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.
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.