Saturday, October 1st marked the International Day of Older People. While sometimes it feels like there are so many days of ‘international recognition’, this one is pretty poignant for TTL and its clients. Like so many countries deeply impacted by the HIV epidemic, grandparents in Lesotho are raising their children’s children.
I spent Saturday with TTL’s Outreach team, driving to a village about 3 hours outside of Mokhotlong to visit a ‘grandmother-headed household’. Tlotlo had been referred to us through TTL’s village health worker network. Tlotlo's mother passed away a few weeks after her birth, leaving Tlotlo and 4 siblings to be cared for by their 71 year old grandmother. At just 1 month old, and with so many children in the house, the outreach staff was concerned about the family's ability to access and purchase formula to feed Tlotlo. After talking with the grandmother, it was decided that it would be best for Tlotlo to come and stay at the safehome for awhile where he can have access to all the food and support he needs during this period of critical early growth.
Tlotlo is now at TTL, bringing the number of babies in the safehome up to 7 – twice as many as we had only a week ago.