It has been over a full month since I arrived at Touching Tiny Lives and every day here has been amazing! Before coming to TTL I had a basic understating of what the organization did, but now that I have experienced it for a month, I am in awe of how incredible and important TTL’s work is. Although I have already made so many memories here, there are three that stand out in showing why TTL is so important.
During my first week here, I had the chance to join the outreach team on one of their typical days. I am still shocked by how far out we drove just to visit a few families, check on them, and drop off either some formula or nutri-plenti meals. We drove for hours and over many mountains on roads that looked more like dried up river beds. The TTL staff in the truck with me said that before TTL got the money for the four-wheel drive trucks, they used to ride out to these families on horseback! I thought the drive out was difficult but I could not imagine what it would have been like on horseback. TTL is so dedicated to their clients and getting them the proper nutrition and support that they need to stay healthy. Because of TTL’s outreach services, families all over Mokhotlong are leading happier and healthier lives without the fear of malnutrition.
The following week, we realized that one of our outreach clients had a very serious medical issue that required urgent attention. The child was born prematurely with hydrocephalus and was unable to get the proper medical attention he needed in Mokhotlong. The local hospital dismissed the child’s seizures and said the child was shaking because he was cold. After seeing that the baby was not being put on the proper medication months before the scheduled surgery, TTL decided that the child needed to see a specialist. So, TTL took the child and his mother to Bethlehem, South Africa where there was the closest pediatric specialist. Because of TTL this child is now on the proper medication he needs and will be safe and healthy until his scheduled surgery. We have heard from the mother that since the child has been on the proper medication, the baby has had more strength and has begun playing more frequently! We look forward to more positive news after the surgery.
Many months before I arrived at TTL, we had a Safe Home client with Down’s syndrome who had developmental delays in walking and talking. TTL transferred the child to an organization that specializes in taking care and teaching children with disabilities. I was able to tag along with TTL to check up on our client at this organization. Once there we saw that she was walking/running around and had learned some sign language. After seeing her progress, my boss and I drove four hours to visit her family in Thaba Tseka and deliver the good news! The girl’s family was so excited to hear about her progress because it meant that she can soon return to them. Without the help of TTL this family would not have had the means to care for or understand this child, but now the family will finally be able to connect and care for her.
Through these very different experiences, I now know that Touching Tiny Lives truly goes the extra mile for their clients. TTL will do whatever it takes to help a child in need and so many children in Mokhotlong are alive and healthy because of it.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).