areas of Lusaka.
Chibolya has no government facilities, including no health posts, government schools or law enforcement services. The community is incredibly hostile and suspicious of outside organisations and NGO’s. We have been operating in the community through our social work team and utilising our volunteer women’s groups to build a trust with community leaders, teachers and schools.
Through hard work and perseverance TTF staff have successfully held 27 outreaches and tested 1,575 individuals for HIV.