Thursday, August 25, 2011

introductions and new developments

First of all, let me introduce myself -my name is Rachel and I am the new fellow at TTL. Having only arrived in Lesotho a week ago I am still feeling a bit green and am quickly trying to learn some useful phrases in Sesotho and find my way around Mokhotlong (I know it’s small but anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a hopeless sense of direction).

But meanwhile, there has been a lot happening at the TTL campus that I would love to update you about.

Also new on the TTL campus is Lerato. She came to the safehome on August 11 following discharge from hospital. She is suffering from malnutrition and is HIV + but has recently been started on ARVs. Lerato is a very sweet and easy-going toddler and has started to show some improvements and gained weight since arriving at the safehome. Both Lerato’s parents have passed away but the hope is that once her health status improves and stabilises, she will go home to live with her aunt.

Tsekiso, whose friendly face you’ll recognise from his birthday celebration with TTL staff and volunteers in July, went home to live with his grandmother on August 7. Tsekiso was brought to TTL by his father after being treated and discharged at the hospital for severe dehydration and malnutrition. His mother passed away in 2009 and his caregiver situation has been unstable, contributing to his malnutrition. While at the safehome, Tsekiso was identified as HIV + and started ART. Now that his health has been stabilised he has been able to return to his grandmother’s care. TTL will continue to support Tsekiso and his brother, another TTL client, through the work of the Outreach team.

On August 12, TTL welcomed soldiers from the local military base to the TTL campus. Under the leadership of Second Lieutenant Lekanyane and Captain Ndlelene, a group of Mokhotlong based soldiers visited with the children and generously donated clothing to the safehome. This was the third time local army personnel have come to visit and donate items to TTL and it has been great to receive this ongoing support from TTL’s local community in Mokhotlong.

Changes have also been happening to the buildings at TTL. Thanks to the generosity of the Town of Gummersbach, TTL now has three functioning solar panels that supply solar heated water for the TTL campus.

We are looking forward to the completion of the second phase of the project: the installation of a complete photovoltaic system. This system will produce between 2000-3000 kWh of electricity each year – roughly half of the energy consumed in the safehome and kitchen.

Essentially all the water on site will be solar heated and half of our electrical needs for the safehome and kitchen will come from the sun. Many thanks to the town of Gummersbach for making sustainable changes at TTL possible!

That’s everything for now. I look forward to keeping you all updated with my thoughts and experiences and all the comings and goings and stories and successes at TTL over the next year.