We want to share with you the story of just one of the children, whose life has been changed thanks to everyone who donated, through CARINGCROWD, to our Nutrition programme. Gladys is 6 years old and was brought to the Tiny Tim & Friends Clinic last year by her grandmother who was concerned with a persistent cough and considerable weight loss. Upon testing it was discovered she was HIV+. Gladys weighed just 12kgs (26lbs) putting her below the 1st percentile on the BMI index and classifying her as considerably underweight.
Thanks to the donations of 34 people through CARINGCROWD, we were able to enroll Gladys into our Nutrition programme. After only one month on the programme Gladys had gained 4kgs (almost 9lbs) and now is considered as a very healthy weight (at the 78th percentile on the BMI index).
We spoke to her Grandmother, Janet, about the impact the food support and nutritional advice is having for her family:
"I have cared for Gladys for most of her life, as both of her parents have died. I own the family home but we live there with 15 other family members, selling vegetables to make money for food - usually making about 300 kwacha a week to feed the entire family (less than $30).
I took Gladys to the TTF clinic as I was worried about her weight and after speaking to a woman in the community thought she may be HIV+. The food we have been getting from TTF helps so much. Before we could only feed Gladys at breakfast and in the evening and now she has 3 meals a day and snacks. The food is also helping with her taking her medication which was previously making her sick when she took it without eating.
We have always tried to make her go to school but since she has become sicker she was missing more and more. Now she has gained weight and is managing on her medication better so is going back to school.
The nutritional talks are also helping me in thinking about how to care for Gladys and prepare her meals - I have also been sharing this with my daughters and supporting my other grandchildren with this knowledge.
I am too thankful to this support and I try and encourage the younger mothers in the programme to think about how they are using the food to help their children gain weight and become more healthy like Gladys."
Gladys is just one of the children we are seeing significant changes in due to the nutritional support and education their families are receiving. Without your donations this would not have been possible. So thank you and please watch out for more updates on the children you are helping.