"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.....
ARE CREATING A POSITIVE CHANGE ON A DAILY BASIS"
"THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF OF THE DAY TO DAY WORK IN A PEDIATRIC HIV ORGANISATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA CAN BE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY EXHAUSTING"
During house-to house visits one afternoon in mid-June, about half-way through my internship, I was helping with HIV counseling and testing with the outreach team, and witnessed the difficult reality and hardships that many Zambians living in the heart of the HIV pandemic are faced with. As we walked through the dusty roads, littered with garbage; ducking under clothes lines filled mostly with tattered, second-hand clothing and brightly colored African wraps known as chitenges; we often had to step aside to make room for women and children quickly passing by with large containers of water that they had collected from the local well and were transporting back home - impressively balanced on top of their heads.
A group of young women in their late teens-early twenties sat braiding each other’s hair and having an animated conversation in Bemba, their local language, outside on the front stoop of their home. As we approached the ladies and explained the reason for our visit, they nervously agreed to voluntary HIV testing and even wanted their younger siblings tested.
After sharing a bit of basic HIV education and counseling the women began to talk more openly with us and tell us the concerns and struggles they were facing. The group of women were sisters and were all double-orphans for many years, they had been caring for each other, the home, and a couple children of their own.
"THANKS TO THE WORK AT TTF; HIV+ WOMEN ARE GIVING BIRTH TO HIV NEGATIVE BABIES; NUMEROUS MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE LIVING LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES"
If you want to find out more about how you can get involved with Tiny Tim & Friends through volunteering please visit our volunteering page.